This week we got to know the HP Officejet Pro

This week, we have spent a little more time to get to know the printer. Navigation is really easy using the touchscreen interface.

We now have all devices in the office connected, including our Linux machines. These are running Ubuntu 10.04. As mentioned last week, they worked straight away, but using the Officejet 8500 driver. This week, we downloaded the HPLIP 3.12.4.run file to install the correct driver. This worked a treat, as not only is the correct driver installed, but we now also have access to all the printer functionality on our Linux machines.

Wireless: ePrint

So far, the printer has been on our wired network, so we had not used the wireless capabilities. Now is time to go wireless!

Set-up for wireless operation was easy: just disconnect the Ethernet cable, as you cannot have wired and wireless at the same time. The printer searched for wireless routers, found ours, asked for a WPA key, we typed it in on the clear, on-screen keyboard and it connected. The keyboard has that familiar feel of a mobile phone keyboard, but with larger keys.

Now to print something. I installed HP ePrint on my Android phone; very straightforward. When I fired up the app, it basically asks what you want to print. I selected an image from my gallery, the phone found the printer and I clicked "Print". Done! Easy!

Copy ID

There is a Copy ID function that can be turned on via the touchscreen. This feature allows you to copy both front and back of a credit card or drivers' licence. You do have to turn the card over, once the first side has been scanned.

This is where I noticed that the lid of the printer does not have any hinge dampening. By this, I mean that if you hand slips, the lid will crash back down as it is quite weighty. Also, there is no real place to hold the lid.

Eco

As with most electronic devices these days, the OfficeJet 8600 has eco functions. You can select a sleep time of five, 10 or 15 minutes. Due to the quick first page print time you might as well leave this set to five minutes. The default is 10.

Scanning

Scanning documents to a network folder on the face of it seems easy. You either need to have the HP Printer utilities installed on a PC, or you can use a web browser to set this up. It is quite straightforward; just follow the on-screen instructions.

Now, it's time to scan. Place the originals in the sheet feeder, select scan >network folder, and then select the folder that was set up via the web interface. Multiple pages will be scanned to the one scan file, ie, a PDF. Not much room to get your pages out once scanned. According to the set-up, the scanned files can be allocated a prefix, in our case "scan". When we scanned, we were expecting a file with the name something like 'scan_20120426.pdf', but instead we got '___'. Not very useful. Need to look into this a bit more. Also, the colour of the scan seemed to lose some depth.

Desktop app integration

So far, we have not had any issues with using the printer from our common applications: GIMP, OpenOffice (docs and spreadsheets) and Acrobat Reader.

So, two weeks in, and it's performing well.

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