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1,202 of 1,213 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2012
Summary:
The features on this printer are just about perfect. There is a design flaw and apparently some manufacturing quality control problems. Minus one star for the design flaw and another star for the quality control problems.

I compared the specifications of 27 printers from HP, Brother, Canon, Xerox, Dell, Oki, Lexmark, Samsung, and Epson. This was the printer of choice for me for the best features at the best price. I bought this printer and my family really loves it for all different reasons. My daughter loves the easy scanning. My other daughter loves the fast printing with clear text and color graphics. My wife loves the easy to use color copying features. I love the ink that is smudge resistant, water resistant and as inexpensive as any ink out there.

Features
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This printer is loaded with features. Some other reviews have mistakes about the features, so here is the straight scoop.

The 8600 Premium has the following extras that are in addition to the 8600 Plus.

* Extra 951 Magenta ink cartridge (CN051A)
* Extra 951 Yellow ink cartridge (CN052A)
* Extra 951 Cyan ink cartridge (CN050A)
* Readiris Pro 12 OCR software (I use Acrobat Pro for my OCR, so I haven't used this)
* 50 Sheets of Marketsplash and HP Brochure Printer Paper (photo paper)
* 250 sheet extra paper tray (CN548A)

Note: The 8600 Plus and 8600 Premium both have four starter ink cartridges. The ink listed above is in addition to these cartridges.

Setup was very simple. In fact, I set it up for a wired connection first. Then when I figured out that I needed the Ethernet port on my switch for something else, I turned on wireless. Even though the printer had a new IP Address, all of my devices could print to it without any reconfiguration. Nice.

PRINTING:
Printing is very fast. I have had the unit for 30 days and have printed almost 400 pages. The starter ink cartridges appear to have less ink than standard cartridges, but they are about 1/6 - 1/5 used. The ink is smudge resistant. The cost per page calculates out to about 1.4 cents per page for black and white and 6.2 cents per page for color using the 950XL print cartridges at street price. This is the cheapest of any of the 27 printers I evaluated.

The quality looks pretty good to me. This isn't a high end photo printer, but photos look pretty good on photo paper.

With the extra paper tray of the 8600 Premium, I can put an entire ream of paper in the printer when it runs out since each tray holds 250 pages.

Airprint from an iPad 3 works perfectly. You can also print by sending an email attachment to the printer and the attachment will print. Google Cloud print is also supported, but I haven't tried it yet.

Only Mac O/S 10.5.x and above is supported. If you have 10.4.x PowerPC computers like me, then there are no drivers. You can print via email. It is probably time to upgrade my Macs.

You can print photos directly from a USB thumb drive, SD Card, and Memory stick. You can preview the photos on the screen before you print.

Borderless printing is supported. You can print duplex in color and black and white.

Contrary to other reports, you can print cardstock just fine. In fact, last night my daughter printed some color flash cards on 4 x 6 cards. These can feed just fine from paper tray 1. Paper tray 2 must be used for plain paper only. You can't duplex 4 x 6 cards.

Also, contrary to other reports, the second paper tray was recognized perfectly when I installed it before powering up.

You can print sizes from 4 x 6 cards all the way up to legal paper.

SCANNING:
You can scan to a computer, send your scans via email to someone, scan to a USB or memory card, scan to a network share, and even control scanning via a web page served up on the printers built in web server. I scan to multiple samba (SMB) network shares. You simply configure the shares via the web page and when you press the scan button on the printer, it asks you which destination you wish for the scans. Each destination can have different default presets (PDF, jpeg, etc.).

Contrary to other reports, you can scan both sides (duplex) in color using the 50 sheet automatic document feeder. Depending on the defaults set, you may have change the settings to "2 sided original" before scanning. Note that the official HP Manual says that "the ADF does not support double-sided documents", but it is wrong. As a test, I did a 3 page double sided color scan to PDF. The result was a 6 page PDF file just as you would expect. I also did a 1 page double sided color scan to JPG. The result was two separate JPG files as expected.

The scans look pretty good to me. Perhaps not professional quality, but they work for most things that I need.

The flatbed scanner is legal size. Some of the other units out there only have letter sized glass. Another rare feature is a disengaging lid that can extend upward so that you can scan thick books with the lid down.

You can scan multiple paper sizes. I scanned a very thin piece of paper in the automatic document feeder (ADF) that was 4.5 inches x 5.5 inches and it fed just fine. The scan was slightly crooked but the image size was adjusted to the size of the paper instead of having an 8.5 x 11 sized image with the smaller image of the scan on it. The ADF has adjustable guides that adjust for widths between 4.7 inches and 8.5 inches wide.

COPYING:
This was our first color copy machine. It is very easy to make single or double sided copies from single or double sided originals. There are also special copy modes such as copying both sides of a drivers license onto one sheet of paper easily. You can preview your copy on the screen before copying.

You can also scale the copy size, but this is a little awkward since there are no defined presets like 125%, 150%, 200%. Instead you have to press up or down for each 1% you want to change.

You can copy from the automatic document feeder or on the glass.

FAX:
I have VoIP phone service and never could get fax to work on my previous Brother MFC. I continually received "line quality" errors. The 8600 wasn't any better. This is almost certainly the fault of my phone service rather than the HP 8600, but I was hoping it would be better.

There is a very strange thing about the 8600 fax. It requires a two connector RJ-9 modular phone plug to plug into the 8600. The RJ-9 modular phone plug is your normal standard phone plug; however, most are 4 conductor plugs (four bands of metal on the connector) rather than 2 even though only 2 are usually used (the middle two for a single line system). For some strange reason, if the 8600 sees a plug with more than two conductors, it will give an error stating that you are using the wrong cord and will refuse to work. The 8600 comes with a 2 conductor cord to connect to your phone jack, but if you need a longer cord, you will likely have a hard time finding a 2 conductor version. Very strange.

OTHER FEATURES:
The printer has a wired 10/100 MB Ethernet port. I would have preferred a 1000 MB port.

The printer has an 802.11 b/g/n wireless network card that operates only on 2.4 GHz. There is support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). I would have preferred a 5 GHz wireless card.

The printer has a USB 2.0 option for connecting the printer to your computer. I would have preferred USB 3.0.

There is support for Windows, Mac OS (10.5.x and above), and even Linux (haven't tried yet).

IPv6 is supported, but I haven't converted my network to IPv6 yet so I couldn't test it.

The touch screen is large, colorful, and quite intuitive. However, it is a little hard to press the screen and the accuracy doesn't seem to be quite on. If you are used to an Android or Apple smart phone screen, then this isn't one of them; however, it is quite usable.

Design Flaw
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The biggest complaint about this printer is that the automatic document feeder (ADF) is connected to the lid itself. Other designs have it split from the lid. The problem with this printer is when you raise the lid and try to scan from the glass, a sensor in the automatic document feeder thinks that it has something to scan in it. Thus, you get a nasty error when you try to scan from the glass with the lid up.

There is a work around. When you raise the lid, you can listen carefully for the sensor to engage. As long as you lift the lid slowly to the vertical and don't go past straight vertical, the lid will stay up and you can scan from the glass. Kind of a pain, but it works.

Minus one star.

Quality Control
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I have received two printers so far and both of them were defective.

The first one had a scratch on the front which was surprising given all of the padding. I can overlook that cosmetic flaw even though it was annoying; however, the copy function from the glass with the lid down started behaving erratically. From time to time, whatever you copied came out with an almost completely black printout. It was as if the scan bar had a strange error because you could see parts of your original in the copy. Turning the printer off and on usually fixed the problem, but at least one time required three off and on cycles to make it work. It failed within 30 days, so I returned it to the company from which I bought it.

I bought a replacement unit from a different company because the price had dropped by $50 and the first company wouldn't match it. It arrived, I unpacked it, and out of the box the touch screen had problems. Instead of a black background, there were sections of the screen that were purple. When you press the touch screen buttons, the display screen goes crazy. Sometime it stays crazy and sometimes it returns to normal. There are some wires loose somewhere. This problem should definitely been caught at the factory.

I called HP support and they told me that they would send me out a replacement printer and pay for return shipping of mine. Nice. However, they will only replace the printer with a REFURBISHED printer - not a new one, even though the printer was broken out of the box. Not good, HP.

Minus one star.

UPDATE: I am now on my fourth printer from HP in as many months. Each had a different quality control manufacturing flaw. Hopefully this latest printer will work correctly. I have noticed that the last two printers worked much better when scanning from glass with an open cover. The design flaw is still there if you open the cover very quickly or past vertical, but the problem doesn't occur when I use it normally. Perhaps later versions have a fix in them.

UPDATE: The fourth printer has been working just fine now for about two months. I just ran out of ink for the first time. I believe that the 951 Setup Cartridges have less ink than a normal 951 Cartridge. The yellow ran out first, but they are all close to empty. I love the fact that I can replace each cartridge one at a time when they run out so I don't waste ink. I got 943 total pages printed, 568 were color, and 2 were borderless. Most printouts were web pages or simple graphics. I probably printed about 20 high quality color prints on photo paper. Overall, the ink seems to be lasting well. I will see when I actually go through a real 951 Cartridge.

UPDATE: I just discovered a major flaw in the Wireless implementation on this printer. If you have a large area to cover with Wireless in your home, you typically set up multiple Access Points (APs) with the same SSID and different channels. This allows you to roam around your house and automatically connect to the best AP. Apparently, this HP Printer (and likely others) will not work over Wireless if you have more than one AP with the same SSID. This is really broken and based on feedback in the forums, HP doesn't intend to fix the problem. If you have more than one AP, you must use the WIRED port to hook up the printer.

I tried to include very detailed information in this review that I gathered from different places and through personal experience. I hope that you find it helpful.
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186 of 193 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2011
Wow, pretty brutal ratings on this 8600, and it all seems to relate to the 2nd paper drawer. That's a shame, and it's the only feature I haven't yet tried, but the scanner, copy function, fax, and printing capabilities of this latest high-end HP are a delight! Hums and self-calibrates far less often than my Epson and older HP 8500 Pro. Therefore, it wastes much less supplies. Connects reliably wirelessly to my wifi network (or you can use the usb or ethernet jacks), can easily print to it from a number of devices. Printing is fast, ink capacity is wonderful--the starter set goes a long way, and reasonable priced HP replacements you buy later are even higher capacity! I never refill cartridges, perhaps those who do experience some issues as a result...? Onboard apps are great for subscribing to daily news feeds if you choose... myriad crafts and coloring pages for children... eprint so you can receive printed pages at home or work from the road or from clients... All that said, my sole use for the 2nd 250 sheet drawer is to store the 2nd half of the ream, the first half goes up top in the main supply drawer. Haven't tried to print from drawer 2, nor do I see a need to. Maybe if you stocked it with colored paper or letterhead, but I don't and so I have no complaints. I typically print 25-50 draft pages per day, plus desktop publishing projects from a Mac, but it's rated for thousands more pages than that in it's monthly duty cycle. For $250, this rugged and compact HP 8600 Premium costs less than one month's lease on a business all-in-one, delivers professional output, and I have no regrets! Also, the Coffee colored ABS housing is a welcome change from the typical boring "black and beige".
Update as of 11/21/11: When my upper paper drawer ran out, the unit flawlessly switched modes and utilized the extra paper capacity (250 sheet) 2nd drawer without a glitch. I have also selected drawer two intentionally, and I have not experienced any jams or other complications. Still a bargain and 5 star worthy in my opinion!
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552 of 612 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
While this printer has many nice features, especially airprint, it has a MAJOR design flaw. I bought this unit specifically for the second paper tray. Most people that buy a printer based on it having 2 trays, is so that one tray can be used for plain paper and the other for envelopes. Envelopes must be placed in tray 1. No options. Here's the problem: I have envelopes in tray 1, plain paper in tray 2. I set up Word to pull from tray 2 for normal printing, tray 1 for envelopes. Problem solved, right? Not quite. The printer has a preference menu which includes "default tray". I tried to set tray 2 as default - that is where my plain paper is - it only shows tray 1. It will not give the option of selecting tray 2 as default. Then why is this option even there???? I assumed a firmware update would fix this so I called Pakistan and talked to Bob, Richard, and Sally (who do they think they're fooling, if your name is Habib, then say so) and got nowhere. To my surprise, an AMERICAN from HP called me back later, actually he was Canadian, nice guy and 7000 miles closer and said he was checking into this. He talked to engineering and called me back again to tell me the bad news. Some engineer, that would be looking for another job right now if he worked for me, said that is the way the code is written. Sorry. Knowing they will not give the option of selecting a default tray, then why not make tray 2 the default since envelopes can not be placed in tray 2?
Here's the scenario: I have envelopes in tray 1, plain paper in tray 2. Remember, envelopes can't go in tray 2. With tray 1 being the printer default, I must now go through the hassle in every program I use, to manually select tray 2 in printer options (within the program) every time I print, or else it will try to print a full page on an envelope. This half brained design also renders eprint and airprint useless because neither of these will let you choose a tray. If you use either of these, IT WILL PRINT FROM TRAY 1. Dear HP, I'm sure there are alot of software/firmware designers that are looking for a job. You SHOULD have an opening after this fiasco.
Footnote: I would gladly pay an extra $30 for a printer and know that I could talk to an AMERICAN when I needed tech support. If you brought those jobs back over here, there would be more AMERICANS buying your ill designed printers.

UPDATE: A very nice and knowledgeable AMERICAN from HP called today(11/16/11), and told me the first guy was wrong. There is a simple fix for this: Boot up printer without tray 2 installed. Shut down and unplug. Install tray 2 and reboot. BAM! There it is. Problem solved beacuse somebody that knew what they were talking about was actually on the other end of the phone. I now take back what I said about HP engineers, not customer service (Pakistan), just the engineers. I also found out that had I not written this review on Amazon, my problem would still not be solved. I will give HP alot of credit for monitoring what people are saying and taking action. Thanks HP.

UPDATE AGAIN: I recently discovered that there is no way for the printer to print a fax from tray 2. Even though I have tray 2 set as deafult, it will try to print faxes from tray 1 and give an error that the wrong size paper is installed. I talked to Pakistan Patty until I was blue in the face and kept asking to talk to the escalation team again. She refused. She tranferred me to her supervisor, Indian Inez, that repeated what Patty already told me. These people really don't give a damn about the customers. After I accepted that this printer would not work as advertised, I simply requested some information on how to return it for a refund. She said someone would call me in a week or so. This is the last straw, HP. I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, buy another HP product of any type because of this product and the customer service I received - actually the lack of.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
After reading many reviews on many different printers I took a chance and went with the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Premium in spite of the negative write-ups about the second paper tray issue. Based on the information given in these reviews, I decided to setup the printer to my home network initially without the second paper tray installed. It took all of about 20 minutes to unbox and have it printing via a wireless router. After the initial setup, with the advice from other reviews, I shut it off, unplugged it, installed the second tray, turned it back on and "wala"...both trays showed up in the menu. I set tray 2 as the default and everything is working great. After registering the printing I received an email from HP that said I was going to "Love my 8600 printer" and I have to say so far, so good. I tested all of the functions (print, scan, fax, copy) without a glitch. The OCR software worked great on a couple of scanned forms. The two sided option is a real paper saver and the draft mode prints are exceptional compared to other printer I have owned. In the first two days I printed over 100 sheets without a jam or any other issues. I installed the provided software on three other computers, two laptops and one other desktop and all are printing fine. Kudos to HP on this one, although they might put a bulletin out to do the initial setup without tray 2 installed and then shut it down and unplug before putting on tray 2...It worked fine for me. For $250 from Amazon, no tax, no shipping cost it's a great value.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2013
I have had nothing but HP Printers for 15 years, and I have gradually watched the quality of their products decline. This printer replaced a previous HP that only worked a couple years. This is such a piece of junk!!!! Firstly, this is my 4th replacement printer. When I first bought it new, it did not work, leaked yellow ink from day one - a huge mess! I sent it back, and they sent me a refurbished printer that obviously had had a lot of use or neglect. It had sat in the sun so long that I could see the outline of some scissors that must have sat on it for a year or more! The refurbished printer did not work either; I'll spare you the details of all the little things about it that did not function properly. I asked them to send me a new printer, but they argued that under my warranty, they did not have to send me a new one, that they could send me a used and refurbished printer. I argued that I had paid for a NEW printer, not a used printer, but they dug in and sent me another refurbished printer. My third printer did not work properly either. The second tray would not feed, paper jams, low ink warnings all the time, when the ink was fine and the list goes on. I sent HP a certified letter, to which they did not respond. I was able to get a hold of their PR department. After weeks of negotiating, they reluctantly agreed to send me a new printer. I was surprised they they treated this as a special favor. After all, didn't I pay for a new printer in the first place? Jeez!!!!! So, this one worked better than the others, but there are some things that have never worked, like the second tray feeder. That has never worked, and frankly I am just glad to finally get one that can print. That's all I want is a printer. It jams frequently. I ONLY PRINT IN BLACK AND WHITE, and yet it uses all the colors to print. I have spent hours on the phone with their tech support trying to set the printer to print low quality black and white only, yet it still uses ALL the colors to print a black and white document. Never have I spent so much money on COLOR ink!!! I only print in black and white!!!!! This printer will frequently go off-line to do misc checks and such causing delays to print jobs. All of the sudden, in the middle of a print job, it goes off line to do checks and such. I am not a heavy uses. I probably print about 15 pages a week from this. I use the scanner. Oh, that is a huge headache, the scanner software - very glitchy. Anyway, I could go on about all the things I hate about this printer, but I am running out of time. I will surmise by saying this is my LAST Hp product ever.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2012
This printer was 3 weeks old when I discovered that the ADF always Jam when used for double sided copying. I contacted HP customer service and spent over an hour on the phone with them to find out that it is a hardware problem and the printer need to be replaced. The catch was they were going to send me a refurbished printer to replace this brand new one. There were no supervisor to talk to or anything like that! I do not understand why I should receive a refurbished product for HP lemon.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
Verified Purchase
I've owned this printer for 3-4 months now, and have just come upon a big annoyance. Under Mac OSX, this machine does not have TWAIN drivers. Now if you are not a computer guy, (and even if you are), you may be like, whatever man. Scanning using the Image Capture built into the Mac, and the HP scanning tools work fine.

Where this really messes me up is with the Direct deposit tool I was hoping to use with my credit union to deposit checks I've received in my business. From looking on the internet, this has also affected another user who was trying to use USBank's direct deposit feature. It also appears to prevent any programs which want to take over the scanner themselves, so scanning straight to Adobe Acrobat (and Photoshop?) appears to be broken also.

This is a huge and disappointing gap, since I have never heard of a scanner without TWAIN drivers.

Because of this, I have down-graded from four stars to three. What follows is the rest of my review written much earlier.

I've owned this for about a month now, its in a Mac/Windows/iPad/Droid household, and so far its a keeper. I've done one or two scans, done some printing from my Mac, some duplex, even printed a bunch of different labels, and it works as expected. The installation was painless on both Windows and Mac. I have it hooked up as a ethernet wired network printer.

A tip for the less knowledgeable: if you are buying a wireless printer because you want to print from your wireless device, be aware that it is still best to hook it up via an ethernet cable to your router. All wireless connections end up going through the router anyway, even if you do configure the printer to be wireless. In my opinion you should avoid setting up stationary devices to be wireless if you can help it. (This all said, I can not comment on how well this printer does when it is set up wirelessly, I assume it is no better/worse than any other.)

I like the dark almost chocolate black color of this printer. It is fairly tall, but has about the same footprint has the old HP 7310 its replacing (I hope I get ten years out of this one, like I did with the last... that was unbelievable!)

The software on the CD seems to be less bulky than s/w package from the previous printer. I like HP because they keep drivers etc. on the web site even for really old printers.

I also like their inkjet printers, because when you buy a new cartridge, you get a new inkjet with it. The interim Epson this replaced was bad from day 1, and I knew that now matter how much I ran the inkjet cleaning cycle, or if I bought a new set of cartridges, I still would not fix the problem, whereas if you start to get streaking with an HP, and cleaning does not fix it, the streaks will disappear when you replace the cartridges....

I looked at the price per sheet for HP all-in-one inkjet printers, and it roughly came down to these price points: $100, $200, $300 (the 8600 I got for almost $200!). Out of the box, the $100 printer will print 500 sheets, $200 prints 1000, the $300 prints 1500, before needing new cartridges. Since a new set of "big" cartridges costs about the same for each price-point (lets say about $100), by the time you have printed 1500 sheets, you will have spent about the same amount of money. By the time you are up to 3000 sheets, you will be in to HP for $600 for the $100 printer, $400 for the $200 printer, and $400 for the $300 printer. That is why I went with the 8600. (This is all *very* rough estimates that I know are probably off by $50 at least, based on buying the XL-sized cartridges.)

If you can not figure out what the difference is between the three 8600 printers, here is the skinny:
8600 Premium (this one): comes with second full feeder tray on bottom. Makes the printer maybe 3" higher.
The 8600 plus, is the same printer, but does does not have the 2nd feeder tray, but still can take 50 sheets in the top for document scanning.
The plain 8600 is a slightly different printer, it only takes 35 sheets for document scanning. It is also just going to be less bulky on a small desk.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
Verified Purchase
Got printer as promised, however after only a couple of weeks, printer starting acting strangely and developed a squeak. Called vendor, and we had to go through HP to get a replacement (what a PAIN!). Spent over 2 hours on phone troubleshooting with techs only to be put on hold and routed many times to the same person sending me to repair/replacement!

Got finally to a hardware replacement person, who then told us that a refurbished printer would be sent in it's place to return defective part. BOUGHT NEW, but got a REFURBISHED one instead!

Not really happy with the service nor the product at this point!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this brand new. It was broken right out of the box. After spending half an hour with HP's so-called "Customer Service" people, I got to a supervisor who agreed to send me a replacement. It arrived two days later.

Setting the printer to automatically print both sides makes it pull back and regurgitate every document with content on only one side. This increases the print time to an unacceptable level. It also prevents envelopes from printing from Tray 1 if you have Tray 2 installed.

Do yourself a favor. Don't buy this.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
I was on the hunt for a couple of new all-in-one printers that could work in a mixed Mac/PC environment and wanted to get machines that were fairly well built and had relatively low print costs. I did not plan on even considering another HP printer since the last HP I had deployed had a number of problems, most of them related to extremely bad Windows drivers and print software.
I was strongly leaning towards the Epson 845 Workforce printer, but I thought it made sense to do a comparison with the HP since it also seemed to have all of the features that I needed. After doing a head to head evaluation between the Epson and the HP 8600 I ended up going with two of the 8600 units.

My criteria was that I needed well built all-in-ones that had relatively low operating costs, worked well with Macs and PCs as well as iDevices, had to have good fax and scan capabilities and, very importantly, had to be pretty well built so that in a busy dental practice the unit would not fail prematurely.
I did a direct "bake off" in which I purchased an Epson Workforce 845, and an HP 8600 and ran both of them through their paces.

In the end I chose the HP 8600 over the Epson Workforce printer.
Why?

The biggest detriment to the Epson Workforce printer is that it is relatively cheaply built. It has flimsy paper trays that don't feel particularly solid. The entire printer actually weighs about 50% of what the HP 8600 weighs. While `weight' is not a direct indicator of product quality, on something like a printer, which gets a lot of mechanical use of the paper trays and ADF, a more solid feeling, heavier unit, should usually hold up a bit better to normal wear and tear.

In other comparisons I observed that the Epson had better draft quality, but the HP was much faster, and seemed to use less ink when it was used in the economy/draft mode. In Photo printing, neither printer was outstanding, but both would meet our needs for printing casual snapshots or business type photo materials on glossy 4X6 print paper.

The single biggest `deal killer' for me with the Epson 845 is that Epson has very lackluster Mac drivers, and their `network scan to PC' software does not currently work with Macs newer than OS X 10.5, which is going on 3 years old. Epson's inability to update this software (they claimed a new version was in testing) left me with an extreme lack of confidence that if we discovered problems with the Mac OS X software or drivers, that Epson would be prompt with fixing the issue.

We also liked the touch-screen on the HP 8600 much better (although sometimes it's a little too sensitive) than on the Epson, as it was larger and could be angled easily. A final advantage of the 8600 was the included e-print capabilities, such as the ability to set the printer up with its own free HP email print address, so that people can simply send an email directly to the printer with an attachment and have it print emails, pdf files, word documents, etc. We were also able to easily set the HP up to archive faxes to a network share, as well as creating a "one touch" scan option where the office can scan documents directly to a network share, which is really handy for archiving documents as well as when a receptionist scans something in but someone else on another PC will need to look at the document later.

Another plus to the 8600 that's worth mentioning is that ink tanks are loaded directly into the front of the unit. Simply open up the front service door, and the tanks are ready to be changed. This beats having to open up the whole printer (as is the case with the Epson and Canon units) and another, added bonus, is that the HP ink tanks are sealed until they are installed into the unit, meaning no smeared or dripped ink from popping off tabs and other parts on the cartridges when you are getting ready to put them in.

What's not to like about the 8600? Not a whole lot, but there are some nits. If I fax directly from the machine, using my Ooma phone service, I can dial a *99- which dials *99 to disable the Ooma features, followed by a pause, and faxing works. However, dialing the same way with the print to fax feature on my Mac, does not work, I suspect a problem with the print drivers for OS X. Fortunately I don't do a ton of print-to-fax jobs, so it's not a deal killer.

I do not like how deep the 8600 is with the output paper tray extended for regular size paper. It's deep enough that in the office location I put it in I am nervous that one of the employees could come around the corner and smack into the paper output tray, possibly breaking it eventually. I should also point out that the ADF slide adjusters have a little bit of a gap so if you are persistent it is possible to accidentally insert the paper UNDER the ADF feeder, I have also observed that the way this printer feeds documents in to the ADF tends to pull the paper in and crease it, resulting in crooked scans, so it's important to make sure that the ADF guides are snug against the paper you are loading for scan. This is the first printer I have owned in years that has had this kind of a problem, but since I have two of these and they both work this way I know it's not a defect, but a design issue.

Other than that, I don't have too many complaints. The ink tanks seem to last a really really long time and they are relatively inexpensive when bought in bulk at our local warehouse store. The costs so far appear to be roughly half of what we were spending on toner for our Brother color laser printer, so the printer will pay for itself in just a few months.
All in all we are quite happy with these. It's worth noting that I bought one HP 8600 Plus and one Premium. I wanted to add the second paper tray to the 8600 Plus and discovered that I could actually order it from Provantage for about $59 shipped, it's too bad Amazon doesn't sell this part.
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