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.

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