The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus is an e-all-in-one multifunction printing unit offering print, scan, fax, copy and web services for home and small to medium-sized offices.
The printer is slightly bigger than most in this category, but it makes up for that with its unique design and looks. The 8600 Plus is solidly built and comes across as very rugged. The paper trays are solid a huge improvement over the flimsy trays on earlier HP printers. Gone also is the fingerprint prone glossy finish, the 8600 Plus has a matte-finished that actually looks classier than the old glossy printers.
There are all kinds of ways to feed data to this printer..WiFi of course but on the back you will also find an Ethernet plug as well as USB. On the front you will find a plug for a USB drive as well as slots for a variety of memory cards.
A single 250-sheet input tray protrudes 4 inches out of the front of the 8600 Plus and a 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF) resides on top. You won’t find a manual feed tray in the center console like you would on a laser printer, which might be a bit of a pain if you often print on irregular media like heavy cardstock or nonstandard envelopes.
The control panel is the most eye-catching thing on the front of this printer. The panel is anchored by a bright 4.3-inch color touch screen, which is surrounded by a few LED indicators, such as home, back, help and cancel. The panel, positioned just under the scanner bed, tilts up for better viewing. All functions, including fax numbers for dialing, are handled from the display, which is well-organized and easy to use. It also includes a full QWERTY keyboard which made entering such things as usernames and passwords easy. The screen also displayed images from memory devices, and it processed and displayed them (as well as file lists) on the screen quicker than most other AIOs I’ve used.
The double side printing attachment has to be installed..fortunately is simply slides into a hole in the back of the printer..it does stick out about 2 inches though.
Setup was a snap..I decided not to read the Quick Start pamphlet that came with the 8600 Plus..I just plugged it in and followed the instructions on the screen..the whole process including setting up the WiFi connection and the fax settings took less than 10 minutes and I was ready to go..It couldn’t have been much simpler.
Once set up I tried everything the 8600 Plus could do..and that is a lot. I used the included CD to install the drivers on my Windows PC and since my MacBook Air doesn’t take a CD I used the add a printer function both worked without problems. Network printing worked as expected..fast..quiet too..with good results clear solid blacks and good colour on standard paper. Printed text looked almost like a laser printer. Same for copying using the top feeder. Copying a double-side original was surprisingly quiet and took 35 seconds from a cold start.
I tried printing photos from the computer and memory card and was somewhat disappointed..the maximum print resolution was 600×600 dpi. The print quality was average and pretty grainy when held up close..at arm’s length they looked fine with bright sharp colours. This is after all, an Office Multifunction using only four CMYK ink cartridges so I didn’t expect stunning photo quality.
The fax service worked well..the touch panel worked really well for inputting phone numbers. I even tried it on a VOIP attachment that has been fussy about transferring fax date with no difficulty. The quality of the output was very good.
The 8600 Plus comes with AirPlay so I had no problem printing from my iPad and iPhone..a really handy feature. The web services feature allows you to print your documents from anywhere on the globe using an e-mail address which needs to be registered once the printer is set up. You can also print from devices which have wireless network connectivity — simply link them to the printer, and print. The web services can also be used to access apps which can print forms, calendars, books, news, and much more directly from the internet without the need for a PC.
Overall The Officejet Pro 8600 Plus if a bit expensive has pretty much everything you could want. It is an intuitive all-in-one with online capability and a wide variety of functions. This highly user-friendly multifunction printer offers high print speeds, high quality and low cost per page.
Available everywhere printers are sold the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus has an MSRP of $329.99