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Looking to replace an HP 8600 OfficeJet Pro All-in-One Printer

Posted on 2014-12-31
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Last Modified: 2015-01-06
Background:
I purchased an 8600 Officejet All-in-One Printer about a year and a half ago. Research suggested it would fit my needs:

- Features: Print | Copy | Scan | Fax (Optional)
- Usage: moderate black and white copying/printing, occasional scanning, color prints and/or photos.
- Windows 7 compatible

At the time, the ratings were good. Estimated cost per month was reasonable. Unfortunately, the ratings did not factor in extra ink usage/wasted for "printer maintenance".  (I expected a little, but not this much). Also, despite what the manual says, I didn't find any way to print with black ink ONLY.  It's used for b/w about 90% of the time. However, the 8600 still seems to blow through color cartridges, like there's no tomorrow. If any one of the individual color cartridges is empty, it won't print - at all.  The estimated color level sensors are poor. For example, the last time a color cartridge ie "Y" was empty, the printer reported the other two were at ~20% and 30%. As soon as I replaced the empty one, the printer suddenly reports the other two are empty. I know every printer has pros/cons, but ... geez.

Question:
Anyway, I'm now looking around for another printer. Suffice it to say - NOT another HP ;-)  Any recommendations and/or experiences from folks that have had an HP 8600 series?

- Was your experience with 8600 better/worse/same?
- If you switched, what brand/model did you switch to?
- Does it support printing with black ink only?
- Was your new printer better/worse in terms of ink usage and quality?
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Question by:_agx_
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40525951
I don't know if you have a warranty on this printer beyond one year. It sound defective.

I put my HP 8610 into service June 1 2014 (7 months ago). I just changed the starter colour cartridges that came with the machine the other day. I replaced the black starter cartridge a couple of months ago.

I have my own and several at clients. I got 2 year warranty on all of them.

Have you asked about getting it serviced?
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by:_agx_
ID: 40525968
Interesting. Does it allow printing when the color cartridge(s) are empty?

No, I don't have an extended warranty on it. I did some searching of the HP forums and found a bunch of threads suggesting this is not a singular experience with 8600 ;-) So I'm not sure if it's truly a defect or just by design.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40525973
No. It knows when cartridges are installed and (so far as I know) it won't allow printing until cartridges are in place. You can try, but you might do further damage.

I think your printer must be defective. I have several of these around and a couple are into their second year.
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by:_agx_
ID: 40526270
Sorry, I got pulled away.

Are your other printers 8600's or a different model? (This was my 1st HP printer in a long while).

Honestly, after reading a number of threads on the HP forums reporting one or more of these issues with the 8600, I'm not sure it's a problem w/this specific printer. Several made a point of mentioning it always uses some color ink, even when printing black and white, which may be at least partly responsible for the higher color ink consumption.  Also, recent issues of Consumer's ranked this series as having a higher ink usage for "maintenance" tasks in comparison to other printers like Brothers. Those things combined make me wonder if it's really a single bad apple or a bad batch in general.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 167 total points
ID: 40526276
My printer is an HP8610 and another is an HP8600 and the others are HP8620 machines. I had an HP8500 myself before that. So it could have been from a (small) bad batch (not all of that model type) or a bad apple.
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by:nobus
ID: 40526409
i can only suggest not to use an inkjet printer
try a color laser printer -  it costs more to buy, but less in use

i have a laserjet Pro 200 color - and like it
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by:Herman D'Hondt
ID: 40526441
Unless photo quality is important, I always recommend lasers instead of inkjet. It saves money, time and hassles. I use a Fuji Xerox CM305DF. It's a great printer: fast (24 ppm), cheap to use (especially with 3rd party cartridges - I pay around AUD100 for a set of 4 colours, rated at 3000 pages each) and it will print black when colour cartridges are empty. Duplexing and network i/f are standard.

If you can't get the CM305DF in your area, the Xerox equivalent is the WorkCentre 6505.
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by:_agx_
ID: 40530990
Thanks for the responses guys. I missed the notifications ...

@John Hurst - In terms of ink usage, how do find the 8610/20 compare versus your HP8500? Better, worse, no change? Also, do you remember if the 8500 allowed printing w/black ink only?

@nobus - How long have you had it? What's your experience with actual toner usage versus the reported yield ie pages per cartridge? Any cons/dislikes?

@hdhondt - Thanks for the links. I'll take a look at those tomorrow. A few similar questions about the Fuji: How long have you had it? Does it live up to the reported pages per cartridge (or at least close to it)?
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 40531028
i have it almost a year: but i don't use it very much (that was the reason for buying it in the first place: ink dried up every time i needed to print)
but no dislikes, or new toner yet
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Herman D'Hondt earned 167 total points
ID: 40531125
I've had it for over 2 years, without any problems. I think it comes close to the pages/cartridge spec, but I'm not sure. The problem is that my wife tends to print many pages with very high coverage, which makes it impossible to do any realistic check. It's done over 6000 pages on about 3 sets of cartridges.

My third-party cartridges have given only one problem: when printing high coverage, the toner tends not to stick unless you tell the printer it's printing on at least light card stock. Unfortunately that means my wife can't duplex her prints. For normal printing the cartridges are fine. Xerox did send out a tech to replace the fuser, but that did not improve the problem and just made it clear it's caused by the toners.

The funny thing is that the problem only showed up with the 3rd set of cartridges, as there is a large amount of toner in the pipes between the cartridges and the drum. This means it is pointless to pay the Xerox price (about 3 times higher), as I'd have to wait a few thousand pages for the problem to fix itself. I've just explained to my wife how to select light card for her prints.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40531225
In terms of ink usage, how do find the 8610/20 compare versus your HP8500?  

The HP8610 uses the same or less ink as the HP8500 and is better all around.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40531251
just thought of a "drawback" on my printer : for duplex, it does need 2 runs from 2 paper drawers (second has to be bought)
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 167 total points
ID: 40531328
HP8610 will print double sided as it comes out of the box. No added tray needed. The duplex feature is built in.
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by:_agx_
ID: 40533784
True. I thought the built-in duplexing was a nice extra when I first researched the 8600.

Thanks for the feedback guys. That gives me some other points to consider in looking at replacement printers.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40533841
@_agx_  - You are very welcome and I was happy to assist.
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