When we ran our speed tests, we noticed the printer stopped for around 5s between each page. This was when printing single-sided pages, not duplex. The pauses added a lot to the run times and reduced the corresponding print speeds.
The behaviour was unusual enough for us to contact HP’s technical support, who took a copy of our test document and ran it on their own Officejet Pro 8000 Enterprise. They saw the same pauses between pages and pronounced it normal. We’re still doubtful, though, as when we tested the Officejet Pro 8000, which has a very similar print engine, we didn’t see these pauses.
On the 8000 Enterprise, we saw 4.8ppm on the 5-page test and 5.5ppm on the 20-page one. The earlier Officejet Pro 8000 gave 8.1ppm and 12.6ppm, respectively, around twice as fast.
That’s not the end of the printing anomalies. When printing duplex, the printer pauses for less than 5s, but does so between each pass of the print head. It also reduces the width of the page image, compared with a single-sided print, by around five percent. We have seen this with other HP inkjets, but its still undesirable. The duplex print speed is again hit, giving 2.3 sides per minute, against 3.6spm on the Officejet Pro 8000.
Print quality from the machine is good for an inkjet, with clean, dense black text. Although the resolution is only 600dpi, this is enough to give well-formed characters and smooth curves and diagonals. Colours are good too, and business graphics are smooth and vivid. A photo print on HP Premium Plus paper was a little dark, with some darker shades coming through black, but was better than from any colour laser printer we’ve seen costing under £200.
When it comes to running costs, Officejet Pro printers – this one included – score over all colour lasers and most other inkjets. Even including the cost of the replaceable printheads in the calculation, – and they have a typical life of 45,000 pages, so may never need replacement – the page costs come out at 1.5p for black and 4.3p for colour. Both these include 0.7p for paper.
In some ways, this is a strange printer for HP to introduce. It’s labelled Enterprise, yet it doesn’t seem especially well suited to use in a large business (or on a starship). Indeed, the inclusion of a PostScript interpreter is more suited to a graphic design studio than a business office. In that environment, though, the higher 2,400 by 1,200dpi resolution of the Officejet Pro 8000 would be a better match. And the £60 price difference, perhaps partly down to the cost of the Adobe licence, acts against this Enterprise machine.