Robust all-rounder: HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus review

Installation and setup was drama free although the duplexer isn’t preinstalled and an automatic firmware update was necessary before we were able to set up the ePrint function. That delivers capabilities such as scheduled or on-demand printing of newsletters (e.g. from ABC News) and other content printing documents sent to the device by email and scanning to and printing from Google Docs. A variety of print apps are preinstalled and a few more can be added.

Apart from the drivers and associated utilities the PC software bundle is limited. IRIS OCR is a useful accompaniment to a scanner but we could do without the HP Bing Bar adding to browser clutter.

HP claims ‘professional colour’ at a lower cost than laser printing and we certainly agree that the output is noticeably above average for inkjets. Furthermore prints made on plain paper lived up to HP’s claim of water and highlighter resistance.

The company also claims a first page out time of 14 seconds and up to 16ppm. We measured 16 seconds and just under 8ppm using our usual test document. Duplex printing took 14 seconds longer per sheet due mainly ink drying time. Printing on photo paper also gave good results but borderless isn’t an option.

Despite the claimed ‘AIO multitasking’ capability we were unable to initiate another task (e.g. scanning) while a print job was being processed. Printing from and scanning to memory cards and USB devices are supported and scans may also be directed to a networked computer running HP’s software or a shared folder.

The ADF provides for two-pass duplex scanning and copying and copies provided very good colour matching with slight banding. All combinations of single and double-sided copying are supported from the control panel (we found the touchscreen needed relatively firm pressure especially in the lower-right corner).

Available from HP retailing for $499.
APC rating: 8/10 (Editor’s Choice)