HP claims the OfficeJet 4620 can print at speeds of 8.0ppm for ISO black and 7.5ppm for ISO colour. We won't argue much with the black print spec, as we saw 6.1ppm for our 5-page black text print and 7.3ppm for the extended, 20-page test.
Colour print is a little further off the mark, with our five-page black text and colour graphics document returning 4.3ppm, but neither black nor colour speeds are particularly slow for this class of machine. It doesn't offer duplex print and the lack of the extra mechanism may be another reason for its low-profile design.
The printer produced a single colour copy from the flatbed in 28s and a five-page black text copy from the ADF in 2:02, which is really a bit sluggish. Despite not being primarily designed for printing photos, it managed a 15 x 10cm print at best quality in 30s, which is impressive, and a similar print at normal quality from a Samsung Galaxy Mini Android smart phone in 1:02, which is fair.
Print quality is sharp and clean, with black text close to laser quality, showing very little disruption to character formation, even at small point sizes. Draft mode print is nearly as good and offers a worthwhile speed improvement for internal documents.
Colour print is good, though we have seen brighter colour fills than from the HP Officejet 4620. Photos are also only fair, given HPs normal exemplary print, as some detail is lost in shadows and some green shades appear over accentuated.
The ink cartridges are available in two capacities, and using the higher yield XL versions returns costs of 3.4p for an ISO black page and 8.6p for an ISO colour one. Compare these with costs from the recently tested Canon PIXMA MX515 which gave 3.7p for black (slightly higher than the HP machine) and 7.9p for colour (slightly lower). Essentially, costs are similar overall.
It’s useful to compare the HP Officejet 4620 with the Canon PIXMA 515, both SOHO machines priced within a couple of pounds of each other. Colour print from the Officejet is noticeably faster and although Canon offers duplex print, it’s so slow as to be little advantage. Control and display on the Canon machine is better, particularly its colour LCD, but HP’s separate ink cartridges should mean less waste and lower running costs.