HP has something of a delicate balancing act to achieve, as it sells both laser and inkjet all-in-ones for small business use. In pitching the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus, the company points out that it costs less than half as much to run as a typical laser and it’s also, or course, around half the price to buy. So why doesn’t everybody go for the inkjet?
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus Design
Well, for a start, it’s not black, white, cream or grey, staple colours of most laser-based machines. Instead it’s a sort of bronzy brown colour, with inlays of dark brown; very tasteful, nothing too garish.
Then, it’s modestly sized for the things it can do, with a deep, 50-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and a large, 109mm LCD touchscreen, which is very easy-to-use and is supplemented by six dedicated touch buttons.
HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus Features
There are two memory card readers at the bottom of the HP Officejet Pro 8600's left-hand side of the front panel and a single socket for a USB drive. Come to think of it, these things are all good reasons to buy this machine, rather than a laser.
There’s a single, 250-sheet paper tray, which projects from the front of the machine by around 100mm. There’s no multi-purpose tray, but a second 25-sheet tray is available as an option. If you’re used to printing on foolscap or American legal paper, the printer can also support these sizes, though then the output tray extends from the front by nearly 300mm.
The front cover of the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus folds down to provide access to the permanent printhead, which takes four, separate ink cartridges, with a double-width black cartridge which, in the XL version, can print up to 2,300 pages.
Sockets at the back cater for USB and Ethernet connections, though most will opt for the wireless link, since this provides full ePrint, AirPrint and Wi-Fi direct printing from mobile devices such as the iPhone 5, iPad 3 and Samsung Galaxy S3. Software includes ReadIRIS OCR, through the HP Scan application, as well as drivers for scanner and printer.