Every so often a printer maker tries to reinvent single or all-in-one printers for the living room. Samsung did well with its ML-1630W mono laser and now HP has gone for the same long, low look in its Envy 100, though this is a full-function, home inkjet all-in-one.
The Envy 100 is about the size and shape of a 1990s VHS recorder or a series one set-top box. The glass lid of the scanner has a mirrored pattern printed on it and an aluminium lip running across its edge. In front of this is a small flip-up cover, which reveals a USB socket and another for SD and MemoryStick cards, a much better place for them than in the front panel.
At first it appears there is no control panel on the machine, but when you touch the power symbol on the front panel an 83mm touchscreen lights up and the whole panel, which occupies about two thirds of the width of the machine, folds up to a predefined angle and shows a variety of HP's web-based applets, as well as standard functions like photo printing, copying and scanning.
The touchscreen supports gestures as well as taps and while nowhere near as responsive as an iPhone, is reasonably easy to work with. There are dedicated touch buttons down either side of the touchscreen, as on other HP all-in-ones.
At the bottom of the front panel is another thin aluminium moulding, the middle section of which slides out as the paper feed tray. It's very difficult to get your fingers under the lip of this moulding when the control panel is raised and the tray has a low capacity of just 80 sheets. It serves both plain and photo paper, but only one variety at once.
There's a single USB socket at the back of the printer, but given its intended home in a living space, it's most likely to be connected wirelessly. HP provides drivers for both Windows and OS X and as well as standard software offerings includes access to its range of web-based applets. It also supports ePrint, so you can send it documents directly from any device that can e-mail.