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After a bit of a change around at the office, I ended up with this inkjet printer as my main printer. I asked the previous user their opinions and they said that it did its job without any fuss, but these are my more in-depth considerations...
The first thing to be said about this printer is that it's huge. The dimensions are 48.5cm wide x 18cm tall. Front to back is the main issue for me however, the 'box' of the printer is 26cm approximately, but adding on the permanently protruding paper tray, the overall dimension is a huge 60cm. For this reason, the printer's only really suitable for an office environment, there are much more compact, easy-on-the-eye printers available but this is a real piece of "office hardware". It isn't attractive, but it's a very unfussy design - aside from the power button there are only three buttons on the front/top - interrupt/stop, wireless and paper feed.
There is no screen on the printer, which I've found a bit annoying, no indication as to whether there's a misfeed, low ink or other problem. These issues are notified via the software on the computer but I have to say that the lack of screen on the printer itself is something I miss.
In terms of actual printing, the stated speeds of 35 and 34 pages black and white/colour are not reached for me, but it does print a page of black text in around 5 seconds which is pretty speedy. It has quite a "clunk" into action, which actually makes my desk shudder, but once started, the printing isn't noisy. It has a very effective automatic duplex printing function which although a little slower than printing manually is one feature that I really like about this printer and use a lot. It's never let me down.
It uses 4 separate ink cartridges, which is good in terms of economy and although the inks are relatively expensive, they do last a long time. They are easy to remove and reload too. The vast majority of my work is printing text, which comes through a really dark clear black, but the few colour documents I've printed have all been clear too.
I have not been able to get it to pick up on the wireless network at the office, but I need to point out that this could be down to my lack of technical prowess and not necessarily a fault of the printer, other than it's not milmol-proof. I have had other wireless printers that have linked themselves up, and this appears to require some expert knowledge. Setting up at my desk by cable was relatively straightforward, even though it is not "plug and play". Having lost the CD which came with the printer, I needed to download them from the internet. This took a while but went to plan and the HP website was easy to navigate to what I was looking for.
All in all I'm glad to have rehomed this printer because of the Automatic duplex function, plus it's quick and gives good quality. The major issue is that my usable desk space has been severely reduced, and were it my decision I would prefer to soldier on with a manual duplex printer and reclaim my space.
HP Office Jet Pro 8000
This was bought because my husband runs a business from home and every three months needs to send out a mass mailing. We had until recently (actually it's still sat on the floor near me waiting to be re-homed), a Lexmark laser printer which although very good in terms of quality was costing us an absolute fortune in toner. For this reason we decided we needed to replace it, and looked around at the options. Hubby's preference was to look for another laser printer, mine to go back to using Hewlett Packard who I'd always found so incredibly reliable in the past. In the long run after lots of shopping around, talking to people, reading reviews etc. this was the printer we settled on.
Although this is not a laser printer, it is up there mixing it up with the laser printers in terms of its abilities and specifications. In fact, HP built this with the small business folk in mind with the aim that it would be an inkjet alternative to a laser printer.
In its 'best' mode, the print quality on this is ISO, laser comparable and in black it manages 15 pages per minute and in colour 11 pages per minute. In draft however, it speeds up no end and can do 35 black or 34 colour pages per minute.
Print resolution for black is up to 1200x1200 dpi and for colour up to 4800x1200 dpi, and it has a monthly duty cycle of up to 15,000 pages which is pretty high for an inkjet and again is comparable to many laser printers.
This takes 4 ink cartridges - Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow, HP940 cartridges are the standard for this, and there are many compatible cartridges available for this printer (one of the reasons we chose it in fact!).
Unlike a lot of printers this has two sets of print heads - one is for Black and Yellow, and the other for Magenta and Cyan. This makes the print heads last a lot longer than if there was just one, but means you're not paying for a new print head on each new cartridge as you used to for many HP printers in the past.
It has a 32mb memory, and a 250 sheet input tray as standard though you can change this out for a larger 500 sheet tray if you want to. It's output tray can handle 150 sheets at a time, and it does duplex printing as standard (another of the features that drew us to this printer).
Set up was very simple. You get a CD and a quick start guide with the printer, and the CD has the set up process on it as well as the full manual.
You start by following the quick guide and installing the cartridges and print heads. The print heads actually come pre-loaded with a little ink so you have to give them a good shake before installing them. The reason for this is so that you get far less streaking than you would otherwise on beginning your printing process with new heads and new cartridges.
To get going and set up the printer from this point on, you pop the CD into the PC and it guides you through the process step by step. As well as checking that it's correctly hooked up to your PC, it also takes you through aligning the print heads and checking that the colour is clear and defined on the print copy. It uses maybe half a dozen sheets of paper and a bit of ink to do this, but doing this means that everything is nicely sorted ready for you to do your first print run.
Using The Printer
When you first turn the printer on it takes a while to get warmed up - and chugs around a bit getting itself ready to do the print run. It's a bit irritating waiting for it to be ready if you're in a hurry, and although it's slower than most other ink jet printers I've used in the past I don't find it that much of a problem as we generally don't need to turn it on just to do one sheet. If you were doing this regularly then yeah I can see it might get a little frustrating.
Depending on the mode you have it set to for printing will depend very much on the speed of the print run, however, when we set it in draft mode to do a letter, we were very pleased with how fast it got on with things. It fires paper through very well, and tidily, and catches it well too, no spitting pages across the room.
The user interface on the software that comes with this is pretty good. You get a few nice options including print mode (draft, normal, best) a choice of resolution, the option to print colour documents in greyscale, and borderless printing all the way up to A4 size. It can also do poster printing too which lets you print the image across multiple sheets of paper in various sizes - 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 sheets. We've not used this yet, but the idea is certainly a good one, and may well prove useful to us in the future.
The duplex feature on this is brilliant. The duplexer attaches at the back of the printer and comes as standard with it. This means you don't have to faff around turning pages over, but can print onto both sides simply. Using it does slow the print run down quite a lot, but really you'd expect that, and its still faster and easier than having to turn pages by hand would be and a nice feature to have on a small printer.
A Few Other Thoughts
One of the first things that comes to mind to say is make sure you put this on a STURDY desk or table. This has got to be one of the most mobile small printers I've come across, and if you placed it on something that wasn't sturdy I can see it might get shaken apart during the printing process lol.
Noise wise, this is not a great printer. It is loud, and having a conversation over it is difficult. Having said that, the speed of the printing is so good that when we've used it, we've not had to have it on for very long at a time, so we've not really been bothered too much by the noise. I would think if you were printing things daily though it could get quite irritating.
One problem we did have was when printing a large batch of envelopes. At draft speed, it seems to get a bit cross about doing these and in a print run of 300 it ate about 15 of them. Each time it did this the envelope had to be cleared from it and we had to make a note of which it hadn't printed so we could re-print those at the end. I suspect however, that if we'd changed this from draft to normal mode it would have had less problems because it wouldn't have been sucking them through so fast, and when we do our next big print run in 3 months time we intend to try that. Doing just one or two envelopes in draft mode hasn't been a problem however.
Now this may sound odd, but one of our main reasons for choosing this printer was due to which cartridges it took. The Lexmark that we had before was impossible to refill the toner, and when I spoke to someone who works at a refill shop, he said to me that some brands like Lexmark there just isn't the call for, so no one works out the chip codes etc. so these are rarely refillable. HP however being so popular people make lots of compatible cartridges for them, and the HP branded cartridges are easy to refill. In terms of saving money and also being environmentally friendly, we believe that being able to buy refilled cartridges is a very good thing so we wanted to make sure that this would be possible with whatever printer we chose. The HP940 cartridges which this takes we can do this with and that makes us very happy.
So far we're very happy with this printer, and in the time we've had this, the only slight problem we've had was as I've said with envelope feed in draft mode, for this reason I do recommend this printer and think that for many people it will serve very well. However, if you're going to have it printing a lot of the time and will have to sit next to it while you do, I would not recommend this printer to you because of the noise factor. Because of this, I'll rate it as three stars as it very much depends on your personal circumstances whether this would suit you or not.
If you want a quiet, efficient, high quality printer, this isn't it.It sounds like the a 1960's Cortina starter motor on a cold morning, it often can't seem to find the paper and whirrs away for minutes at a time. The print quality is poor to appalling and it's slow. OK individual prints are quite quick but add in the start up and between job times and it's Sssslllloooowwww.Can't really find anything to recommend this quite nasty peice of equipment.