With a printer like this, you never expect cutting-edge performance. The Envy 100 isn’t a quick machine. HP claims 6ppm for black and 4ppm for colour and we measured 6.1ppm for black and 2.7ppm for colour. When the machine prints, it lifts its control panel up to the horizontal and swings out a paper support, before starting to print. These two operations take time and are one reason for the low colour speed.
Surprisingly, the device can print duplex and a 20-side duplex document took just under five minutes, which is slightly faster than some similar HP printers. A single colour photocopy took a reasonable 35s and a 15 x 10cm photo print took around 1:05, from SD or USB devices.
We were surprised when the printer rejected an HP camera connected to the front panel USB port as an unsupported device. We tried several other cameras and concluded in the end that it doesn’t support PictBridge, printing only from files on a USB drive. This seems an odd omission, since PictBridge is a software standard, so pretty cheap and simple to fit.
Output from the Envy 100 is above average. Black text is clean and without noticeable fuzz. Colour graphics, while not as bright as from some Canon and Epson machines, are reasonably accurate and with little noticeable bleed when overlaid with black text.
Colour copies lose some of their intensity, but are serviceable and photo prints exhibit a slightly odd green tinge in darker areas. Not all images show this, which leads us to suspect it might be a problem with our particular sample.
The black and tricolour cartridges are available in two yields and using the high-yield, XL variants for best economy gives page costs of 4.8p per ISO black page and 9.8p for an ISO colour one. Both these costs are high for a £200 inkjet machine.
It’s tempting to say that the Envy 100 is another example of design over function, and the powered control panel and paper support seem over-fussy, but within its design parameters it does a reasonable job and the quality and speed of print are fair. For the occasional print and photocopy, many people may find this machine attractive.
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