Review and Report: HP Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One Series

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The big news for HP’s Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One is a completely redesigned color ink-imaging system that, among its benefits, is much faster duplex productivity and faster ink-drying time, as well as a new option to keep printing when ink is low, and new technology to make sure pages are completely printed when ink is low.

At the same time, and as with the Officejet Pro 8000 Enterprise Printer, HP has expanded support for enterprises with a simplified installation option, and will be offering the new All-in-Ones as part of a Managed Print Services program with “base plus click” contract certification and automated supply delivery qualification. There’s also HP Web Jetadmin and Pro Proxy support, Citrix/Cluster support, asset tracking, backup and restore, print-driver pre-configuration, and modular enterprise installer with script and silent install capabilities. With the Embedded Web Server, administrators can enable or disable color fax, color copy, wireless connectivity and Web services.

Also new for the Officejet Pro 8600 series, which replaces the Officejet Pro 8500A series introduced last year, is a new improved ink formulation, and for the Premium and Plus configurations, the color touch screen has been enhanced with smartphone-like swiping. There’s also the previous generation’s wired and wireless network connectivity, mobile printing, Print Apps for accessing and printing Web content, and full-color capability for print, copy, scan and fax. The Premium and Plus configurations incorporate a legal-size (8.5”x14”) platen glass.

At the same time, hardware pricing has been reduced by $100 for all three configuration (base, Plus, and Premium). For instance, the top-of-the-line Officejet Pro 8600 Premium now lists at $399 versus the previous Officejet Pro 8500A Premium’s $499 list price (see below for more on the three configurations).

Upon our first inspection of the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus that we evaluated, we observed strong, improved build quality and an all matte-black finish, but the big difference—the new ink-jet imaging system—is inside. Along with the new ink, which is pigment-based and said to provide improved resistance to water and highlighters, there are also new ink cartridges—950 black cartridge, 951 individual color cartridges, and high-yield 950XL black and individual 950XL color cartridges.

Rated print speed is also faster (20/16 ppm versus 15/11 ppm) for the Premium and Plus configurations, as is duplex print speed—it’s now 50 percent of simplex speed (versus 25 percent of simplex speed). Our print-speed test showed that, in fact, when printing a 10-page Microsoft Word text document, duplex print speed was approximately 50-percent of simplex speed—we noted overall that duplex productivity was significantly better versus the previous Officejet Pro 8500A series that we had also evaluated. This in part can be attributed to much faster ink drying time—for black text output, that’s 2.90 to 3.65 seconds per page for the new Officejet Pro 8600 versus approximately 5.75 seconds for the Officejet Pro 8500A series.

HP has also upped the maximum monthly duty cycle—up to 25,000 pages, with a recommended monthly volume of from 250 to 1,250 pages. Also new is a borderless duplex printing on brochure paper, something you couldn’t do with the previous generation. This new capability will appeal to those who use their Officejet Pro for producing marketing materials such as folded brochures.

The redesigned ink-imaging system also addresses two user concerns: making sure ink cartridges are completely depleted before they must be replaced, and enabling the Officejet Pro 8600 to continue printing even if one of the four separate ink cartridges is depleted:

  • New ink sensors better gauge when ink is depleted, so that the maximum amount of ink is used before the cartridge must be replaced. When ink sensors detect air rather than ink, the sensor triggers a message to the user (see below) prompting them to either install a new cartridge and continue printing, or continue printing using other cartridges.
  • With a new reserve mode, once an ink cartridge has been depleted, and the user decides to keep printing, they can keep printing if black ink runs out by using the remaining colors to create a composite black (a combination of cyan, yellow, and magenta) and finish printing the job. If a color ink runs out, they can print using black ink. HP calls this Reserve Mode.
  • With new Page Completion, the print system is designed to have sufficient ink in the print-head assembly to complete printing the current page at full print quality even when ink is low. This minimizes wasted, half-printed or poor print quality pages when an ink cartridge is depleted. This also helps protect the print head from dry-out damage.

Although the Officejet Pro 8600’s ink cartridges are new, black and color cost per page using high-yield XL cartridges is still the same as with the Officejet Pro 8500A—a very economical 1.6 (black) and 7.2 (color) cents. The new 950XL high-yield ink cartridges also yield more pages (2,300 pages for black, 1,500 pages for each color) versus the previous 940XL cartridges, so that cartridges will have to be replaced less often. This compares very well with competitive color laser All-in-Ones in this class, with the Officejet Pro 8600′s cost per page up to half that of laser systems.

As seen above, when you lower a front door an LED light illuminates the interior and the redesigned print-head carriage. This appears to effectively reduce the unit’s depth compared, so that it’ll take up less space on your desktop. The power-supply brick has also been moved inside the system, so it’s now out of the way. Another convenient upgrade is a pre-installed print head, which we found made hardware installation faster.

The new Officejet Pro 8600 Series uses the previous generation’s color touch screen with its icon-driven navigation, copy and scan preview, and QWERTY-style keypad for entering text, and also adds swipe operation to the Premium and Plus configurations. As with some smartphones, just use your fingertip to swipe the touch screen to scroll through options instead of having to locate and press adjacent up-and-down arrows.

The Officejet Pro 8600 Premium and Plus’s touch panel includes a 4.3” color touch screen (2.65” on the base configuration), several soft keys, and LED indicator lights. One new feature is an Eco mode (shown in the top center of the touch screen above). Just press the green Eco key, and you can schedule when the Officejet Pro 8600 turns on and off, as well as how quickly it reverts into low power-consumption mode. You can also make two-sided duplex the default for printing copies and faxes in order to conserve paper.

Web Connectivity and Mobile Printing

As with the previous Officejet Pro 8500A series, the new All-in-Ones also provide HP’s Print Apps, as well as mobile printing. Print Apps let you access Web content directly from the touch screen when the system is Web-connected). A key Print App is eStorage—from the touch screen, you can print your stored documents in a Google Docs or Box.net account. You can also use the Officejet Pro 8600’s scan capability to scan hardcopy directly to your account (instead of scanning the document to your PC and then uploading it to your account).

The Officejet Pro 8600 also supports HP’s ePrint, as well as Apple’s AirPrint. Another feature for mobile users is forwarding received faxes to your e-mail inbox, so that you never miss an important fax when you’re out of the office. This could also be used for security—if you receive faxes that you’d like to keep confidential (or just want to conserve paper), you can specify that received faxes are sent to a specified network folder or e-mail box, not printed and deposited in the output tray.

The Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One Series ships in late October in North America, and will be available at HP.com and via resellers, HP Managed Print Services, and retailers.

Base Configuration:

  • Print speed rated at up to 18 (black)/13 (color) ppm in Normal Mode, and at up to 32 ppm (black/color) in Draft Mode.
  • First Page Out Time as fast as 13 (black)/14 (color) seconds.
  • 360 MHz CPU; 128 MB of memory; compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Linux.
  • Print resolution is up to 1,200 x 600 dpi (black); up to 4,800 x 1,200 optimized dpi (color) on HP
    Advanced Photo paper; 1,200 x 1,200 input dpi.
  • Includes HP PCL 3 GUI and PCL 3 Enhancedprint drivers.
  • Touch panel with 2.64″ wide touch screen.
  • Supports HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint mobile printing.
  • Supports HP Print Apps (access and print Web content from the touch screen).
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet interface, Wireless 802.11n interface, two RJ-11 modem ports, and two memory card slots.
  • Fax features include send faxes in color or monochrome, 100-page fax memory, junk-fax barrier, PC fax driver, auto redialing: delayed send, and fax forwarding.
  • Up to 4,800 dpi scan resolution. Full color and monochrome scan; scan speeds: up to 5.6 ppm via ADF; less than 10 seconds for a 4”x6” color photo; scan file types supported by software: Bitmap, JPEG, Adobe PDF, PNG, Rich Text, Searchable Adobe PDF, Text, and TIFF. Includes TWAIN 1.9 scan driver and ReadIRIS Pro OCR software.
  • Copy speed rated at up to 32 ppm (black/color) in Draft Mode, and at up 12 (black)/11 (color) ppm in Normal mode.
  • Up to 1,200 x 600 dpi copy resolution. Copy features include ID copy (copy two sides of a card onto one side of a sheet of paper), poster, clone, mirror copy, auto-enlarge, and make up to 99 copies.
  • 250-sheet paper drawer, 35-sheet simplex automatic document feeder (scan one side of originals), optional 250-sheet paper drawer, 150-sheet output tray, automatic duplex printing, and optional 250-sheet paper drawer. Produce images on borderless media up to 8.5”x11.7”.
  • 8.5” x 11.7” flatbed platen.
  • 25,000-page maximum recommended monthly volume; recommended monthly volume of between 250 to 1,250 pages.
  • Scan to folders from the touch screen; route inbound faxes to folders; e-mail scanned files from the PC.

Street price for the Officejet Pro 8600 base configuration, which replaces the Officejet Pro 8500A base configuration, is $199.

The Officejet Pro 8600 Plus is the same as the base configuration above, except for:

  • Faster print speed—up to 20 (black)/16 (color) ppm in Normal Mode, and up to 35 ppm (black/color) in Draft Mode.
  • Faster copy speed—up to 35 ppm (black/color) in Draft Mode, and up to 13 (black)/12 (color) ppm in Normal mode
  • Larger color touch screen—4.3” wide versus the base configuration’s 2.75” wide touch screen.
  • Adds scan-to-e-mail from the touch screen, route inbound faxes to e-mail.
  • Adds a larger capacity automatic document feeder (50 sheets versus 35 sheets), and a duplexing document feeder (scan both sides of hardcopy originals).
  • Adds Copy Fix (automatically straighten scanned originals, and remove unwanted frames from images scanned via the flatbed platen).
  • Legal-size flatbed platen.
  • Adds Adobe PDF compression for minimizing scan file sizes.
  • Street price is $299, and it replaces the Officejet Pro 8500A Plus.

The Officejet Pro 8600 Premium is the same as the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus but adds:

  • Second 250-sheet paper drawer for a total 500-sheet paper capacity.
  • Second set of color ink cartridges.
  • 50-sheets of HP Brochure paper (glossy).
  • Street price is $399, and it replaces the Officejet Pro 8500A Premium.

For more detailed information and tested performance, download the comprehensive Hands-On and Competitive Image Quality Test Reports below.

Additional Resources

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20 Comments on “Review and Report: HP Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-in-One Series”

  1. Carol April 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM #

    This info was of great help. I am having problem with scanning, & I am sure(having tried yet) that this info will resolve my dilema…

    • Terry Wirth April 3, 2012 at 12:01 PM #

      Thanks! Be sure to check out our “How to Scan Using your MFP or AiO Video (HP version).” You can find it under the “Videos” menu option.

  2. 追蹤器 June 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM #

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of info that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this beneficial content.

  3. Valerie Sanders August 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM #

    Thanks for the detailed information! I do have a question – I am considering purchasing this all-in-one for our small office, primarily for its scanning function. We are moving toward a paperless office and will be doing a LOT of scanning. Many reviews that I have read indicate huge scan file sizes and an inability to reduce them. However, I see above that the Plus and Premium configurations include Adobe PDF compression to reduce file sizes. I wondered if you could elaborate as to the degree to which that reduces the file sizes?

    This is going to be an important issue for us, as we will be storing an enormous number of documents, and file size could become a big problem.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Terry Wirth August 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM #

      Valerie,

      From vendor to vendor, PDF compression produces minimal differences in file sizes. However, you may get better results via varying degrees of PDF compression that are available on dedicated scanners or MFPs that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars more. You can also reduce the file sizes via adjustment of the PDF settings (resolution, grayscale, etc.). Additionally, you can set up “push” scanning shortcuts on the control panel for network scanning and “pull” scanning shortcuts on user workstations that makes this process easier and more consistent. For example, shortcuts for “grayscale lo-res” or “HQ color” or whatever degree of image quality suits that particular scanning workflow.

      I also suggest that you consider your storage and retrieval workflows before you begin your transformation. You can approach this two ways: 1) set up “push” shortcuts on the control panel to various network folders (invoices, time-sheets, articles, etc.); or 2) set up “pull” shortcuts at each workstation where users can then file it in the proper location. All of the shortcuts can contain the optimal settings you require for a particular scanning workflow.

      Finally, you probably need to consider file-naming conventions. Scans are automatically assigned a generic prefix such as “scan” (this can be adjusted from the embedded web server or the control panel) followed by a numeric designation. Unless users name them appropriately (from the touch QWERTY on the control panel or from their workstation), you don’t know what they contain unless you view them. Of course, filing them in specific folders is another way to facilitate efficient storage and retrieval.

      I notice that you are from a law firm and I know that scanning is critical in that field. Consequently, you may want to consider a more expensive standalone scanner/advanced MFP solution with a server component. With these solutions, documents can be scanned, routed through the server solution, read via OCR, assigned keywords and are then automatically filed in an appropriate folder. The cost is considerably higher. However, these devices are designed to produce high-volumes of scans. The Officejet 8600 is inexpensive and its document feeder and scanner are not constructed to handle high scanning volumes.

  4. Ann November 14, 2012 at 6:15 AM #

    Can you tell me why when I receive a fax I’m only getting the header printed and no other information. This only happens from one Customer. Also when I send a fax to another supplier it comes back as a communication error and they don’t receive it. We receive faxes from this supplier fine.

    • Terry Wirth November 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

      Ann,
      1). It seems that your “one Customer” has a problem with their fax. Ask them if they have that problem (sending blank faxes) with any other customers. Also, make sure that they are not trying to send something like a form that is printed in light blue or other hard-to-scan light colors. Also, ask them to make sure that they are sending the fax in black-and-white mode (not color).

      Here is an HP support document for intermittent blank faxes.

      2). There are various types of communication errors. It could simply be that you have the fax number you’re using is wrong or it needs a preceding “1″ if it is our of your area. If that is not the issue, you can get more info on the fax error by accessing setup/fax setup/fax reports from the touch screen. There should be an error code listed next to your failed transmission(s).

      Here is an HP Support document for interpreting fax error codes.

      Good luck!

  5. Jim Stembridge November 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM #

    I’ve had other brands of MFP’s and the problem I seem to always run into is when the print head dies, I cannot use ANY function of the MFP. The unit seems to run it’s print head check prior to allowing any other function to be accessed.

    Will the HP 8600 (Pro Plus) allow scanning even if out of ink or if one of (or all) the print heads “break”?

    • Terry Wirth November 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM #

      I am painfully aware of the print head issues you are talking about. In fact, print heads used to be sold as consumables at Staples, Office Depot etc. Today’s ink-jet printers either have print heads built into the cartridge or print heads that “should” not require replacement. Thankfully, the print head is easily accessible with the Officejet Pro 8600 eAiO but I don’t think you’re going to have problems with the print head.

      As far as the inking system goes, you can still print and copy as long as the black inking system is functional. However, I can’t honestly answer your question about scanning and faxing when the black ink is depleted. I Googled around and couldn’t find an answer but feel that it should be able to scan and send faxes when all the ink is out.

  6. JOhn Collins January 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM #

    I have just put a new magenta cartridge in my hp8500 and after a couple of pages it says it was depleted. I checked and it seemed full, so I placed screwed up cellophane into the area that shows a plastic bubble and it fouled it. Can you explain how it works? Alos noted that text can be set to print in black ink.

    • Terry Wirth January 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM #

      1. Don’t use self-refilled cartridges because there’s a chip that switches off when the cartridge is empty. The chip needs to be changed in order to reset it and work properly. Reputable cartridge remanufacturers know how to do this.

      2. Install the cartridge. Use HP toolbox or double click on the printer in the printer folder top open the solutions center. Either way, go to the maintenance tools and try out the image quality troubleshooting procedures for head cleaning, etc.

      You can also have everything print in black ink if you specify it the “Advanced” setting button found in the print driver dialog.

      Good luck!

  7. Md Ataur Rahman January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM #

    I want to know cost per page of all in one of this printer. Please let me know.

    • Terry Wirth January 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM #

      You can find that information and much, much more in the Hands-On Test Report. There is a link to the report within the post.

      In the executive summary on Page 3: “cost per page remains very economical (1.6 cents [black]/7.2 cents [color]).” This was calculated using XL High-Yield ink cartridges.

  8. D Leon January 20, 2013 at 7:37 AM #

    Any idea when the next version of this printer will e released? I have the old 8500 and usually like to skip a generation before upgrading. However, I have all but worn out my 8500 at this time and am trying to decide if I should just upgrade now, or wait for the next model.

    • Kathleen Wirth January 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM #

      You may wish to consider the Officejet Pro X Series, which will be available next month, February 2013. This will be the flagship of the Officejet Pro family, and can print at up to 70 ppm. There will be both an All-in-One and a printer-only version. You can read more about it here.

    • Terry Wirth January 20, 2013 at 11:00 AM #

      Since HP has been hard at work developing a ground-breaking new flagship (see Kathy’s post), we think that the OJ 8600 will be around for another year or so. It has a lot going for it as it stands.

  9. Tee Klit May 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM #

    My office jet 8500 died but I now have about $200 worth of ink left over. Will the 840xl cartridges work wih the 8600 printer or any printer?

    • Terry Wirth May 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM #

      The only other printers that accept the 940 ink cartridge are the Officejet 8500A e-AiO series, the predecessor to the 8600. You may be able to find one online. There’s one on Amazon but they want $619.99 for it. In that case, your money is better spent on a new X-Series printer.

  10. Curtis October 3, 2013 at 10:14 PM #

    I just purchased an HP 8600 Pro. Installation was great, PQ is great, but I will be sending it back to Office Depot this weekend.

    Here is the issue: My family and I use multiple computers. Instead of installing a driver on every one, family members save to a memory stick, then print from this memory device. We have done this for some time with our Lexmark Pro 901 and it works great. I learned at the worst possible time that HP only allows printing of photos from the memory device. This is, well, stupid.

    • Terry Wirth October 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM #

      Curtis,

      Thanks for pointing that out but I am curious. Most print-from-USB features only allow the printing of limited file types like images and PDF and most will not print MS Office files. If you have to create special files like a PDF in order to print them from USB, what’s the point of no print drivers and walking around the house with USB drives? Perhaps you do you not have the printer installed on the home network? If you are worried about software bloat, HP has basic installation packages available on their web site that take only a few minutes to install. Finally, whey don’t you try using ePrint or Google Cloud Print? However these solutions will only work if your OJ 8600 is on your network.

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