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HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams



  • Recommended by TR
HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus


Our Score:


To further push the ‘beats a colour laser’ sales line, HP quotes speeds of 15ppm for black and 11ppm for colour print in normal mode, rising to 35ppm and 34ppm in draft. You might get somewhere near the normal speeds on very simple pages, if you exclude the preparation time before paper starts to feed. In the real world, though, you're likely to see preparation time of anything up to 20s, as we did.

Even so, we saw speeds on our five-page text print of between eight and nine pages per minute, though these didn't rise significantly when printing in draft mode, as they were swamped by the start-up times.

The 20-page text print increased the speed to 12.4ppm, not that far off the 15ppm quoted. Duplex print, which is standard on the Officejet Pro 8500A Plus, is still bound by the drying time needed between page sides and brings the speed down to 3.7 sides per minute.

Unusually for any inkjet all-in-one, the ADF is also duplex, so you can do full duplex copies and copy from duplex to simplex as well as simplex to duplex. There is no separate photo paper tray, so you have to remove the plain paper and load photo paper separately, but you can feed paper sizes down to 15 x 10 cm.

Print quality is fair, though we noticed some toner spatter around characters, particularly in bold text, which give a slightly smeared appearance. Colour graphics come out very well, being bright, solid and totally lacking in any dot patterns. Photos are also very good for a business printer relying on four-colour print. They are better than anything you'll see out of a colour laser.

The printheads should be lifetime components, so your only costs will be for ink. The black cartridges are available in yields of 1,000 and 2,200 pages and each of the three colour consumables has a yield of 1,400 pages. This gives ISO costs per page of 1.5p black and 4p colour. These are considerably lower than from any colour laser printer we've tested.


This is a fine, robust inkjet all-in-one, well up to general use in a small office. The touch panel works well and is much easier to use than equivalent physical keys. Possibly more of a gimmick is the ePrint facility, though some ‘must-have’ use may suddenly spring up for this feature, making us look suitably eggy-faced.


December 12, 2010, 10:37 pm

There are a few items I would like to bring up when it comes to this HP office based product and inkjets in general.

1)Regarding Eprint, if the ink is running low or out, or if there is a paper jam or miss feed? Will the unit save this information or just drop it.

2)Regarding the ink yields it has been my experience that at best I have gotten about 70 % of the stated yield and at worse 50% out of my HP inkjet products and from what I have come across this is what other people are getting as well.

Note: There is a class action litigation going on in the US regarding HP inkjet products and there stated yields.

3)The biggest issue is the way some manufactures are marketing the inkjet products toward the busy business office. If the inkjets are as economical and reliable as a laser or in some cases better. Then why are they still making laser products? Why don’t they go all inkjet? It is because in reality the inkjet is not that reliable or economical to use in a busy office.

Just a few thoughts

Martin Daler

December 13, 2010, 1:20 am

I think the thing with the ink yields has to do with the "golden sponge". I call it the golden sponge becasue it must be worth its weight in gold. This is the sponge that the printer purges its print heads into after every print run.

So if you have a normal domestic usage pattern, maybe a couple of pages, stop (purge), another page, stop (purge) etc, then there is as much ink going into the sponge as onto the paper. The manufacturers of course can just quote their print yield for one long continuous print run, zillions of pages and just one purge.

This is why I always look to reviews to actualy MEASURE ink yields under normal usage patterns - not just parrot the manufacturer figures.

What is the provenance of TR's running cost figures?


July 21, 2011, 9:21 pm

My HP printer cleans the print heads evry time it is switched on - if I never print a page and only use it for faxing and scanning it will run out of ink - No pages per fill!!!, I believe this is deliberately designed in to make huge profits for HP


August 24, 2012, 6:36 am

Something is not right on this site. I have tried to rate this printer based on my experience as a solo practice attorney-- a 9 out of 10-- but the site keeps telling me to "log in to rate".

This printer is a bargain. It works flawlessly, with the exception that one out of every 100 print jobs it has trouble feeding paper from the tray. Frankly, based on the price, I was expecting a piece of junk. I cannot recommend this purchase highly enough. I just wish this suspect site would let me do so. If you have any questions about whether I am a real person or some HP rep, feel free to email me at "doug h sack" without the spaces at yahoo.


November 29, 2013, 2:07 pm

It is the most annoying printer I have ever had! it will not print unless you have replaced all the print cartridges even if you only want to print black and only yellow needs replacing!! It will not even scan! I had replaced the pink, black and the yellow at a huge expense, and then the printer stopped mid-page stating
I had to replace the blue one even though I was only printing black! never again.


February 24, 2014, 11:04 pm

this printer is a boondoggle. you have to replace color cartridges at $25 a pop and it always uses the yellow ink under the black. Just spoke with HP today about it. Bought new color cartridges a month ago and its already saying the yellow needs to be replaced. And guess what you cannot print in Black when the colors are low.


September 7, 2015, 4:03 am

I had been using the printer just occasionally for last 3 years. It stopped working. Power light is always on but the printer won't turn on. No warranty left and I can't use the printer. I have an old Canon 820 and it still works.

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