Small Business Printer Review: HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus

By Paul Mah
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The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer integrates color printing with copy, scan and fax capability. Unlike the laser Samsung CLX-4195FW Color Multifunction that we reviewed late last year, the Officejet -- an inkjet printer --is easier on the pockets with a list price of $299.99.

Of course, price is just one factor when shopping for a small business printer.  Is the all-in-one HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus worthy of your consideration? Let's take a look.

Small Business Inkjet Specifications

The Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One comes with a built-in 4.3-inch color touchscreen that offers an easy way to navigate its various functions. The resistive touch-screen offers adequate sensitivity compared to some other printers that we’ve tried. So while we would welcome a capacitance touch-screen, we have no real complaints about the printer's touch-screen.

The paper input tray holds up to 250-sheets of paper, and accepts a range of paper sizes up to Letter and A4 sizes. The printer uses three separate color cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow), as well as a larger black cartridge. HP claims that the Officejet Pro 8600 produces professional color at a 50 percent lower cost than the majority of color laser AIO printers.

small business inkjet multifunction printer

HP's Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One small business inkjet printer.

long the bottom of the printer's front panel, you'll find two memory card slots for common card formats such as Memory Stick, SD (Secure Digital) and MMC (MultimediaCard). It also sports a USB port for plugging in USB devices such as a flash drive. You can access, view and print photos or scanned documents stored on these storage devices from the printer's "Photo" menu.

Connectivity-wise, the Officejet 8600 Plus offers a range of options including wired USB and Ethernet, as well as built-in wireless. On the Wi-Fi front, you can configure the multifunction printer to join an existing wireless network, and simultaneously support printing direct from wireless client devices.

Setting Up the HP Officejet Pro 8600

You change or install the print cartridges by pulling down the front panel, which causes the printer to automatically move the cartridge tray toward the opening for easy access. The cartridges slide easily into place. Pressing on the spring-loaded cartridge causes it to ease out of the holder like an old-style VCR tape cartridge. An internal LED light lights up to eliminate any fumbling.

The Officejet Pro 8600 Plus supports both Windows and the Mac OS X operating systems. A bundled CD disc comes with the requisite software drivers for both platforms, though it wasn’t necessary for the Mac. We set up the printer on both platforms uneventfully, and we were able to check on the ink levels of the various color and black cartridges from the computer.

We configured the Officejet 8600 Plus to connect to our wireless network by selecting the "Setup" option on the printer’s touchscreen and tapping on "Network." A wizard made joining the printer to an existing Wi-Fi network simple; and the printer supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup, too. You set up Wireless Direct printing in the same sub-menu, and you can secure it with a password if desired.

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This article was originally published on February 08, 2013
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