The Bottom Line
- Excellent print and photo quality
- Easy to set up and built-in wireless networking
- Customizable apps
- Long set-up time required
- Some oversaturation of duplex pages
- Color inkjet printer
- Automatic duplex printing (some models)
- Fax, copier, scanner
- 250-sheet input capacity plus ADF
- Ethernet / wireless networking
- Up to 4800 dpi scan resolution
- Large color touchscreen
- Up to 35 pages per minute (black, at draft speed)
- Optional second 250-sheet input tray
- Memory card capability includes CompactFlash Type I and II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Secure Digital (SD), etc.
Guide Review - HP Officejet Pro 8500A All-in-One Printer
The large (2.36-inch) color display on the touchscreen is one of the great features of this class of Officejet printer. It's not as large as I'd like, given that the printer itself is not small; but that's because some of the touchscreen real estate is dedicated to a number pad that appears only when needed (say, when faxing or during the setup process). If you sign up on the HP Web site, you can use a dedicated e-mail address so you can print from anywhere. You can also customize the apps that come built in (such as Yahoo Daily Digest or HP Quick Forms), removing the ones you don't need and adding new ones (there are only 17 on the site for now). The customization does not seem to include being able to add new one-touch buttons for commonly used functions a you can with the SmartSolutions that come with the new line of Lexmark printers.
Once the printer is going, print speeds are very good, with a four-page Word document taking about 39 seconds to print, including 23 seconds for the first page. The printer has an attachable duplexer; duplex jobs include time for each page to dry out before the reverse side is printed, so times are longer (just over a minute for the same document to print). I couldn't find an easy adjustment for adjusting the ink density, so pages printed on both sides were oversaturated with ink in some cases. A large PDF printed over the wireless network took about seven seconds per page.
Despite some oversaturation, prints come out looking very good. Fonts, even at very small sizes, are sharp and clear; colors are nicely nuanced and true. The paper tray doesn't remove completely, so loading 4x6 photo paper meant having to push the paper to the back of the tray and hoping it wasn't being pushed too far. It wasn't; and since only the side guides needed to be adjusted, it was a simple process. The Officejet Pro 8500A handled photo printing with skill and speed. The 4x6 photos came out in 50 seconds and looked great, with rich colors and sharp detail.