Published on June 21st, 2014 | by Greg0
HP’s Officejet Pro 8630: A Multi-Function SMB Hero
Printers, copiers, and scanners are like the trio of telephones, portable game consoles, and pagers- it’s actually a pretty natural idea when they are combined into one device. Multi-function or all-in-one models come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some being built for photographers and others for those who need to save space at home. Some opt for laser, which offers various advantages and disadvantages over the more popular inkjets technology, like today’s model.
The HP Officejet Pro 8630 offers just about every feature that we’ve even seen on a printer, and then some. It’s one of the larger ones we’ve seen as well, but it’s aimed not at the general consumer but at small offices. And with a high-capacity paper tray that can fit up to 500 sheets and easy sharing functions, we can imagine it fitting in nicely for medium-sized organizations as well, no matter the volume, with a duty cycle rating of 30,000 pages a month!
Like most multi-function printers, the 8630 offers an automated feeder, or ADF, as well as fax capability and both wired/wireless internet connectivity with Apple AirPrint compatibility. We set up on a network, shared across multiple devices and computers, running OSX and Windows 7/8, but also testing out printing through Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. HP offers free custom apps for both mobile operating systems, as well as Blackberry. You can easily print duplex but more unusually can scan duplex as well, and the large touchscreen makes controls intuitive and right at your fingerprints. Unlike most printers, the flatbed scanner is large enough to fit legal-size documents, ideal for architects or in area that regularly deal with oversize paper. And what’s really new- too new even for us to really test- is the NFC Touch-to-Print function, part of a new standard that will be rolling out across devices from many companies, including Xerox, Canon, Samsung, and Epson. It’s fairly limited at the moment, but we expect support to grow.
There is a USB port that you can print from, but a business-focused model like this one lacks memory card readers. On a similar note, photographic reproduction was fair- competitive with mid-range inkets and perfectly acceptable for smaller prints but not quite good enough for photographers. This is a perfect machine for churning through, and blasting out, documents though- we saw speeds of up to 30 ppm on draft quality, and about 15 on color/normal settings. We had no issues with jams even with huge print or scan jobs, unlike many smaller units, and the dual paper trays were handy. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8630 is certainly large, but is the right guy to take charge of your printing and scanning needs as well as servicing as a very capable copier. Available now, expect to spend around $300, in stores and online.