HP is known for making computers, but they also manufacture printers. The HP Envy 4500 All in One Series printer is one of those. I referred to it as an MFC in the title because MFC is typically recognized as Multi-Function Center. The printer is 15lbs (package weight). It supports Wifi-N (rather than AC), and has a USB port which it also came with a cable. The MFC can handle copy, print, and scanning. Being an inkjet printer, it can also support photo printing. The printer uses the HP 61 series ink cartridges which I haven’t yet viewed the price of them, but as with all ink cartridges, I expect that I will be raped with the prices. The packaging also comes with a CD which wasn’t used, nor should a CD be needed. Black Print Speeds is 8.8ppm and I will expect half that for color. There is only paper tray, so there will be no loading of different paper sizes easily. Not only does the standard network printer capabilities are supported, but so is Air Print, Cloud Print, and ePrint. The tray handles up to 100 pages with a 30 sheet output. There doesn’t seem to be any native Linux Support.
I bought this printer because I have found myself needing to print documents. Beforehand, I would copy the .pdf files to a dedicated thumb drive, take a bus to Downtown, walk to the FedEx Office, make my prints, walk to the bus stop, wait 45 minutes, and get on the bus home. If I forgot to print anything, I would then cuss at myself. However, while there were cheaper printers, I wanted one that would support Cloud Print.
Cloud Print is a protocol developed by Google that would allow compliant printers to be able to receive print commands from any authenticated user no matter where just as if it was a network printer. Obviously, as being developed by Google, this authentication is your Google ID, but nonetheless, it is a system. I could in turn for example give my brother authentication rights. Now, when he is using a resource supporting Cloud Print, he could simply just print, and my printer will print the document.
The printer seems to perform quickly, and at least on the LAN side – reliably. The printer was cheaper when purchased through Walmart than at HP’s Web Site. Also, I was able to pick up the printer on the same day, and while the Walmart Associates weren’t as quick as they should have been, this had nothing to do with the printer.
The printer also seem to have come with a full cartridge which is a welcomed change from when I last bought a printer that had a ¼ cartridge. During the set up process, I received a claim code which is actually the UID of the printer’s ePrint Address. I simply signed up for a HP Connected Account, and enter the UID. At this time my printer was “connected”.
While HP did a good job of minimizing waste packaging, they could have done better. Included in the package was a USB cable which was unnecessary. Most people will likely agree as most people with newer printers are probably using them as network printers. It would have made more sense to replace that USB port with an RJ45 port. Next is the CD. Most people are likely to have an Internet connection and could have simply downloaded the latest version of the software for that OS right from the web. Better yet, this printer supports cloud print. One should just have to download Cloud Print Drivers, and use the printer’s screen to get that unique ID, and get connected that way. I simply shouldn’t have to download, install and mess with bulky software to just set up and use the printer.
Within a few hours of starting the printer, it refused to connect with HP’s servers. I had followed HP’s support options, and nothing. After giving up for the night, and conceding that I would have to call HP the next day, everything worked which led me to believe it was a server side problem. If HP has my email address (to register to set up ePrint), they should have told me that Internet capabilities wouldn’t be running due to down server. Would that have been too much to ask?
Most of the negative is more of the legacy structured thinking that seems prevalent. I am treating the connectivity issues as the unlikely misfortunes of timing. And hopefully with Cloud Print set up, I won’t need to go through HP Connected restarting if it does happen again. So far, initial impression on the printer is good. Yes, I am sure there are better, but there are definitely worse too.