Hewlett-Packard’s entrance into the wide-format inkjet printer market has been lackluster at best. Their HP Officejet Pro K8600 received unfavorable reviews from most customers, lacks many of the features we’ve come to expect in these large printers, will not print documents larger than 13 x 19” and is painfully difficult to use. Despite its flaws, it is still a respectably functional wide-format inkjet printer. Its print quality is high and it is backed by the most thorough and courteous customer support in the industry. This device will serve you well, but not as well as some of our top rated printers.
The optimized DPI for the HP Officejet Pro K8600 is 4800 x 1200, which is the lowest available on our lineup. This is still quite a bit ahead of comparable laser printers and comparable with photo-quality printers, however. The advertised print speed of this model is 13 pages per minute (ppm) though several users have reported a much slower run speed after brief use.
The HP line of wide-format inkjet printers is the only type we were able to find that offered interfacing options beyond the standard USB cable. This model is able to connect to a computer or network via an Ethernet cable in addition to its USB capabilities. It does not, however, offer additional features like CD and DVD printing, and it does not accept paper sizes larger than 13 x 19”. Some users have even reported that this size is not compatible without extensive configuration of the printer.
The largest complaint of users who have purchased this large printer is its stunning lack of usability. While it produces high-quality prints and is relatively economical when it comes to ink usage, it will occasionally “get lost” when it begins a print job and cease printing at random intervals. It will sometimes grab several sheets of paper for a single print job or the print head will fail before you’ve even used up the first batch of ink cartridges. The laundry list of difficulties with this printer is extensive and many users claim that the print quality is not worth the difficulties experienced when operating the device.
The shining high point of this printer is the exceptional customer service that backs it. HP’s website is full of helpful tools to aid you in your quest to set up this exceptionally temperamental printer. You can download the necessary drivers via a link displayed at the top of the product description page, you can view user reviews of the product and see its overall rating, you can view their online knowledgebase and FAQs section and you can even sign up for an extended warranty from the accessories page.
If you need additional help answering a question, HP’s customer support representatives are available via phone, email or live chat. If you allow your browser to rest on the website for a short time, a window will pop up inquiring if you’d like to chat with a representative. This proactive approach to customer service impressed us.
The HP Officejet Pro K8600 is decidedly below-average in its usability, but it still provides a decent set of features and an impressive display of customer service. However, even with its few redeeming characteristics, it still cannot compete with our top ranked wide-format inkjet printers, which offer more features, a higher print quality and vastly superior ease of use.