capsule review

HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet MFP

At a Glance
  • Hewlett-Packard Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One Printer

    PCWorld Rating

    A small office that wants it all can get it here: features galore, including really cheap inks.

HP's OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One is a color inkjet multifunction printer built to take anything that a small office can throw at it. Granted, it's expensive, but if you do high-volume printing, consider buying it for the low consumables costs if nothing else.

This MFP's generous paper-handling features include a 250-sheet input tray, a 150-sheet output tray, and a 50-sheet automatic document feeder. Duplexing is automatic. An optional second 250-sheet input tray (for plain paper only) costs $80. Ethernet, USB, and Wi-Fi connectivity are standard. Media slots cover CF; MMC/SD; xD; and MS/Duo, and you also get a USB/PictBridge port. Most of the control panel is displayed on the unit's 3.45-inch, color touchscreen LCD, which makes navigating the many settings fast and easy.

I advise you to take HP's speed claims with a grain of salt: The unit's 35-page-per-minute text speed and 34-ppm graphics speed are possible only in draft mode. In our tests conducted at the MFP's default settings, it printed text pages at 15.6 ppm and graphics pages at 4.5 ppm--far short of the company's promises, but plenty fast nonetheless. Text output looked black and fairly crisp. Photos and graphics appeared grainy but had natural colors on plain paper. On HP's own paper, the images tended to be slightly dark but very smooth.

The icing on the OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One's substantial cake is its incredibly low ink pricing. The machine ships with a 1000-page black cartridge priced at $26 (2.6 cents per page), and three 900-page cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges for $20 (2.2 cents per color per page). A page printed with all four colors would cost just 9.3 cents. But the economic picture gets even brighter with the high-yield cartridges: A 2200-page black cartridge costs $36 (1.6 cents per page), while each 1400-page color cartridges costs $26 (1.9 cents per color per page). A page containing all four colors would cost a mere 7.3 cents.

Among business-minded competitors, the Canon Pixma MX7600 matches the OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless All-in-One closely on purchase and ink pricing; but it's a little faster and throws in a few bonus features (such as a second input tray), and Canon has a better overall rating in our Reliability and Service survey than HP. For a little more or less of the same, the base OfficeJet Pro 8500 ($300) has a letter-size platen, no Wi-Fi, and no touchscreen. The OfficeJet Pro 8500 Premium ($500) adds a second 250-sheet input tray, along with some media and software to get you started on in-house marketing pieces. Another competitive option is the Canon Pixma MX860.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    A small office that wants it all can get it here: features galore, including really cheap inks.

    Pros

    • Fast print and copy speeds
    • Cheap inks; lots of features

    Cons

    • Very expensive purchase price
    • Slow scan speeds
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