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Bulky yet stylish exterior, this all-in-one pint, photocopy, scan and fax workhorse has excellent wireless characteristics for remote document printing and is perfect for the home or small office environment.
The HP Officejet Pro 8600 is a true ‘jack of all trades’ in that it can print, photocopy, scan and fax making it a useful all rounder. It also features HP’s ‘ePrint’ technology which allows printing from quite literally anywhere with a usable internet connection and requires no additional software. HP has seemingly aimed to market this product at those who require good print volume and speed (such as a small business/ office) but wish to avoid the considerable costs of buying and running a laser printer.
HP really do have a tough act to follow with this printer as it is the replacement model for the Officejet Pro 8500A, which was widely regarded as one of the best in its class at the time. Instead of trying to reinvent their excellent product, HP decided to endeavour to improve and update it in terms of both appearance and features; resulting in an excellent all in one machine which should not disappoint those in the market for this type of printer.
The first thing that strikes you with the Officejet Pro 8600 is its stylish jet black exterior which would be a handsome visual addition to any home or office. That being said, there is plenty of it to see due to its somewhat colossal dimensions (19.4”x18.1”x15.6” inches), which may be a problem should space be an issue. Mobility is also awkward due to the printer’s weight although it should be said that this is not intended to be either compact or manoeuvrable as a product.
The Officejet Pro 8600 is controlled via a hinged panel which extends from the front right of the machine and resembles an iPhone in ‘landscape’ mode. The control panel display is clear and legible, featuring easily identifiable icons (in colour) to navigate and command all aspects of the printer. Simple on-screen instructions and animations guide you through necessary actions (such as replacing ink cartridges for example), as well as providing ample space for long sections of text which can be entered via the full QWERTY virtual keyboard, which really does make life easier and is not featured on some competitors’ models.
Despite the holistic array of wireless features on offer here, HP have ensured that connectivity is no problem whatsoever in their inclusion of USB (with ‘PictBridge’ camera compatibility) and Ethernet ports along with the sockets for your phone to provide fax services. There are also two memory card slots (SD, Memory Stick & xD card compatible) making this a truly versatile device with plenty of options for printing without a PC or Mac present.
The single paper tray is situated centrally below the control panel and has the ability to house 250 sheets at any given time. Whilst more than ample for an inkjet printer (most would not have a 250 sheet capacity), this could be seen as a small gripe in an office environment as no second paper feed tray is available making reloading more frequent and preventing the simultaneous use of different paper types. It would, at the same time however, seem like a fair compromise with the significantly lower costs involved than those of a larger laser equipped model with multiple paper feeds. The Officejet Pro 8600 also features a 50 page auto-document feeder which can come in very handy in an office environment.
A further point of contention is the lengthy initial setup, although this will only have to be performed once. Unlike the automated setups of HPs Laserjet models, you will have to manually install the requisite drivers the old fashioned way from a supplied CD. This will take a good 15-20 minutes in all but again, you will have to bear in mind those savings that are being made in the long run.
Amongst the most impressive and notable features on offer in the Officejet Pro 8600 would have to be its wireless properties in conjunction with HP’s ‘AirPrint’ and ‘ePrint’ technologies. When connected to a WiFi network (which is achieved with the utmost ease thorough the control panel touch screen, ‘AirPrint’ enables printing from any iOS device with no additional requirements. This means that you can detect the Officejet Pro 8600 directly from your iPhone or iPad and print your photos or documents instantly. It is worth mentioning at this point that the picture print quality on offer here is top notch and you won’t be disappointed with the results.
Along with ‘AirPrint’, HP have included ‘ePrint’, which provides you with the ability to send tasks to the Officejet Pro 8600 to be printed from any internet connected device. This is made possible by the printer having its own unique email address to which the jobs are sent. The only pre-requisites here are that the printer is switched on and connected to your home or office network, which seem like small prices to pay for such versatility. Not to fall behind the times, there is also the possibility to download and run apps from HP’s ‘ePrint’ website (such as Yahoo, Reuters and a host more you would expect), alongside those that come pre-installed.
The Officejet Pro 8600 also has ‘Duplex’ print capability, allowing the printing, scanning and copying of two-sided documents via the 50 page auto paper feed without constant supervision. This would be an invaluable feature for those on a tight schedule with paperwork to prepare and multi-tasking to perform. The flat bed scanner featured here is 8.5”x14” making it ideal for scanning and copying legal documents at 4800 dpi resolution. The results are excellent with text looking sharp and professional. The Officejet Pro 8600’s excellent connectivity comes into play once again here with the capability to save scans to memory card or transfer them via email to a PC, Mac or virtual storage.
Printing with the Officejet Pro 8600 is, as mentioned, most economical. It has the capacity to house HP’s XL ink cartridges (which further increase savings) and comes from the manufacturer with four cartridges included. These are employed in HP’s fixed ink system in which four large ink cartridges are connected to two print heads with flexible tubes, serving to dramatically increase the potential yield of each cartridge.
In addition to these physical features, HP has included some useful services in the package. The Officejet Pro 8600 comes with a full one year warranty including 24 hour free technical support. The HP website also offers a plethora of handy extras (other than the ‘ePrint’ centre) which include necessary drivers to download and online tutorials to improve your knowledge and the productivity of your printer.
HP has created an excellent, sturdy all in one inkjet printer in the Officejet Pro 8600. If you are looking for a printer which would be suitable for a home or small office environment, the Officejet Pro 8600 should not disappoint. It ticks most boxes with its ability to print, scan and copy alongside excellent connectivity and a contemporary modern design. Whilst the initial price may seem high, this is soon balanced out by low running costs in comparison with other available options. The Officejet Pro 8600’s predecessor was a class leader and the current model has picked up where it left off with added improvements to boot. We think that the Officejet Pro 8600 is arguably one of the best all-in one printers available right now.
Great value for money, top quality & rapid printing, high-resolution scanner, prints straight onto CDs/DVDs, attractive modern looks, easy to use and supports cloud printing.
If you’re in the market for a new printer with plenty of features, we highly recommend looking into the Canon PIXMA MG6250. As an all-in-one model the PIXMA MG6250 gives you plenty of options with the ability to print, scan, photocopy and duplex print. It can also usefully print labels directly onto CDs or DVDs. Extra convenience is added by cloud printing, allowing you to print wirelessly from anywhere with a smartphone or other supported device. The PIXMA MG6250’s high quality printing will thrill fans of photography and its speedy output is ideal for a small office or for those who work from home. In addition to its excellent printing performance Canon has made the PIXMA MG6250 exceptionally good looking to fit into the modern environment. Canon’s combination of great features, good looks and a surprisingly low price tag make the PIXMA MG6250 an attractive option for anyone looking to buy a new all-in-one printer.
When it comes to printers the most frequent complaint that we tend to hear from consumers is that they’re ugly and often have to be hidden from view so as not to create an obvious eyesore in the room. Canon has addressed this problem head-on with the PIXMA MG6250, putting a lot of thought into the printer’s design in a bid to make it more visually appealing than its rivals. The results are impressive as the PIXMA MG6250 has sleek looks that will fit in seamlessly alongside even the most high-end computer components. It comes in a shiny black finish with curved edges adding sleek elegance to the device. We think it looks truly stunning, although it’s worth warning you that the glossy finish collects dust and fingerprints fairly fast.
Although it’s good looking, the PIXMA MG6250 is somewhat on the large side. Dimensions of 470 mm (width) x 367 mm (depth) x 173 mm (height) mean that the PIXMA MG6250 does take up surface space, so it’s worth checking that you have enough room for it. It’s also worth noting that the PIXMA MG6250 isn’t best suited to under-desk storage due to the fold-up scanner lid at the top of the printer. An expected consequence of the printers large size is that it’s reasonably heavy too, coming in at a total of 9.2 kg.
There is a cassette style, slide out tray that allows paper to be loaded from the front of the printer, as well as a flexible paper tray at the rear. Each paper tray can handle 150 sheets of paper so you won’t need to refill them too often, although keeping the paper trays extended takes up extra space.
The PIXMA MG6250’s control panel is easy to access, neatly laid out along the front topside of the printer. It’s slightly disappointing that there’s no touchscreen, but the touch buttons work well enough and it’s tough to complain when the printer’s such great value overall. A 3 inch LCD display folds up from behind the controls to display information such as the printer programme in use and the amount of ink remaining.
Whilst Canon has done a great job in making the PIXMA MG6250 a good looking device, it’s the features that make it so impressive. For a start it’s incredibly easy to set up, giving you the option of installing the PIXMA MG6250 to your computer via USB, Ethernet cable or wirelessly over the printer’s built-in Wi-Fi. Step-by-step guides take you through the set-up process, making the whole experience as simple as could be.
It’s not only setting up the printer that the integrated Wi-Fi is useful for as it allows you to use cloud printing to print wirelessly from supported devices. This is great as it eliminates unnecessary cables and also lets you print straight from devices like your phone or tablet. There is even a separate mobile application that provides you with extra functions like printing photos directly from your social network (Facebook/ Twitter/ etc.) accounts.
Another great feature is Canon’s inclusion of a PictBridge socket alongside the usual memory card slots, allowing you to save time by printing images directly from a camera or USB stick without having to connect them to a computer first. Similarly, Canon’s HD Movie Print feature allows you to take a still image from a video that you have recorded and print a decent quality picture of it. The one downside to this feature is that it will only work with video footage taken on a Canon camera. The PIXMA MG6250 even allows you to print labels directly onto CDs or DVDs for a professional finish.
Another trick that the PIXMA MG6250 has up its sleeve is its use of six different inks. In addition to the normal colours Canon has added two extra dye-based black and grey inks to improve colour definition when printing photos. The results are impressive too as the PIXMA MG6250 achieves far superior photo printing than we’ve seen from any other printer of its kind. Photo print outs are exceptionally detailed and colour prints are incredibly vivid. Pleasingly the PIXMA MG6250s speed doesn’t suffer due to the printing quality, churning out pages at a satisfactorily rapid rate.
It’s not only printing that produces pleasing results as the PIXMA MG6250s scanner and copying functions are very good too. The scanner has a resolution of 4800x4800 dpi, allowing it to achieve scans of the highest quality at a reasonably fast speed. Photocopying works well too and is equally fast, although colour copies are expectedly less vivid. There is a slight price to pay for the impressive speed and quality of prints and scans alike however, as the printer uses ink at a considerable speed.
Canon has also included a couple of features with energy efficiency in mind. Duplex printing lets you use both sides of a piece of paper, whilst Eco Mode ensures that the printer runs as efficiently as possible. Quiet mode uses a slower printing speed to cut down on the PIXMA MG6250s noise output and make further energy savings.
The Canon PIXMA MG6250 is a really impressive all-in-one printer that punches far above its price tag. The PIXMA MG6250s all-in-one functionality provides the ability to print, scan or photocopy from the same machine so that you don’t have to buy numerous appliances. Printing quality is as good as we’ve seen from an inkjet and Canon’s clever usage of six inks means that even photos can be printed with great results. The PIXMA MG6250 also allows cloud printing, meaning that you can print wirelessly from anywhere using a supported device (e.g. laptop/ smartphone/ tablet). Additional features like HD Movie Print and the ability to print directly onto discs add to the machine’s convenience. Although the PIXMA MG6250 uses ink fairly fast, its superior design and features more than make up for it, particularly in light of the printer’s outstanding value for money. We think that it’s arguably the best value all-in-one printer available right now and highly recommend checking it out for yourself.
Affordable price tag for a colour laser printer. Rapid printing with both black and white and colour achieving consistently high quality results of text and photo documents. Built to handle high volume printing but the 'eco mode' has been designed with energy efficiency in mind.
Shopping for a new printer can be an extremely tricky challenge. There are so many companies promoting all sorts of models that use different technology and various features. This can be a frustrating experience if your main concern is finding a printer that does what it says on the tin with high quality results. The first thing to work out is the exact type of printer that you need, which is usually dependent on the job that you intend it for. If you're looking for a new printer for a small business, or if you need to print in high volumes at home, a basic inkjet printer probably won't be up to the task and you'll have better luck with a work intensive laser printer. The problem is that laser printers, particularly if you want one that can do colour printing justice, tend to be expensive and you may not be willing to part with a small fortune.
If this sounds like the sort of trouble you're having in finding a suitable laser printer, the Lexmark C540n could provide the perfect solution. It's got one of the most affordable price tags we've seen on a colour laser printer, which instantly makes it an attractive choice in saving you money. Printing results are excellent, with text and images both looking impressively high quality. It's incredibly quiet too so you don't have to worry about background printer noise disturbing you whilst you work. There's no built-in Wi-Fi which is a bit of a shame, but it's unsurprising at such a good price and it still has wired network capability nonetheless. The C540n is a very solid printer that's built to last and is more than capable of handling demanding work-loads. We think that Lexmark has done an excellent job with the C540n and highly recommend it as one of the best value options available.
It's important to state up front that in designing the C540n, Lexmark hasn't focused on creating a pretty product, instead prioritising durability and functionality. The C540n is meant for a high volume work rate and this has been put to the forefront.
The C540n has dimensions of 424 mm (width) x 400 mm (depth) x 292 mm (height), which makes it fairly compact for a laser printer. This is really good news as laser printers are often lambasted for taking up too much surface space and the C540n can easily be stored in a corner without taking up too much room, or even under a desk for further space saving. It's finished in grey, which doesn't look stunning, but does reflect the C540n's uncomplicated and dedicated approach to its primary function of high volume printing.
Paper is easily inserted into the 250 sheet paper tray which slides out easily from the bottom of the front of the printer. This should provide customers using the C540n in a small business environment or working from home with more than enough paper space, but there is room for (at extra cost) an additional 600 sheet draw to be added at a later date (this also adds a substantial amount of height to the printer). There's also a manual paper feeder on the front of the standard paper draw that lets you load different types of paper one sheet at a time for specific uses (e.g. printing labels).
The C540n's control panel is easily accessible at the front of the device and is clearly labelled for ease of use. A small LED display is of vital importance, informing you of the printer's status, how far through a printing job it is and the nature of an error should one crop up. A clearly marked button calls up the printer's menu options, whilst arrow controls allow easy navigation of the menus. There's also a large, red 'stop' button that allows you to instantly end all printer activity should you need to.
Lexmark hasn't filled the C540n with superfluous special features, with the main emphasis on achieving the highest quality printing possible. After all, printing is what this device is supposed to do and it does so excellently. One of the best things about the C540n is that it runs on a single-pass engine. This is quite important as it means that regardless of whether you're printing text or colour pictures, the sheets of paper being used only need to pass through the printer once. This saves a lot of time without any compromise on printing quality and is one of the major appeals of the C540n.
One feature of the C540n that is impressive is its super-fast printing speeds. The black and white printing speed runs at 20 pages per minute, but it is the colour that's really eye catching. Ordinarily colour printing takes longer than black and white, but the C540n can churn it out at an identical 20 pages per minute, only slowing marginally for graphically demanding pictures. Even some of the C540n's far pricier competitors don't achieve speeds this rapid with black and white as well as colour printing, so to get performance like this at such good value is very welcome indeed.
Working at such high speeds you may worry that the C540n's printing performance suffers as a consequence, but pleasingly that's not the case, with high quality results delivered consistently. Text documents look professional and elegant, far exceeding the quality offered by many of the C540n's rival value printers. Photo printing is also excellent, with colours accurately reproduced, as well as astonishing depth and detail. Once again, the C540n's printing performance for photos is amongst the best we've seen from a printer in this price range and it's particularly impressive for a value laser printer. Another great feature is that although laser printer cartridges are expensive on initial purchase, they last much longer than standard (inkjet) cartridges and Lexmark's 'ColourSaver' technology only allows the minimum ink necessary to be used to achieve optimal printing results. This is good news as it means you won't have to replace the cartridges often, saving you money in the long-run.
Another great feature is the ability to print content from a USB memory drive without having to access it on a computer first. Instead you can simply connect the USB drive directly to the C540n via its built in USB port and use the printer's display to choose the content that you want to print. This saves loads of time and is especially useful if you're running late and don't have time to wait for your computer to boot up.
In addition to the environmentally friendly long-lasting ink cartridges, Lexmark has designed the C540n to run as energy efficiently as possible. 'Eco mode' can easily be activated from the C540n's settings menu on its control pad. Turning on this setting lets the printer run more efficiently by automatically saving power after a minute of inactivity. Further energy savings are made by the C540n's motors not starting until a task is ready to print. There may be a slight pause at the beginning of a new printing job with this setting active, but it's worthwhile for the additional energy savings you'll make. Similarly, the C540n's already quiet 47 decibel noise emission can also be reduced for increased energy efficiency. Simply turn on 'quiet mode' and the printers fans run at a reduced speed for added eco friendliness. We wouldn't recommend using this mode at all times as the C540n is quiet already, but it's still a nice option to have to reduce your carbon footprint.
The Lexmark C540n is a superb laser printer that offers results far above what you'd expect from its price tag. The single-pass engine provides speedy results of 20 pages per minute for black and white documents, as well as only marginally slower speeds for printing complex colour photos. The C540n's 250 sheet paper tray equips it ideally for larger printing jobs which, coupled with the printers' impressive speed, makes it an ideal choice for smaller businesses or even anyone who prints a lot at home. It's only made better by the fact that you can enjoy the C540n's impeccable speed and performance without worrying about its impact on the environment thanks to Lexmark's environmentally friendly 'eco mode'.
If you need a printer that dispenses with frills and fancy features in favour of work-horse like performance and high quality printing results, then the C540n could be for you. It's not the best looking printer out and it doesn't have built in Wi-Fi, but when that's all that can be held against it, it looks like a steal at this price. We thoroughly recommend the Lexmark C540n, it delivers consistently impressive results and should provide years of reliable service.
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