The HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 produces bright, bold black-and-white prints. See how its speed and quality compare with other low-cost office printers.
Pros: Two-sided printing; Color faxing; 100-page fax memory; Apple AirPort compatible; 150-page output tray; Eight scanning file formats
Limitations: One-year warranty included, but a two or three-year warranties costs more
The $229.99 thermal inkjet HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One printer isn't the fastest printer, but it does support Apple AirPort. Plus, it's one of the least expensive printers we evaluated. It prints up to 2,000 pages per month and has a duty cycle of 30,000 monthly pages.
Besides printing, it scans, faxes and copies documents as well. It can automatically create double-sided prints and can print envelopes and on a variety of different paper types. HP's ink cartridges are reasonably priced at $29 for black ink, and discounts on ink are available.
Print Quality & Costs
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 produced acceptable black-and-white and color prints. It rendered different fonts accurately. Excel invoices and PowerPoint presentations printed especially clearly. Scanned pages were clear, discernable, and the quality was better than the other printers we evaluated.
Color prints were similar to the other printers tested, producing good but not great colors. One drawback with this printer is that finer details, such as light and shadow differences or slight variations, just don't register on this printer like they do with the other office printers we assessed.
Image quality was mediocre, but like the other printers we tested, this printer isn't designed to produce high-quality crisp, clear images. Besides, photos and graphics may not comprise a lot of your business documents.
HP reports that the OfficeJet 8720 can print up to 24 pages per minute (ppm). In our tests, however, we recorded a below-average speed of 15 black-and-white ppm (beating the 13 ppm of the Xerox M130fw).
Also, the OfficeJet needs some time to warm up before it starts printing. Its first two 10-page test prints were 30 percent slower than subsequent prints.
The 19.7 x 17.7 x 13.4-inch HP OfficeJet 8720 does not shoot prints out onto the floor, which is refreshing since most of the printers we tested push paper past the end of the tray. The OfficeJet actually releases paper back toward the printer, so it rests comfortably in the tray, and not on the floor. This design is unique and allows you to print numerous pages, without having to babysit the printer.
The OfficeJet felt sturdier than the other office printers we looked at. However, there isn't a separate keyboard for entering fax numbers. It has two paper trays, so it's capable of holding up to 500 sheets of paper. The automatic feeder can process up to 99 pages, single-sided, and 50 pages double-sided.
The HP OfficeJet 8720 produced brighter and bolder black-and-white prints than most of the other low-priced printers we tested. This printer can print color, but not remarkably well. It fails to print delicate details such as light and shadow differences and skin tone variations like the Epson and Xerox do. However, this HP all-in-one printer is a suitable multipurpose printer that's sturdy enough to withstand moderate to heavy use by busy office personnel.