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.
- 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.