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Lunch » Tags » Printers » Reviews » 8500 Wireless All-In-One InkJet Printer » User review

The HP Officejet 8500 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer! Whoo!

  • Nov 8, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: Crikey, it does everything!

Cons: Not that I've discovered...

The Bottom Line: Need an all-in-one printer that's been recognized by a number of websites, sellers, and publications as great?  This is it.

We moved, and my father's older laser printer pretty much went kaput and we couldn't find the cords for the other HP printer.  But he'd been thinking about getting a new printer anyway since he could use the whole copy/scan/fax abilities.  So he came home with this monster.

It's big, and I honestly am not a fan of big printers.  But he's got plenty of space on his desk and it pretty much needs to be that size for all the things it can do.  When you think about it though, compared to all the other printers on the market, it's pretty much on par size-wise with the other quality all-in-one printers.  Weight?  About 28 pounds of printing power.

The Good Stuff
 
It's an inkjet, so you won't get the speed of a laser printer, but it's still pretty fast at around 35 pages per minute in black (draft quality) and 34 pages per minute in color (draft quality).  The color ink is automatically a plus since you can't get that in laser - or rather, you can't get that cheap in laser.

HP uses Thermal ink technology, which means the ink dries just that much faster than a typical inkjet printer.  Great, when you're printing out a whole stack of papers, whether in color or black ink, and need to handle them right away.

One of the biggest perks is that this bad boy is wireless.  Yes, you need a power cable to get it some electricity, but there's no need for a USB cable or anything else to get it to communicate with your computer - or other computers for that matter.  My dad's computer is in the basement while my mom's computer is on the main floor.  Our whole system is a wireless network so we set up both of them to use the printer, which they do, no problem.  My computer isn't hooked to it, but I've seriously considered doing so since my printer can sometimes be finicky.  I don't think I'd have a problem reaching it wirelessly if I did.  You can connect it using a cord if you wanted or had trouble using the wireless capabilities though.

It comes with a 3.4 inch LCD color touchscreen that has all sorts of options for you, depending upon what you're doing.  From choosing the file format you want to save a scanned image in to doing a bit of troubleshooting, it's a nice little spot that allows you to handle plenty of things without even using the computer.

Cutting out the middleman, you can insert a flash drive directly into the port the printer has in the front.  While the printer won't handle any documents directly, it will read photos and ask if you want to print those.  No need for computer use at all.  You can also save straight to a flash drive without using the computer if you're so inclined, such as after scanning an image.

Another thing that a lot of inkjet printer companies have done is separate out the colors typically included in an ink cartridge; magenta, cyan, and yellow.  Instead of one ink cartridge, you can buy the colors separately, which is a great deal cheaper than buying a completely new cartridge just because you're out of yellow ink.  The printer keeps an eye out on your ink usage, but you can take a look too by choosing the Ink option on the touch screen and you'll see how much you have in each cartridge.  Sweet deal.

It handles oodles of operating systems, from Windows 7 down to Windows 2000, and Mac OS X v 10.4.11 or higher, and Linux.

This printer has fallen into a lot of different top 5 or top 10 printer lists.  I've looked.  PC Mag has given it their GreenTech seal.  It uses only necessary amounts of ink, allowed duplex printing, accepts recycled paper, has slots for various supported memory cards, and is an EnergyStar certified machine.  Not only does it require a minimum amount of power to run, but it also goes into a snooze mode when no longer in use; the energy screen goes dark and all the lights turn off.  So you're saving all kinds of energy and ink, it's easy to use, and pretty dang simple to install.  No wonder it's on everyone's wish list.

Setup
 
Though the setup is relatively easy, it does take some time to perform.  You could pop in the CD, answer a few questions, and then go get a quick bite to eat while it gets itself together.  It gets all the information it needs, hooks to the network, prints some test pages and so on.  It's pretty hard to screw up.

We did have one strange issue.  We installed it on my dad's computer, then mom's.  Mom is hooked directly to the Internet while the rest of us work off the network.  So for some reason, the printer decide that meant hers was the head honcho and she got the updates it apparently needed, which ended up cutting the communication between dad's computer and the printer.  A strange occurrence, but nothing that a quick uninstall - re-install couldn't fix.  Everything is fine and peachy now.
 
Printing

The print quality is as good as you can get with an inkjet.  HP boasts laser quality and it looks pretty freakin' good to me.  Both color and black ink.prints are crisp, clear, and pretty much ready to go once they're printed.  I've printed out simple text documents as well as coupons that have barcodes and colored areas on them.  All of them come out just right, popping out about 20x faster than my printer (which, admittedly, is about a decade old) and every time the printer finishes a job, it makes a perky little chirping noise to let you know your project is done.  I'm a big fan of that little noise.  I think it's cute, and I tend to get absorbed in whatever I'm working on, so I don't always notice when a printer is finished - the beepy announcement isn't all that loud, but it's just right to catch your attention.

Printing is easy as pie.  You can do it as you normally would on your computer - hit the print button - and the document is wirelessly sent to the printer and off it goes.  Or you can plug in your flash drive and print that way, except it only does photos with that method.  You don't need to do anything special if you're just another computer on the network communicating with the printer.

We haven't printed any photos yet, so I can't comment on the quality.  I do know that it does borderless printing though.  However, with my experiences with this printer so far, I have high hopes (and will update this review accordingly when we do print some photos - which may actually happen relatively soon).

Duplexing - a big fat YAY for my dad since he's a professor at a big university.  Duplex capability basically means the printer is able to print on both sides of the paper without you having to reinsert the sheet.  It does it all at once, which is a great way of saving paper overall.  Automatically 50% less paper used.  Jackpot.

It can handle about 250 sheets of paper in the input tray and supports a wide range of paper sizes, from little 3x5 cards to the typical sheet of printer paper.
 
Scanning
 
The copy/scan bed is 8.5" x 14" so it can scan some fairly large items.  I've already scanned a few things from a book to email off to my sister.  The scanned image is HUGE when saved, so make sure you have a program capable of resizing the images.  Through there may be an option to save it at a smaller size (and there probably is, I'm just too lazy to find it).  You get plenty of options when scanning as well, mostly in how and where you want to save the image.  You can save it as a PDF, JPEG, or others.  All of this can be handled on the touchscreen as well.

The scans are pretty fast; a typical speed really, if you've ever scanned anything using a big scanner like at a library.  The color and resolution are great (scanner resolution is 4800dpi) and captures every detail.  I've actually never scanned anything color before so I was quite impressed and kind of gaped at the image for a bit.  I mean, it almost looked like I'd shoved my book inside the computer.  Very nice.
 
Copying

Just as easy as scanning or printing, just pop the document you want to copy onto the scanning area, tap the right specifications on the touchscreen (again, no computer necessary), and copy.  You can choose all sorts of things, whether you need it to scale as much as 400%, print in color, made darker, and so many other choices.  Pay close attention when putting your original on the flatbed because the first time I did so, I wasn't paying attention and had the sheet in the wrong spot, leading to a bad copy.  Lots of white space and missing some text.  The correct positioning is shown around the glass, etched into the black plastic, but since the etching is also black, it can be easily missed at first.  Now I know the paper has to be set in the lower right corner - not over to the left.

But the copies themselves are great quality.  It is right on the dot with everything.  I copied a simple sheet of text and they look identical.  Copying does take a bit of time because the printer has to set itself up for whatever you tell it to do - collate, darken, use color, etc. - then it has to get the lamp ready, scan the document, and then print.  It can seem like a long time if you're just doing one page, but typically someone purchasing this printer (like my dad) will be making several copies, so once it gets going, it goes until it's done.

Faxing

While this printer can send and receive faxes, we haven't used the option because we don't have a phone line.  But it's still a nice feature to have if we ever do, because then we could scan images or documents and ship them off pronto, unlike old school fax machines (which we're quite familiar with).  I don't doubt that receiving a fax would be a relatively speedy process (the claim is a transmission speed of 3 seconds per page).  You can also program in up to 99 numbers for speed dial if you're so inclined.

Overall

A good buy thus far, and I'm hoping for my dad's sake that this thing works for as long as my little Canon printer has.  I like that it's wireless, the quality is great, it's a zippy printer, and all around solid all-in-one.  I know that he's pleased with his purchase, and though I still use my printer for just about everything, now and then I sneak down to his in order to do all the things that I can't do on mine (like scanning, copying, and printing in color).  Haha.

NT

Recommended:
Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 299

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About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Ranked #165
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
About this product

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Sie suchen ein effizientes Multifunktionsgerät und legen Wert auf Premium-Druckqualität in Farbe und Schwarzweiß?Dann empfehlen wir Ihnen den HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless.Dieser Allrounder druckt bis zu 35 Seiten/Min. in Schwarzweiß und bis zu 34 Seiten/Min. in Farbe, wobei bis zu Anwender den schnellen kabellosen Druck gemeinsam nutzen können. Das ENERGY-STAR-zertifizierte Gerät möglicht auch ein umweltschonendes Arbeiten: Es verbraucht bis zu 50 % weniger Energie als vergleichbare Geräte.Weitere Informationen für dieses HP Produkt finden Sie hier.
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