When someone asks you about printers, Hewlett Packard or HP is definitely one of the first names that come to mind. HP has come a long way in addressing the printing needs of both inkjet and laser printer users. This time, HP is offering small-medium sectors an all-in-one printer that is not only convenient to use but can carry out many functions. Presenting the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus – a convenient all-in-one that has both been supported and criticised by diverse users. For those intending to buy this printer model or who already purchased it but have no idea how to use it, more information may be in order. This article will dissect this printer into its different dimensions – from appearance to functionalities to output capacity. Hopefully, this shall serve to enlighten future and existing users. Before anything else, however, note that this model is different from the Officejet 8600 Plus is different from the first released 8600 HP printer model. Appearance, Design and Appeal As far as this aspect is concerned, the house is divided. Compared to its earlier versions, nothing much has changed appearance-wise. The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus is still an electronic all-in-one printing device with multiple functionalities – print, scan, fax, copy and email/web services. It’s the perfect go-to printer for office-based small-medium enterprises (SME). Truth be told, the printer does not look visually appealing. But it does look like a healthy, sturdy printer that can last for years despite heavy use. In terms of size, it looks bulky compared to other HP all-in-one models (i.e. HP Deskjet 3630, HP Photosmart 5520) You can barely move the unit around without anyone’s help. Should there be a need to relocate the printer, two or more people would be necessary. The shell looks rugged. Other HP models and MFDs do not appear as rough. On the brighter side, the paper trays are thicker, which means they can carry a full bundle without the risk of breaking. Printer trays are always in danger of breaking for being too flimsy. This model’s exterior has a matte finish – not glossy like many Canon printers. This ensures that the printer is scratch-proof. In the event of scratches, it wouldn’t be too noticeable. Print Resolution HP Officejet Pro 8600 has a maximum greyscale (black) resolution of 1200 x 600 dpi and a coloured resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 optimised dpi. But take note: even if a printer is capable of high resolution prints, if your picture file has poor resolution (small pixels), then it’s not worth your ink or toner. Its duty cycle is 25,000 pages for approximately 30 days. Users should avoid printing no more than 1,250 pages per month. Otherwise the printer will shorten its lifespan because it exceeded its capacity. Ink Cartridges The HP Officejet Pro 8600 is composed of 4 ink cartridges (CMYK), attached on a designated compartment underneath the scanning device. Print head is replaceable. You can easily detach or install the cartridges thanks to a mechanism you can simply press in and out. This mechanism snaps the cartridges in place. This HP printer is ideal for users who wish to replace cartridges by themselves. In the event of a paper jam and you open the printer’s body to examine the cause, a LED situated on the roof area will light up the interior. Much like a fridge when you open and close it. HP went the extra mile with this innovation. The extra lighting helps you see the like cause of the paper jam or any other internal issue. Feed Tray with Auto Print Reversal This HP model does not have a manual feed tray. There are two feed trays – a 150-sheet output trey (where the prints go out) and a 250-sheet input tray (where the blank papers are placed). While convenient letter, A4 and legal-sized documents, this can be a hassle for those who need to use irregular-sized papers. Another remarkable feature is duplex printing, which automatically reverses the paper you feed into the tray. In effect, you can print on either side of the page by using just one command. Scanner Critics scoff at the scanner lid, saying the design is not so pleasing. For one, it is too heavy. Closing the lid requires extra care. Otherwise, it will come crashing down on the scanner glass and break it. Furthermore, because of the weight, the lid ends up scraping against the scanning device, which may likely cause it to malfunction over time. The feeble hinges, said one critic, makes opening and closing the lid quite dangerous. It’s dangerous to leave the lid open for a long time. The hinges might break. HP would do well to design a lighter lid made from light but strong materials. Scanner should ideally fall softly, enough to protect the device from dust and harmful elements. Copier & Colour Fax Unlike other all-in-one printer models of the same size, 8600 Plus sets itself apart through this feature. All-in-ones are usually limited to three functions, but the upgraded HP 8600 sets the bar higher by offering a fax functionality. And if this isn’t enough, it features a colour fax and high speed transmission rate of approximately 4 seconds. The printer also has a built-in storage system and can retain up to 100 pages in its memory as the papers are faxed. You can also store up to 99 numbers, complete with speed dial and Caller ID. 8600 Plus can scan, copy and print up to 99 pages using a single command. In copier mode, this model has a maximum black and coloured resolution of up to 1200 x 600 dpi. And you can print using a web service or a mobile or tablet device via WiFi. You can also connect the printer to your laptop or PC through a USB cable or directly insert a USB device into a designated external storage compartment. Yey or Nay? In summary fashion, the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus model has a minimalist design and appears less sleek compared to other model. Beyond its facade, however, are multiple functions that allow you to get your work done in no time. The coloured fax feature is one for the books. Truly an innovation on the part of manufacturers. Not many fax-capable printers can store contacts and a 99-page fax history. Indeed, the printer lid is a setback to what would have been a perfect office printer. Hopefully, the next upgrade would address this issue. HP should start thinking of a soft-fall lid design and implement it in time for the new 8600 Plus launching. On the whole, the printer is the epitome of quality and user-friendliness. Definitely recommended for office use. Though not a perfect model, HP Officejet Pro 8600 offers more benefits and convenience than other all-in-ones of the same category.