HP OfficeJet K80: The Cadillac of all-in-one office machines

If you're looking for a fax, scanner, copier, and printer, you don't have to buy four peripherals. Consider the HP OfficeJet K80. Read Jason Smith's article and learn why he says it's the Cadillac of all-in-one devices.

Take a look around your office (at home or at work). What do you see? A scanner? A copier? A printer? A fax machine? How about color? Do you need a bigger office to hold all of your goodies? How much did all of that cost you?

These are all questions you should ponder before taking a look at HP’s new OfficeJet K80. It is one of the elite all-in-one office machines that saves space, time, and money.

It takes only 30 minutes (give or take a few depending on your processor speed) to take your K80 out of the box, install the software, and make your first color copy or send your first fax. The process is rather simple, and it seems like no time at all has passed before you are scanning images or printing material from your computer.

Although the installation process is simple, it is not typical of your regular printer or scanner. According to the easy-to-follow chart located in the box, you must first install the software before hooking up the machine to your computer.

The installation CD will copy the necessary files to your hard drive and then shut down your computer. Before turning it back on, you must have the machine up and ready—which includes all of the following steps:
  • ·        Unpacking the machine
  • ·        Hooking it up
  • ·        Turning it on
  • ·        Installing the ink cartridges
  • ·        Selecting your country and language from the front panel of the machine
  • ·        Inserting paper
  • ·        Printing an alignment test page

Only when all of those steps have been completed is it safe to turn the computer back on.

Once the computer starts up, Windows will configure the hardware and software. You will then be stepped through the fax setup process. Once you see the dialog box confirming you’ve correctly installed and configured the device, you’ve finished with the HP OfficeJet K80 installation.
The paper tray will hold 150 sheets of paper, 22 envelopes, 45 sheets of card stock, 35 transparencies, or banner paper.
This machine’s minimum system requirements include a Pentium 200-MHz processor running Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, or NT Workstation 4.0 (with Service Pack 3 or higher). You also must have 32 MB of RAM (64 MB for Windows 2000) and 165 MB of hard drive space (add 50 MB for full-color scanning).
I installed this OfficeJet on a machine with a Pentium 233-MHz processor running Windows 98 SE with 128 MB of RAM and 2 gigs of free hard drive space. The K80 runs smoothly on that system.
An interesting advantage to the OfficeJet K80 is that you can hook the machine up to your PC with either an IEEE parallel cable (standard printer cable) or a USB cable. There are connections for both on the back of the machine.

If you need a powerful machine, such as the K80, to run on a network, just pick up the HP JetDirect 170x. The JetDirect Print Server allows you to print, scan, copy, and fax from any computer on the network.

This machine acts as your printer. It uses HP’s enhanced color-layering technology to print photo-quality pages. The printer side to this machine will print up to 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) for black text, or up to 2400 x 1200 dpi on photo paper. It prints up to 12 pages per minute (ppm) for black printouts and 10 ppm for color printouts.

This machine acts as a full-featured, stand-alone fax machine (with color faxing capabilities). It can be operated from two locations. You can use the front panel on the machine or the simple software that comes with the K80.

The fax memory of this machine is 90 pages. You can set up to 100 speed dials in memory. There’s also an automatic redial.

Color is not an issue for faxing, either. If the entity sending you a fax possesses color fax capability, the K80 has the ability to receive those faxes.

You can create black-and-white or color copies using this machine. The copy machine aspect of the K80 is complete with lightening and darkening features, and you can enlarge or reduce the size of the original copy (from 25 percent up to 400 percent).

You can run up to 99 copies from the original at one time and spit them out at a rate of up to 12 copies per minute (cpm) black and 8 cpm color. Separate “black” and “color” copy buttons are on the front panel of the machine. They let you perform copying tasks without requiring the use of an attached computer.
If you are going to make color copies of pictures, be sure to select Best for the Quality option located on the front panel. Printing color copies onto photo paper (using the Best option) with this machine is unbelievable! You may find it difficult to tell which is a copy and which is the original photo.
Even if multiple print jobs are queued up and spooling, you can insert a document to be copied. After the copy is made, the next print job starts to print.

The K80’s scanning features meet every expectation you might have for a stand-alone scanner. It scans at 600 x 1200 dpi (optical scanning) with 36-bit color or 8-bit (256-level) grayscale.

You can use the HP K80 software to scan images. Alternatively, you can insert a document and press the Scan button on the machine’s front panel to send the image directly to your PC.

An added feature of the K80’s scanning capability is that you can scan text documents and edit them in your word processor. That can be a handy feature.
I scanned a full-text document and chose Editable Text. Microsoft Word 2000 was launched, and the document appeared in front of me as a text document (not an image). I was able to edit everything about the document, and the scanner didn’t miss a single character (despite the fact that the document I scanned was over five years old).
Additional scanning abilities come into play if the HP K80 is set up on a network using a JetDirect Print Server. If it is, you can insert a document, scan it, and while standing at the machine, send it to another system using the Scan To button.

Another feature of this machine is its ability to send e-mail messages without the use of the PC to which it is attached. It can also print incoming e-mail messages.

This option is possible thanks to HP’s NetDirect feature. You will receive instructions on how to set up this feature after you fax your registration form (included with the machine) to HP.

The HP K80 OfficeJet costs $499 (on HP’s Web site). If you have an office full of near-obsolete machines, then condensing space and obtaining one machine that does the work of several might be in your best interest.

If have not yet purchased the office equipment needed to run any home or business office, then the HP OfficeJetK80 is also for you. With a one-year warranty and HP Customer Care, you should be in good shape.
The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.

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