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Hands-on review: HP OfficeJet Pro 8720

11 May 2016

Small businesses will enjoy the speed, function and reliability of the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 all-in-one inkjet printer, as its function and reliability complement its wireless copy, scan (and fax for those who still use it). Send scanned documents to email or print direct from your mobile device via NFC. The 4.3" touch control panel at the front of the printer provides all settings and easy connection features right at your fingertips. In an office environment, this printer isn't whisper-quiet but it does exactly what it should do, how you want to do it.

The printer's four HP thermal inkjet cartridges produce high-resolution black documents at 24 pages per minute (ppm), while its colour production is a little slower at 20ppm. Using the draft print setting, these speeds are considerably faster. Wireless, USB and ethernet ports around the printer enable more efficient connection and printing. You don't need to be signed into the company network to print - just connect straight to the printer's wifi network, USB or connect NFC printing from your mobile device.


One of the ultimate tests put to any printer is finding out how it handles large, colour-rich and high-quality printouts. This printer is not a high-grade, professional photo-quality printer so it’s not surprising that the resulting printout suffered from streaking and vertical lines down the page. This printer is an inkjet that will give you great business documents and at-home printing: your graphs, reports and essays will come out looking clear and easily presentable in professional documents.

Double-sided printing is an option that may save you paper in the long run. You won't even be reloading paper often, thanks to the large 500-sheet main tray and extra 250-sheet tray. HP mentions the printer's capability to print 30,000 pages per month for up to five users, making it seemingly fit for a high-volume workplace. It’s not clear whether its cartridges are more efficient than a laser printer in the long run but it’s something to consider.

Fax, scan and copy

Fax capability has been phased out of many newer models so it’s great that HP has seen fit to provide one for businesses (and there are still a few) that rely on this functionality. The printer takes an average 4 seconds to process a document. At its best resolution of 200dpi, faxed documents will be easily readable for both sender and receiver.

The flatbed scanner takes up to A4 documents. The scan resolution has a max of 1200dpi. Scans can be saved in a variety of formats, including email and the cloud. The copier can resize documents from 25% to 400% but it bears repeating that there’s only an A4 output tray so its use as a document enlarger is somewhat lost if you want to enlarge anything bigger than A4.

HP Printer Assistant 

HP's Printer Assistant software provides an estimated ink level reading for each cartridge, as well as easy access to some of the printer's more advanced settings such as right-left binding, print quality and print type.

You can also control these via the printer's control panel, but the more advanced settings are in the software itself and are much easier to handle on a computer rather than on the printer's small touch screen. These settings can be tailored right down to the level of cartridge protection which prevents the cartridges from being used in another printer - handy if your co-workers have a habit of sharing cartridges between compatible machines.

If you run a small business or simply need an accessible backup printer, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 inkjet will be a faithful companion. Expect reliable prints that help you navigate your paper trail with ease.

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