Although there are some flaws in the output quality, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 E-All-in-One business MFP can be suitable for small offices

Paper Handling and size

The paper handling at 8600 is excellent for price and is suitable for most micro offices, with a built-in print duplexer for printing on both sides of the page and the 250-sheet tray. For offices requiring more, you can add a second tray (direct $79.99) to increase capacity to 500 sheets. As with the 8600 Plus, 8600 includes an automatic document feeder (ADF), with a capacity of 35 pages in this case, to complement the flatbed for scanning. However, one of the fancy features it left behind is the duplexing for the ADF, so there is no easy way to scan the original printed documents on either side of the page.

As with the 8600 Plus, the 8600 is large and large for the inkjet MFP, with 11.8 x 19.4 x 18.9 inches, so you might want it near your desk than on it. Assuming you have room for it, the setting is very standard.

Speed and Output quality

8600 is a little slower than the 8600 Plus, but not less impressive at a lower price. In our business application package (using the QualityLogic hardware and software to determine the time), I recorded it on 5.7 effective pages per minute (ppm), making it almost tied to 8600 Plus at 5.9 ppm.

In reviewing 8600 Plus, I noted that a number of lasers are more expensive than slower; That statement is even more applicable for the cheaper 8600. Editors ' Choice (direct $419.99, 4 star), for example, managed only 4.5 ppm. Also note that the 8600 also works well on the photo speed, averaging 54 seconds to 4 x 6.

The quality of the printer output, unfortunately, is a mixed pouch. The text above is par for inkjet, the graphics output is below par, and the photo is hardly qualified. Text is quite easy for most business needs. Also very worthy of mention is that it is waterproof, at least on the ColorLok paper. In my tests, it was just a little smudged when I rub it with wet tissues.

Image quality is good enough for internal business use. However the vast majority of images in our tests show clear lines in default mode. I was hesitant to hand over the results to an important client or customer that I tried to impress with my sense of professionalism.

Photos are also quite easy for almost any business need, but photos on photo paper are at the bottom end of what you expect from a drugstore mold. The biggest problem I've seen is with shadow details (details in dark areas), which do not show very well.

Other issues  

One last strong point that 8600 shares with 8600 Plus is the low-claimed operational cost, i.e. 1.6 cents per page black and white and 7.2 cents per page color. It was cheaper than 2.8 cents for black and white and 8.2 cents for the color that Kodak claimed to be the main selling point for its MFP. Printing quite a lot of pages, and its operational costs can make 8600 cheaper for lifetime life than the cheaper MFP, much less capable of higher cost per page.

Unfortunately, I also saw one serious problem with the 8600, and I saw it with two different printers. Just out of the box, both printers have clogged nozzles that need to be cleaned before printing with the best quality. The problem is very bad with the first printer that I tested, even after running three levels of printer cleanup routine four times, I can not get rid of it, although it improves with each cleaning. With the second printer, I had to run all three levels twice, after which the problem was gone.

The fact that the problem arises on two different printers means you can't ignore it as a coincidence. But it also shows that it may be a problem that is easily fixed on the HP production line, with some particles getting into the ink system and clogging the nozzles. HP says it is investigating this problem, and, if it can replicate the problem, it will do what it needs to fix it.


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