HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus Review

By on February 21, 2011
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A printer with an App Store.

Good: Web apps, an email address, AirPrint and direct scanning and emailing of documents
Bad: Paper handling for non A4 sized papers
Price: AED 1445
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

I’ll confess that I was completely taken aback when I received the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus for review some time back. Either I have been completely out of the printer scene or HP has made a massive jump when it comes to printing. I’d like to think the latter as the sheer number of features this all-in-one supports is over-whelming to say the least.

Packaged nicely in a not-too-big of a box, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus comes with everything except the paper to get you started. You have four ink cartridges (CMYK), two print heads and a duplexer for double-sided printing along with the main printer. A drivers CD as well as a quick start guide is also included.

Putting the printer together is fairly easy and shouldn’t take more than ten minutes as long as you follow the guide. HP has done a good job of explaining the process. Once the printer is assembled, you plug it in and it takes another 20 or so odd minutes to initialize everything. This is a one time process.

I’m not sure how to say this, but the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus is a pretty good looking printer. You might wonder how good can a boxy device that chews paper out can look but with its slick black paint job and a big touchscreen LCD, its definitely one that you wouldn’t think of intentionally hiding which is something I’ve done with most printers in the past.

Using the printer is mainly done through its touch screen which seems capacitive in nature. I am saying that purely on my experience with its finger-friendliness. I was easily able to select options as well as input email addresses and passwords. The main menu has options to copy, fax, scan and access apps while the sides on the screen have navigation keys for home and moving left and right.

Once you have your HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus connected to your computer, you can very easily scan documents to a folder on the computer or email them right away from the printer itself. I tested the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus on a Mac and setting it up was a breeze. The printer was available on the network as well as a bonjour device. Once installed, the HP control panel lets you control all aspects of the device.

Alternatively, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus also has a web server built-in and you can access that through almost any modern browser. The web server is quite rich in functionality allowing you to scan and fax documents as well as check supply levels and change settings. In fact, you can pretty much get away without installing a native app to access the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus on your computer- all you need is the driver and the web server can pretty much do the rest. For offices this is great as its one less piece of software to manage across their computers.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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