User Rating: Very Good
Ease of Use:
Pros:Good build-quality/construction, duplexer, separate color ink tanks
Cons:Bloated HP software and long setup process
The Bottom Line: Bottom line? If you know what you're getting into, this can be a good printer for the money, but the downsides keep me from giving it more than 3 stars.
I initially purchased the HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 for the sales office where I work. They needed a new network-capable printer with color capabilities, but wanted something small enough to sit in the corner of a desk. I was initially impressed by the build quality. Sure, it's all plastic, but it feels like thick, durable plastic. Even the plastic "lid" covering the paper tray isn't flimsy, like the ones so many inkjets include. The access door on the front for swapping ink cartridges is another nice touch. For the relatively low price, this printer also seems to check-mark all the "feature" boxes; both wired AND wireless networking are supported, a duplexer comes standard, separate color cartridges used for Cyan, Yellow and Magenta plus the Black ink, support for an optional second paper tray (250 sheet capacity), etc.
Recommend this product?
So what's NOT to like? I discovered the first thing as soon as I powered it on. The printer goes through a LENGTHY initialization process (that surely wastes a lot of ink too). Like most recently made inkjets from HP, you also encounter the software hassles and bloat. The installation CD loads hundreds of megabytes of software, and especially if you intend to use the printer wirelessly, involves a long, multi-stage configuration process. (You have to make the initial connection to the printer with a USB cable, so your computer can then use the USB connection to reprogram it to use the wireless network.)
To HP's credit, this printer conforms to their usual policy of providing Windows *Server* compatible drivers for it, since it carries a "Pro" designation in its name. (A lack of Windows 2003 or 2008 Server drivers is a reason I can't use many of the competitors' inkjet printers on our corporate network.)
Once I had it up and running, print quality was very good. I tried printing several 4x6 photos on some generic OfficeMax branded 4x6 "Premium Glossy photo paper" and they came out excellent. Regular printing to 8.5"x11" plain paper looked fine too. Print speeds are very fast printing plain text. Color photo printing was much slower, as one would expect, but still not too bad.
Unfortunately, only a few months after we had the printer running, my workplace flooded. The printer was on a desk so the water never touched it, but it submerged the AC power adapter "brick" on the floor and shorted it out. I wound up taking the printer home, and purchased a used replacement adapter for it, taking a chance on getting it working again. It worked, but I was never able to get it to see my wireless network at home. (Even if I first connect the printer to my wired network and access its built-in web interface from one of my computers, I have no success running their "wireless setup wizard". It claims it doesn't see any available wi-fi networks. I even tried hard-coding the SSID of my network into the printer, but nothing.) I'm honestly not sure if this is because the wireless card in it is malfunctioning, or if it has a compatibilty issue with my Airport Extreme wireless router -- but I resorted to using it on my wired network where it works fine.
As a Mac user at home, I discovered something else not to like about this printer. While Mac OS X includes HP OfficeJet Pro 8000 drivers in the operating system (even the new OS X Lion release supports it), it doesn't include a setup tool to configure the printer for network printing. You're basically on your own to get it properly configuring on your network and THEN the Mac is able to find and use it.
Lastly, replacement ink cartridges are a little on the expensive side for this printer. If you stick with the "XL" versions (high capacity), the cost per page to print isn't really too bad. BUT, this is another one of HP's annoying products where the cartridges have computer chips on them that talk to the printer, and decide they're empty when the counter in the chip says so -- not necessarily when they're actually out of ink inside. This arrangement is good for nobody but HP, and inevitably results in wasted ink. Additionally, this printer is designed with separate print-heads (not integrated into the cartridges themselves). So every so many ink replacements, you'll also need to buy new print-heads (at a cost of roughly $55 for both of them).
Amount Paid (US$): 149
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh