HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus review
There are two versions of the OfficeJet Pro 8600, so check that you are getting the model you want before buying. The standard 8600 model costs £229, but we opted for the £270 8600 Plus. For an extra initial outlay the Plus model offers a larger touchscreen display, faster print speeds and a larger automatic document feeder.
The 50-sheet automatic document feeder is quite noticeable, as it adds several inches to the height of this already bulky model. Home workers who just need a printer for personal use might feel that it’s too big and expensive, but its sheer speed is impressive and will certainly appeal to people who need to share a printer with others in their office.
While this bulky multifunction printer looks rather ponderous, it proves to be a pretty nimble performer. HP quotes a print speed of 20ppm for black-and-white documents when using standard print quality, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the 8600 Plus really lived up to that claim. It wasn’t quite as fast at printing colour documents – we got about 10ppm compared to HP’s claim of 16ppm – even so, it’s still the fastest printer in this group for both mono and colour printing.
Print quality for text and graphics was also extremely good, although the 8600 Plus was slightly let down by its photo output. Photos printed on plain paper were rather dark, and although prints on glossy photo paper were brighter, they still seemed a bit dark compared to the original photo – and also to prints from its rivals. We would have preferred more precise colour controls in the printer driver to help us fine-tune the appearance of photos.
The OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus is a top performer, offering high-speed printing and low running costs
HP quotes a cost per page of 1.3p for mono and 4.4p for colour prints, although the figure for colour seems a little high when compared to our own estimates. Either way, the 8600 Plus provides good running costs combined with impressive speed for a printer in this price range. Admittedly, photo output could be improved, but if you just want a fast and affordable printer for text and business graphics then the OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus fits the bill nicely.