HP OfficeJet Pro 8500: A device of All Trades

hp-officejet-pro-8500Printers have become not just output devices to produce text or images. They have become an essential part of our life, and the more functions they have, the better they are for use in office and home.

Recent printing devices are developing according to crisis laws. That means more technology and functions heavy printers don’t go up the price scale, as they used to do. Instead, they replace simpler models.

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 has been built as all-in-one device – it’s a printer, a scanner, a fax and a copier.


Small offices require a device that would be multifunctional in nature. This device would save space in the small premise of the office, be energy and supplies-efficient. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 can perform a number of such tasks: it prints documents and photos (both B&W and color), copies these documents – all of that can be done via office network at low cost per print.

To make up for the inkjets’ lack of waterproofness, the OfficeJet series printers use pigment color inks, which are as water resistant as laser printer toner. The cartridges have increased size, the black one being the largest. With 5% average coverage (the standard for an office document) in general everyday printing mode, the printer takes 11.5 second to produce one sheet.

Build and Design

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 has characteristic features of an MFP, yet it looks very much like all Hewlett Packard inkjet printers. It has covered paper feed tray and control panel with a sensor LCD-display. Automatic document feeder holds 50 sheets and has cover lid to help you take out jammed paper.

The power supply unit looks awkward, in our view. It can be well hidden within the printer casing, given the large size of the former. The dimensions of the duplex unit make it look massive.

The external power supply unit is so out of date
The external power supply unit is so out of date

As noted before, the eye-stopper of the front control panel is the LCD-display. The sensor of the display has poor sensitivity, and the processor is reluctant to perform commands. This is why the whole half a second passes after you pressed the display till the command is executed.

LCD-display is bright and contrast, however the sensor part is weak
LCD-display is bright and contrast, however the sensor part is weak

To the left of the display are control buttons for fax and scanner. Some of those buttons perform such uncommon functions as scanning to network folder and e-mailing of scanned files.

E-mail and Fax buttons
E-mail and Fax buttons

The former turns out to be more like sending a fax. To the right of the display is the dial pad, as well as copy/scan control buttons. It’ worth mentioning that every touch of a button is accompanied by polyphonic melody.

The scanner

The scanner cover is opened easily, despite the lacks of freedom for scanning thick books. This defines the printer as office devices, however this may be a need to scan or copy large account books in the office, too.

The scanning process can easily be automated, and simple scanning test did not reveal any jamming. The scanner duplex-unit worked well, too.

The flatbed scanner is not very smart in design. The scanning head is rested near the right edge of the device, and before the scanning the head has to move to the left edge of the glass. So to scan one page, the head needs to travel twice as much.

A pleasant addition to software bundle of the MFP is OCR-program. It performed the recognition of text in landscape and portrait layout just great.

The printer

Any printer starts with cartridges, so we checked them first. The difference between the starter cartridges and their replacement counterparts is in amount of ink – the starters are only filled in half. The cartridges status check has a dedicated button on the sensor display in main menu. One touch – and you know almost precisely how much of each ink is left. The cartridge carrier sits to the left of paper tray. Open down the cover and you’ll see four separate cartridges that can be easily installed or removed.

The MFP’s cartridges are large and do not incorporate printheads

There are standard and higher yield HP OfficeJet Pro 8550 ink cartridges. The standard yield cartridges are enough to print 900 (color) and 1,000 (black) pages. The higher yield cartridges has increased ink capacity for 1,400 and 2,200 pages respectively.

The ink cartridges for this MFP are available at affordable price

The color printing on quality photo paper in highest quality is rather unhasty. It took 3 minutes 20 seconds to make an A4 print, and 1 minute 20 seconds for 5×7 inch photo. Black-and-white documents at 5% average coverage are produced at 35 pages per minute.

The whole process of copying, that is scanning and color printing, took around 1 minute 20 seconds. The duplex printing unit is placed behind and is plugged as a separate module. However, the printer won’t work without the duplexer. In double side printing mode, the speed for black-and-white documents drops to 15 pages per minute.

The quality of printed photos is good. For such an office device it is even great – no gradients, no artefacts if you print on quality photo paper. Of course, color reproduction cannot be compared to 7-color printers, but this is only obvious when compared to reference prints. However, in economy black-and-white mode, printing of smaller typefaces is not recommended, as the results become not only pale, but also grainy and stripy. This destructs the text, except for Times New Roman 4pt, which is still readable even in vey economy mode.

Unfortunately, the common drawback of all inkjets – wet paper after printing – still remains in this device. At average coverage above 40% the prints are definitely wet and can stick together.

Card reader and connectivity

What it takes to connect a multifunctional to a PC? One USB port lasts for most budget printer models. But the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 provides wide selection of connection types: USB, Ethernet (the RJ-45 connector), telephone (the RJ-11 connector) as well as optional wireless connection adapter. HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 W model has the wireless adapter as standard connection.

The card reader supports numerous memory cards: Memory Stick, CompactFlash, Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick Pro, SD Card, Multimedia Card, xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Duo Pro and miniSD Card (which, however, requires an adapter).


The HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 multifunction device is an excellent device at an affordable price. It is recommended to anyone who is starting or is running a business, or is just conscious of well-spent dollar.

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