Need a multifunction printer for a busy home/small office? HP's OfficeJet Pro 8720 will do the job – without breaking the bank.
HP's OfficeJet Pro 8720 is one of the biggest A4 inkjet multifunction printers (MFPs) we've reviewed. That's largely down to an unusual printer design where paper is ejected away from you into a 150-sheet tray (most inkjets print towards you). The top portion also contains a flatbed scanner with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF).
But that allows the OfficeJet Pro 8720 to offer the features needed by a busy small office, with HP claiming a4 black print speeds of up to 24 pages per minute (ppm), and 20ppm for colour. The paper tray holds 250-sheets, but if you need to expand you can add another paper tray for a 500-page total. The OfficeJet Pro 8720 also supports wired and wireless networking, and a USB host port for walk-up print and scan jobs.
Both printer and scanner offer automatic duplexing, so you can print, scan, copy or fax double-sided documents. Also, there's a big colour touchscreen for control, and near field communication (NFC) support for quick and easy pairing with mobile devices.
The 8720's touchscreen is intuitive, but not as responsive as HP's' best. We were disappointed to find a few simple office features were missing: there's no option to secure a print job, and from an inserted USB stick you can only print photos, not PDF or other document files. It's also a shame to find no bypass feed for special media.
These relatively minor grumbles aside, there's a lot to like about the OfficeJet Pro 8720. It's a particularly fast printer, delivering our black text test at 21.4 pages per minute (ppm), and at draft quality reaching 25.4ppm – faster than HP's claimed speed.
Colour prints were impressively fast, too: its 8.6ppm on our graphics-heavy test is well above average. Fortunately, this speed doesn't come at the cost of quality: black text was crisp and dark, and graphics were strong and free of obvious grain or streaking – although we did spot a small amount of bleed through on our 80gsm test paper.
Photocopy quality and speeds were also very good, with single copies taking about 14 seconds, and a 10-page mono copy just 65 seconds. The same job in colour needed 90 seconds, which is still quite quick.
Scan performance was a datagraph less impressive: while a 300 dots-per-inch (dpi) A4 scan took just nine seconds, there was a 46-second wait for a 600dpi photo scan. We're not fans of HP's over-simplified TWAIN scan interface, in which 150dpi scans aren't usually available. This MFP also failed to scan at 1,200dpi unless we completed a preview first and, as usual, scans at 600dpi and above appeared to have been digitally sharpened, with no opt-out.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 isn’t perfect – it lacks secure print jobs and a bypass feed for special media, and offers limited printing options from USB. However, with plenty of other features, good-quality printing and photocopying, and excellent print speeds, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 is a solid all-rounder.
It's helped by reasonable ink costs of about 3c per black A4 page or 13c in full colour – calculated using the 3,000-page 959XL black cartridge and 1,600-page 955XL colour ink tanks. And at $299 to buy, the OfficeJet Pro 8720 is a good-value small office inkjet MFP.