The HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer: set-up

Hi there, my name is Felix Mak and I run a small graphic design studio, and have been mainly designing for the web for the last 10 or so years. I have done many things, including publishing, as well as a short stint at mail-order catalogues of anime and video games back in the '90s; good printers have been very important to me.

Having used many printers from varying companies, I had great expectations from HP! My last HP printer was a LaserJet 6MP, which is still going (after a service, as I melted the rollers from a very long print run one summer), but now has issues with drivers and its USB conversion cable. My other printers have been Epsons and Canons, which, while good, were only used in a short-run capacity for some reports, graphic work and photos.

Getting a hold of another HP for testing purposes is going to be fun! Granted, I am a graphic designer, so my needs of a good printer are really to do with photos and graphical performance. However, I will look to put the printer through more mundane office-type tests, as well.

I will be testing in terms of the following:

  • Photocopying capabilities (especially double-sided photocopying)
  • Longer print runs of double-sided runs
  • Photo-printing capabilities
  • Graphical accuracy and calibration of double-sided printing
  • Faxing.

Other elements that are very interesting are:

  • ePrint
  • Airprint
  • Any HP editing software.

With such a modern, internet-enabled printer, I cannot say that I have any particular expectations of this printer. It is an all-in-one printer, after all — an all rounder. So do we expect to see brilliant performance from it? I am not sure at this point.

Setting up the printer

Having unboxed and removed all the tape from the body of the printer, I decided to put aside the "Getting Started Guide", as we, as consumers, know that is only for emergencies. I also noticed that the printer has Wi-Fi! This will be fun!

Could it be any easier? Set-up guides you through the steps via animations.
(Credit: Felix Mak)

After I turned it on, I was surprised to be guided via animations on the touchscreen console. I was guided step by step through a series of set-up procedures, starting at removing all the packing tape (which I had already done), putting the ink cartridges in, loading the paper and even setting up the wireless. Of course, if you don't know how to set up your wireless, you might need your "go-to" guy/girl, or one of your kids to help here.

If you set up the printer near your router, or your office has built-in network cabling, you can plug it directly in to the network, thereby avoiding the wireless set-up.

Easy access to ink cartridges.
(Credit: Felix Mak)

Setting up ePrint

After setting up your wireless, the printer goes online, starts the set-up process for ePrint and prints out a page with instructions on it. These are to set up a free account for your printer through eprintcenter.com, and customise an email address, which is more memorable than the jumble of numbers and letters that is initially generated.

Idiot-proof set-up

The set-up of the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One Printer is so simple that even my 78-year-old Da' could set this up with very little help. Odd that setting up the date and time was absent and not automatic when connected to the internet.

Setting up Print Apps

Print Apps is quite an interesting service that HP provides. As we all know, not all of us are ready to give up paper, so the Print Apps service allows you to use applications that are specifically to do with printing. For example, ABC News has an app where you can set up via a browser a category or categories of news that you want to download to your printer daily and print at a given time (though not all apps run to a schedule). That way, you can pick up the early morning news off your printer for breakfast or the train.

So far, so good...

Having spent about an hour with the printer (including unboxing) I am quite impressed so far.

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