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.

HP Officejet Pro 8000 Printer ReviewFigure 5: Ink cartridge.

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.

HP Officejet Pro 8000 Printer ReviewFigure 6: Ink cartridge cavity.

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.

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.