If you are looking for a printer that is capable of printing everything from documents, email and web pages to photos and can copy and scan too, the HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer will fit the bill without breaking the bank.
I have this printer in my office and love it. It’s nothing fancy but it is a little workhorse and suites my needs just fine.
The HP Envy 4520 is a multifunction inkjet printer. I say multifunction instead of all in one because it does not have fax capabilities. Of course with online fax services available that’s not really a big issue. But what it does do, it does very well.
The main thing you need a printer to do is print. And depending on what you want to print determines whether or not you’ll like this printer. It does great with documents. Printing at a rate of 9.5 ppm for black and white is pretty good for me. I’m using it to print basic documents most of the time and that usually works out just fine.
It prints color documents at a rate of 6.8 ppm. Color documents print well. It can do borderless pictures too. I have noticed lines in the colors when printing photos on the default setting so make sure you adjust the settings to best quality when printing images.
It prints several sizes and weights of paper; I have a medium sized happy planner which is 7”x9 ¼” (not a default choice for the printer) and I like to print my own planner pages on cover stock paper. With the proper settings adjusted it prints those pages even in duplex just fine.
Copying & Scanning
The HP Envy 4520 doesn’t have an auto document feeder for scanning. You’ll have to scan pages one at a time by lifting the lid and placing the paper on the glass. If you don’t have a lot of copying/scanning to do it’s not a problem. On the plus side, that makes the printer a little bit smaller which is great for a home office.
The copies come out clear. You can read the small letters on the page and lines appear smooth. But if you compare your copy to the original you can see a small difference in the clarity.
Scanned images on the computer are clear as well, in fact, my OCR software can detect the text easily. If you run OCR on your scanned documents before you save them they will be searchable on your computer, and with pdf software you can edit them and create different versions.
It uses HP 63 Black and HP 63 Tri-Color ink cartridges. These cartridges are comparably priced with other ink cartridges. Print yield for the average size cartridges are 190 pages for black and 165 pages for tri-color. The HP 63 XL versions yield 480 black and 330 tri-color. So which should you choose? That depends on how often you print. The ink in inkjet printers have a tendency to dry up if you don’t use them often. So if you don’t print on at least a weekly basis, you’re probably not going to get the full page yield from your ink cartridges. So your best choice would be the average cartridges vs the XL because you’ll be losing less page yield.
HP Instant Ink
HP now offers a service with some of their printers that will send you ink as needed for a monthly fee. The printer connects with HP wirelessly and alerts them when ink is getting to a certain level and they automatically mail you out replacement cartridges.
I’ve heard different opinions on this service. Some like it, some don’t. As for me, I like it. I’m notorious for realizing I need ink right in the middle of a project. In theory, I should have a backup cartridge all the time, but like I said, in theory. Reality is that it usually doesn’t happen. So letting HP do that for me has saved me time and unnecessary trips to the office supply store.
Price wise it works out better for me too. I don’t know that it’s actually 50% like they say it can be but I know that can vary based on usage. There are different plans to choose. I went with the lowest one and haven’t had any problems with it.
The Envy 4520 connects wirelessly with an 802.11b/g/n connection to your router. Mobile printing capabilities allow you to connect and print from basically any wireless device. I have printed from my phone, my laptop, and my desktop computer all with ease. This is also how HP keeps the printer’s software up to date and detects ink usage if you opted for the HP Instant Ink service.
Setup is a breeze. Just follow the included quick start guide and you’ll be good to go.
The HP Envy 4520 measures roughly 5 inches high by 17 ½ inches wide by 15 inches deep which fits neatly on most any shelf or desk with room to easily open the copy lid. It only weighs about 14 pounds.
The 100-sheet input tray pulls out from the bottom of the printer and has adjustable sliders to feed different sizes of paper through straight. It has guidelines for some of the popular media sizes like letter, A4, and envelopes.
When you print, a little bar extends above the input tray to hold your printed pages. After you’re done you can just tuck it back in while not in use.
It’s got pretty good reviews rating an impressive 4 out of 5 stars.
On the plus side, people who own this printer have commented that it is ENERGY STAR power saving, easy to set up, has very good print quality, and the monitoring it does of itself is very customizable.
On the negative side, people who own this printer have commented that the software comes with a lot of bloat ware, that the monitoring can be intrusive if you don’t adjust the settings, and that it tends to jam particularly when printing envelopes.
The HP ENVY 4520 All-in-One Printer is a reasonably priced printer. With a little smart shopping you can pick one up for under $75. Not bad for a little workhorse like this.
Check the current price on Amazon or at Walmart.
The HP ENVY 4520 All-in-One Printer is a good choice for a small office, home office, or personal use. Here’s a quick recap of some of the most appealing features:
- Print, copy, scan, photo, wireless
- Print speed ISO: Up to 9.5 ppm (black), up to 6.8 ppm (color)
- Auto duplex printing; Scan to email; Borderless printing
- Comes with HP Instant Ink Ready Cartridges
These are some nice features for such a reasonably priced and compact printer. Just as a reminder when you buy any printer, it will include the power cord of course but they usually don’t come with the USB connection cable so if you don’t already have one you can pick one up here.