- Quiet, easy to use, the best design we've ever seen from a printer, automatic duplex reduces paper use
- Test print speeds slower than stated, colour quality isn't up to scratch for photo printing
If you're a home user with moderate printing needs, HP's Envy 100 e-All-in-One inkjet multifunction is one of the best printers designed for home use that we have tested in 2010. Its quiet operation, intuitive printing, and stylish design will make it a welcome addition to your home office. It prints documents and photos at acceptable but not high quality levels and its printing speed is a tad slow for our liking, but for a casual user it offers an good range of extra features.
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The HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One prints documents quietly and will automatically print on both sides of each page.
HP Envy 100 printer: Scanning, print speed, quality and consumables costs
Unlike an HP business printer like the HP LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw colour laser, the HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One is a printer that has had to compromise some features along the way. Quiet operation was one of HP's priorities when designing the Envy 100 e-All-in-One, but it means the print speed is slower than comparable printers as a result. Similarly, since the printer has been designed to be as compact as possible, it uses a unified tri-colour cartridge which offers inferior colour printing quality — especially for photos — when compared to a multi-cartridge model.
We tested the HP Envy 100 printer with a Apple Macbook Pro 15in notebook. Print quality is roughly on par with other mid-range home inkjet printers from 2010 like the Canon PIXMA MP495 or the HP Photosmart B109a. Text is clean and ink coverage is not as even and clear as the output from a monochrome laser printer, but we'd happily use the HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One to print assignments or important documents using its normal or high quality settings. Using the draft quality speeds up printing times significantly, but text and colour can look uneven. We wouldn't use the HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One for printing high quality photos, as even with HP photo paper it can't display the same detail and smooth colour gradients as a more expensive, dedicated photo printer.
HP's specifications state that the Envy 100 e-All-in-One printer can achieve up to 27 pages for minute for monochrome documents and 22 pages per minute for an average colour sheet. In our tests, we were only able to achieve around eight pages per minute for black text printing using our standard A4 test document. This figure isn't helped by a first page out time of over 20 seconds, which is partially due to the printer's slow motorised output tray that swivels out when the print job starts. Colour printing is similarly slow — we were able to achieve seven pages per minute over longer document printing runs. The Envy 100 e-All-in-One has automatic duplex printing, which is very impressive given its small size.
The consumables of the HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One are reasonably priced. The HP 60 black and HP 60 tri-colour cartridges are rated at 200 and 165 pages respectively, and will cost you $28 or $31 if you buy them for through HP reseller Dick Smith. This translates into a cost of 14c per monochrome A4 page and 18.7c per tri-colour page. Extra large cartridges are also available, and will slightly lower the printer's running costs.
Using the HP Envy 100 printer for scanning tasks produces clear and detailed images thanks to the 4800x1200dpi scanner. Like printing, scanning is a quiet task. The flatbed scanner lid closes smoothly and softly, but it does not have articulating hinges to fit bulkier objects like large books underneath the lid.
HP Envy 100 printer: environmental policy and conclusion
HP runs a number of environmental initiatives including recycling of empty ink cartridges. The company's environmental policy claims that it aims to minimise its products' energy consumption to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with yearly goals and updated progress reports.
The HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One printer is very well designed for use in the home. It is not fast and it doesn't produce high quality photo prints, but for printing text and colour documents it is acceptable. It is very stylish, quiet and compact — three attributes we think are important for home use. We probably wouldn't use it outside of a home office or study environment, but it is a viable alternative to its competitors from Canon and Epson. The inclusion of HP ePrint services is an interesting extra that may attract some fans.
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