Laser printers have traditionally been more expensive to purchase and less expensive to operate than ink jet printers. Now, however, with the Officejet Pro 8000, HP is bucking that trend. They say that when used with HP’s high-capacity cartridges, this Officejet ink jet printer has a 50% lower cost per page than comparable laser printers and the list price is only USD 179. So we set out to see if this ink jet printer lived up to the hype and if it was truly a worthwhile purchase.
As expected, the HP Officejet Pro 8000 comes in a large box, shown in Figure 1.
Inside the box is the printer itself. It is shown in Figure 2 with the paper tray extended. The duplexer, power cable, USB cable, Quick Start guide, small manual, and software, shown in Figure 3, are also included.
Also included are four ink cartridges and two print heads, shown in Figure 4.
The printer itself is two-tone device with a white base and large portions of black accents. It is made of thick plastic giving the printer a sturdy look and feel. The lines are curved, which also gives the printer a nice visual effect. However, the two different colors accentuate the fact that this printer is quite large. As shown in Figure 2, with the paper tray at the front extended and the duplexer on the back, the printer is a full 24” (61 cm) deep. It is 19.5” (49.5 cm) wide. So your first chore will be to make sure you have room for it.
Setup for the printer was easy and the included instructions are good. The print heads are a little difficult to install as you must exert a little more pressure that you might expect to get them to pop in. This HP uses a system that allows each print head to deal with two of the four ink colors. So there is one print head for the black and yellow and one for the cyan and magenta.
Once the print heads are installed you move on to installing the ink cartridges. The cartridges are a new style, shown in Figure 5.
The ink cartridges come in a recyclable plastic tray and there are no plastic parts or tape to remove, which is a nice feature. As you can see in Figure 5, the cartridges have ridges on the sides that make placement easy. The cartridges slide in easily can’t be placed in up-side-down. The ink cartridges are placed in a small panel on the left side of the front, shown in Figure 6.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest drawbacks of HP printers, in general, is the length of time that the installation takes. This printer is no different. After installing the print heads and ink cartridges and turning the printer on, it goes through a somewhat disconcerting installation process that takes a full 20 minutes. During that time, the printer grinds, creaks, and taps. Before this starts, a page is printed that tells you exactly what sounds you may hear and how long it will take, but even with this warning, this 20 minutes can be unnerving.
In addition to the 20 minutes of grinding, installation of the software can easily take another 15 minutes.
The 8000 comes with quite a bit of useful software including:
- HP Photosmart Create: For making posters/banners/photo albums, iron-ons, etc.
- HP Photosmart Print: Gives you additional printing options
- HP Photosmart Share: Lets you easily use HP’s online photo services (Snapfish, online albums, etc.)
- HP Photosmart Studio: Simple organization and editing tools
- HP Photosmart Stitch: Lets you create panoramas from multiple images
You can also install only the print driver and basic utilities, if you aren’t interested in this software. The basic utilities include the HP Printer Utility which is used for diagnostics, printhead cleaning, alignment, and calibration. It is easy to use and works quite well.
If you want to use the wireless setup, you still need to connect the printer to the computer with a USB cable. Fortunately, the USB cable is included. Also fortunately, the wireless setup went quickly and smoothly on every computer that we tried.
This Officejet Pro’s control panel, shown in Figure 7, is quite simple.
There are four lighted indicators on the left for the status of the ink cartridges. On the right are three elongated buttons for the wireless network, job cancel, and paper feed. The network button toggles the wireless on and off if you press and hold. If you press it quickly, it prints out network settings. A blue light above the network button indicates the status of the wireless connection, either on or off. We love having a “job cancel” button which saves paper and frustration when you accidently start a big print job. The only other button is the round on/off button.
At the front of the printer, shown in Figure 8, is the 250-sheet input tray which sits underneath a 150-sheet output area. A thick black plastic tray covers the input tray and becomes the place where the output rests. In order to get this tray into proper position you must angle it down at the back catching the two protruding latches, shown in Figure 9, before resting it down. If you simply place it on top of the input tray, as one might do, it can fall off during printing. This happened to us during testing and the tray broke making it unusable.
In Figure 10, you can see the duplexer protruding from the back of the printer. You can also see the USB socket, the Ethernet connection and the plug for the external power supply.
[nextpage title=”Using the Officejet Pro 8000″]
The Officejet Pro 8000 has excellent speed for an ink jet printer. It is rated at a maximum of 35 pages per minute in black and 34 pages per minute in color. Although some printers lag when the printer is used wirelessly, this printer was almost as fast over a wireless network as it was over a wired network.
Text was crisp and clear. Color images were quite good, although a bit on the dark side. The HP ink used in this printer is definitely waterproof. We printed some brochures on regular paper and put them outside in the rain. The next day, although the paper was completely saturated with water, we found perfectly readable brochures with no bleeding of any kind. The 15,000-page duty cycle makes this a good printer for small offices.
We looked at HP’s claim of reasonable consumables cost, and we found it to be accurate. Standard print cartridges cost USD 25.99 for black, which is rated at 1,000 pages (about 2.6 cents per page) The cyan, magenta, or yellow cartridges are rated for 900-pages each at a cost of USD 19.99 each (about 2.2 cents per color per page).
The high-yield cartridges are even most cost efficient. The high yield black, which is rated for 2,200 black pages costs USD 35.99 (about 1.6 cents per page) and each color, which is rated for 1,400 pages, costs USD 25.99 (about 1.9 cents per color per page). This compares favorably to color laser printers. (The page yield ratings normally assume 5% coverage.)
The duplexer is another way to save money and to save a few trees, as well. In our testing it worked seamlessly.
Speaking of saving trees, the 8000 is ENERGY STAR qualified and HP claims it uses up to 50% less energy than color lasers. HP also gets our Kudos for promoting recycling of toner cartridges and the printer itself through its “HP Planet Partners” recycling program.
One thing that we did not like about this Officejet is that print jobs seemed a little slow to start and when starting, we often heard that aggravating bumping and grinding that we heard during the printer initialization.
On thing that we did like is that this printer is compatible with the free HP iPrint photo app in the iTunes store. With this app you can easily print the photos from your iPhone.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
HP Officejet ink jet printer main specifications are:
- Product Dimensions: 19.5" x 18.86" x 7.09" (49.4 x 47.9 x 18.0 cm) (W x D x H) with duplexer
- Product Weight: 17.2 lbs (7.8 kg) with duplexer installed
- Print Technology: HP Thermal Inkjet
- Print Resolution Black: Up to 1200 x 1200 dpi
- Print Resolution Color: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Print Speed: Up to 15 ppm (black) or up to 11 ppm (color)
- Maximum print speeds: 35 ppm black, 34 ppm color
- Borderless Print Capability: Yes (up to 8.5" x 11", 210 x 297 mm)
- Direct Print Capability: No
- Ink Type: Pigment-based
- Print Languages: Standard HP PCL 3 GUI, HP PCL 3 Enhanced
- Network Capabilities: Standard built-in Ethernet
- Wireless Capability: Wireless technology: 802.11b/g
- Media Types Paper (brochure, inkjet, plain), photo, envelopes, cards (index), transparencies
- Media Sizes Supported: Letter; legal; statement; executive; 3 x 5 in; 4 x 6 in; 5 x 7 in; 5 x 8 in; 4 x 10 in; 4 x 11 in; 4 x 12 in; 8 x 10 in; envelopes (No. 10, Monarch, DL)
- Media Weight Supported: Tray 1: 16 to 28 lbs (plain media), 16 to 66 lbs (special media), up to 110 lb index (cards); Recommended: 20 to 24 lb
- Paper Handling Input: 250-sheet input tray, optional second 250-sheet input tray
- Input: Up to 250 sheets letter/legal, up to 55 sheets , 4 x 6 photos, up to 55 cards, up to 20 envelopes; up to 500 sheets
- Output: 150-sheet output tray, up to 150 sheets letter/legal, up to 60 sheets transparencies, up to 60 cards, up to 15 envelopes
- Memory: 32 MB
- Processor Speed: 384 MHz
- Duty Cycle: Up to 15,000 pages (monthly, letter)
- More Information: http://www.hp.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 179.99 (USD 129.99 after instant rebate).
The excellent print quality, good wireless connectivity, high duty cycle, low print costs and duplexer make this an excellent printer for a heavy home or small office user. However, you have to be willing to put up with the long installation, the occasional bumping and grinding, and the fact that the print tray cover must be very carefully placed into the printer. HP is correct that this could be a good choice instead of a color laser printer, as long as you are willing to accept the fact that it is quite large and has a few flaws.
- Very good text quality
- Wireless setup is quick and easy
- Excellent ink cartridge design
- Fast printing
- Good connectivity
- Good duplexer
- Inexpensive ink
- Waterproof ink
- Compatible with HP iPhoto iTunes app
- Too large
- Setup takes too long
- Paper tray cover placement must be exact
- Makes bumping and grinding noises