Pros:Text print quality. Has it's own email. Duplex printing. Cheap ink.
Cons:Photo print quality. Size.
The Bottom Line: For general home office use or a family with kids in school, this printer is the cheapest to operate and most useful. I've already recommended this to friends and family.
First off, the picture of the HP Officejet Pro 8600 in this review is of the 8600 Premium, not the 8600.
Recommend this product?
Note that there are 3 versions of this printer: HP Officejet Pro 8600, 8600 Plus and 8600 Premium.
The Plus and Premium offer 14" scanning bed rather than just 11" and the Premium offers a 2nd Paper tray as standard. They also print a few pages per minute faster. There are some other differences but checkout the specs on HP's website to compare.
All three printers use the same printer ink cartridges.
Now, as for this 8600. I bought 2. One for home and one for my office. At home it is plugged directly into the router. HP lets you setup a unique email address for your printer, so when my kids teachers send us emails during the day with their homework as attached PDF or Word files, I can just forward them to the printers email and voila... the documents immediately come out of the printer. No more "well I forgot my pages at school) ;-)
The printer also prints double sided. This function works really well. The paper tray holds 250 pages, so I'm not always refilling. The ink cartriges that are available are huge, and you can get "XL" versions of the carts that more than double the page count.
The print quality for text was way above what I expected for a printer in this price range. But the print quality for photos are just so-so. I however did not buy this printer for photos. I use a dedicated photo printer for that.
It works super slick as a quick & easy photocopier. The onscreen commands are easy to operate.
The scanner works great. Both the flatbed and the document feeder. A six page document was the most I tried through the scanner. I was surprised at how easily the doc feeder took in the pages that were crumpled pretty bad. I use it to completely go paperless at home. All my receipts, and the few credit card or bills that I can't get by email, now get scanned and stored on my PC using PAPERPORT.
My wife's laptop running win7 can see the printer on the router with no problem at all.
This printer/scanner/copier is not black, it's brown. A very dark brown mind you, but not black. It is also huge. You'll need a footprint of at the very least: 20inches wide and 24 inches deep.
It has a zillion other options and function that I still have not gotten around to use, but it does what I need it to do very well.