I’m actually getting a little bit sick of writing about HP’s Airprint printers because most of them are poor in design, quality and are plagued with software issues – the same is true of the Officejet Pro 8500A.
Before I tell you about what’s ‘good’ about it, including its core functions, let me tell you why I wouldn’t buy this junk. To start with there are numerous issues with regards to both software and hardware. When I’m talking about software I’m referring to driver issues and installation issues. These problems make it difficult or sometimes impossible for your device to even be located by the printer. They require a substantial amount of time and effort to find solutions which may or may not exist. Generally after a long time I’d say around 65% of people can solve software problems relating to the operating systems of the devices which require wireless printing. The rest of the time there are no solutions and so either the device cannot be found using the wireless access (sometimes not even with wires) or it will be sporadic at best.
If you think it’s going to be an idiot proof install like most of Apple’s devices you’re wrong because this isn’t an Apple device. It’s an HP printer, and as someone who writes and learns about printer for a living let me just tell you know that what was once a great printing company has gone downhill significantly since Carly Fiorina took over. Some magazines put her in the bottom 20 CEOs of all times and she was eventually fired from HP’s board of directors as chief executive officer for her incompetence which resulted in controversial decisions leading to failure after failure and the breaking of her good name, Hewlett-Packard’s name and most importantly the quality of HP’s printers. This isn’t an issue with HP AirPrint printers being an odd bad product batch, they’re very much inline with many of HP’s printers. It’s far more a case most of their printers being of poor quality and you being ‘lucky’ to get a good one. Sorry, I’ve gotten off track.
The software issues cause several main problems and I’ll run over them concisely. To start with you may not be able to find your wireless device at all. If you can, it may be sporadic in its connection (it pay print half of your documents, wait 30 minutes and print the rest). If you have problems they may be easy to solve by finding and installing new drivers, or it’s a process that could take many hours of support line talk with HP. You will be made to jump through hoops, waste lots of ink, waste your time and possibly just be sent a refurbished device.
The hardware problems I’ve encountered are it having devastatingly slow printing speeds, we’re talking about a minute or so for a single sheet of paper – now clearly something’s going wrong here. The paper is not always detected in the paper tray which causes a lot of hassle and if you’ve got faxes coming in and they can’t print that’s obviously very detrimental to your business. This really is a printer to stay away from and the people who it works for are simply those who got lucky. They had the device with the operating system and firmware which didn’t have kinks in, whereas the chances are HP hasn’t fully developed the software required for your specific device.
You really need to stay away from this one, it’s as bad as the others and those are just terrible. The only good things about this printer are its ePrint and AirPrint and they’re such a stress and hassle to get working at all, and if you do get it working there’s a good chance your ability to utilize them will be sporadic. They’re just trash.
I don’t feel like I even want to write down the specifications because I’m so disenfranchised with HP at the moment for its generally very poor HP AirPrint models but I feel I should tell you anyway.
Its core specifications are quite good, its black printing resolution is 1200 x 1200 dpi at 35 pages per minute. Its color printing is 4800 x 1200 dpi which allows you to print of glossy color photographs in high detail, its color printing speeds are 34ppm. It features borderless printing which is great for photographs, and overall its resolutions are pretty good. Not the best of course, but they’re decent enough for printing pretty much everything you could want. Its printing speeds are decent, again not the best and they don’t touch laser printers but it is an inkjet after all. It does have an automatic document feeder for printing lots of work out, and it has automatic duplex printing too meaning you don’t have to turn over the paper if you want both sides to be printed on.
It’s trash, it’s stressful, it will cause you problems, it’s not easy to install and use for a minority – but a large minority. It flat out just may not work with your devices, HP customer service is a joke and won’t help you, they’ll send you a refurbished device at most. You’re just setting yourself up for a lot of pain and suffering if you go for this printer. Not Recommended. At all.