The Good The HP Officejet 8600 Plus prints professional-quality photos and documents quickly with versatile connectivity options and robust features like an auto-duplexer, cloud printing, and a legal-size scanning bay.
The Bad The touch screen requires aggressive finger presses to activate the display functions and it is not possible to calibrate its sensitivity.
The Bottom Line If you can find a desk to accommodate its large size, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus all-in-one printer serves up top-shelf output quality at rapid print speeds, suitable for offices, home users, and photo enthusiasts hunting for an upgrade.
Editors’ note: The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Premium’s hardware specs are identical to the ones on the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus with the addition of an extra 250-sheet paper tray (for a total of 500), an extra set of inks, and a set of HP Glossy Photo Paper included in the box.
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer for $ 299 is an Updated Version Pro 8500A Plus multifunctional CNET was reviewed last year. HP’s flagship Linear Inkjet Work Center delivers performance from the inside, improved print engine performance and the texture of a 4.3-inch touchscreen display and a sleek chassis that hides fingerprints better than the previous version. The device also prints to the cloud using ePrint and the iOS accompanying application, making Officejet Pro 8600A Plus an impressive resource printer. I recommend it for home offices and professional environments that need a reliable workhorse printer.
Design and features
The Officejet Pro 8600 Plus printer eliminates the glossy veneer of the past and replaces it with a modern matte paint that does its best to hide dust and fingerprints. It has a professional look that easily fits into any office or home, though at 12.4 inches tall, 19.4 inches wide, and 18.9 inches you will need to clear a considerable amount of space to accommodate its large chassis. The sides of the printer come with two folding handles that make it easy to move around, though you don’t need to move it every day.
One 250-sheet input tray protrudes 4 inches from the front of the 8600 Plus, and the 50-page Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is on top. You won’t find a manual feed tray in the center console, like a laser printer, which can be annoying if you are printing on irregular media such as heavy cardboard or non-standard envelopes. If this is for you, I recommend it HP LaserJet Pro 100 Color MFP , a capable Hewlett-Packard laser printer with similar all-in-one functionality (scanner, copier, fax machine and printer).
On the other hand, if the paper tray is obstructed, HP also sells a version of this printer called Officejet Pro 8600 Premium Comes with an optional 250-sheet paper tray, an additional set of $ 60 ink cartridges, and a 50-pack of HP Premium Glossy glossy brochures for $ 14 at the HP Online Store. Upgrading to an expanded Premium package saves you about $ 50 on the total cost of supplies, and I recommend that you save this in advance if you plan on printing many photos or graphics.
HP’s large 4.3-inch color touchscreen display makes navigation, printing, copying and faxing a breeze. The screen is the same size as the Officejet Pro 8500A Plus’ screen and competing Epson WorkForce 840 , but the WorkForce 840 surrounds its color LCD with a larger 7.8-inch touchpad that provides additional navigation buttons. On the other hand, the entire HP touchpad is reminiscent of an iPhone with a diagonal of 6 inches.
In the end, both printers do a great job of providing a simple and intuitive menu system for navigating many functions. However, HP makes it easier than Epson to type thanks to the full-featured QWERTY virtual keyboard; to enter data such as a Epson wireless password, you need to scroll through the alphabet for each letter and look like your initials to get high scores in an old arcade game. This version of the display also has a less gentle game between the external screen and the rigid panel beneath it, so you’re less likely to mistakenly press a button. The screen is still not perfect – for some of the screen functions, I had to repeatedly press the corresponding virtual icon until the action was finally registered. Unable to recalibrate the screen on the settings page, you will feel frustrated until the printer can handle it properly.
In addition to using a direct USB connection (like most vendors, HP does not include a USB cable with a printer), you can install Officejet Pro 8700 Plus on your network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. We tested the Wi-Fi connection and the process was easy; using the printer’s touch screen, we went through several setup screens to find our network, quickly entered our password using the QWERTY virtual keyboard, and made the connection within a minute. Poppies and PCs in our network were able to see the printer without having to install additional software.
After connecting the printer to a wireless network, you can use HP AirPrint to print from any iOS device without an additional application. Using AirPrint, you can print a photo from your iPhoto library simply by selecting a connected printer and clicking Print. However, you cannot customize any print properties; and our test photo of Hipstamatic, printed with the missing piece on 4×6 inch letter and photo paper.
In addition to AirPrint, Officejet Pro 8500A Plus also has HP ePrint technology, which lets you send tasks from any connected device to the printer using a uniquely assigned email address. You can find this address from the control panel (Wireless> Web Services> Display email). This is, of course, a handy feature, but it has some limitations. For one, the printer must be on and connected to your network. On the other hand, it can’t print webpages, though you can simply copy and paste text into a document as a solution.
In addition to the standard copy, fax, and scan options listed on the home screen of the Officejet Pro control panel, you get a fourth Apps icon. Our test unit has installed 21 applications that allow you to print new pages from outlets such as Financial Times, Yahoo, Reuters and USA Today. Other DreamWorks, Nickelodeon and Disney companies allow you to print coloring books, paper airplane templates and other crafts. You can install additional freeware applications, but you must do so from the HP ePrint Center website after you create your account.
A standard flat-bed scanner accommodates 8.5×14 inches, which means that it can scan or copy documents in letter and law formats. Scanned and copied documents with a resolution of 4800 dpi look clear and crisp, and you can send scans to your PC, memory card, network folder, or email. The duplex document feeder on top of the machine can also flip through pages for free one- and two-sided originals.
The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus reported similar performance to the previous Officejet Pro 8500A Plus, with a slight increase in print speed across all four benchmark tests. Despite its advanced engine, the Epson WorkForce 840 still managed to beat HP in its presentation and regular black text speed tests, though only slightly.
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus (ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Black text||Color graphics||Photo||Presentation|
Epson WorkForce 520
12.512.262.612.73 Epson WorkForce 840
12.484.510.866.79 HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus
12.265.931.576.26 HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus
12.215.841.525.94 Lexmark Prevail Pro705
7.333.351.463.62 Canon Pixma MX870
You can easily go wrong with the excellent print quality of the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus for laser printer output. With solid color lines, black and white, and especially darker shades of gray, the documents are of sufficiently high quality, and I would not hesitate to distribute them at a meeting with clients. Like the WorkForce 840, Officejet Pro 8600 Plus displayed extremely crisp photo quality with bright, vibrant colors and minimal blur even in thinner text sizes.
Service and support
HP supports the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus with a standard one-year warranty, which includes 24-7 free phone support and live Webchat on weekdays. The HP Web site also contains downloadable drivers, software and manuals; e-mail technical support; FAQ; and troubleshooting guide. You can return the item within 21 days after delivery.
HP is once again able to create a cool, fast, reliable all-in-one visualization device for the business market, but I would not end up recommending it at the office door. With its distribution of convenient connectivity features and cloud printing, including ePrint and AirPrint compatibility, the affordable Officejet Pro 8600 Plus will earn you a place as a reliable contractor in any environment that requires high quality document and image printing.
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