The 8500A Plus

In considering the Officejet Pro, it should be noted that the inkjet is not designed to serve a large office with heavy printing needs. With its 128MB of memory, which cannot be upgraded, and its 15,000-page monthly duty cycle, businesses with heavy printing volumes will likely want to look at higher-end laser multifunction offerings. But despite its limitations, the 8500A Plus should easily be able to handle the needs of most home office users, as well as those of small businesses that are not printing out telephone books on a daily basis.

While the 250-sheet capacity of the 8500A Plus‘ only standard paper tray should be sufficient for most users, some might be annoyed by the fact that if you want to print onto envelopes, photo paper, or any other special media, you’ll have to take out the plain paper and make adjustments to the tray’s feeder. Doing this once in a while is no big deal, of course. But those who go back and forth between different media types are going to tire of this pretty quickly. So if printing on multiple types of media is a concern, you might want to consider spending the extra $70 and opting for the 8500A Premium with its second 250-sheet tray … especially considering that HP sells the second tray as an accessory for the Plus for $80.

The 8500A Plus’ output tray, meanwhile, can hold up to 150 sheets and the automatic document feeder, as mentioned above, can hold up to 50 sheets. Given that there are much more expensive multifunction printers on the market that hold the same amounts, this is pretty impressive for a $330 printer. And equally impressive is that when we tested that ADF with jobs that went right up to that 50-page maximum, we didn’t experience a single misfeed or paper jam. Unlike our past history with many entry-level multifunctions, everything went in and came out as expected, without any unpleasant surprises.

Rounding out its features, the 8500A Plus comes with a duplexer, which is just one of its many eco-friendly features. Combined with its Energy Star certification and its claims of lower consumption of resources and energy, this makes the 8500A series the latest of a long string of environmentally friendly computer peripherals that we’ve looked at in recent months.

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