- Separate ink cartridges
- 35-sheet ADF
- ePrint and AirPrint support
- Ugly display font
- Hard to find downloadable apps
- No USB or card slots
- Review Price: £95.00
- Wireless and USB connection
- Fax included
- Low-profile design
- Convenient front loading tray
- <1W consumed in standby
This is a long, low machine, with a surprisingly low-to-the-desk design. As well as incorporating a horizontal 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which takes up less room than alternatives, it also slews the control panel in front of the main body of the machine, to the right of its paper trays.
This panel mimics HP’s more expensive machines and appears to have a series of touch buttons surrounding an LCD display. In fact, though, they are light-touch membrane buttons, which perform the same functions very adequately and have the advantage of physical feedback.
The 51mm LCD display is a mono device, unusual in all-in-ones these days. It suffers from a comparatively low resolution, which means its large display font looks very pixelated and crudely formed. It seems more attuned to a 1990s machine than to one for 2012.
The main paper tray, which has a relatively low capacity of 80 sheets, hardly projects from the front of the machine at all. It slides out when you need to load paper, but for most of the time looks very neat. Unfortunately, this isn’t reflected in the output tray, which is a three-stage, telescopic platform sitting above the feed tray. It increases the overall footprint of the printer substantially, also making it easier to knock into.
To get at the four, separate ink cartridges on the HP Officejet 4620, the scanner section of the machine hinges up rather stiffly, making it a two-handed operation. The cartridges clip into place very simply, so maintenance won’t be a problem.
HP provides basic software to cover printing, scanning and OCR, though there’s no requirement for handling memory card data or USB drives, as there are no sockets for either on the machine. HP does provide support for ePrint, AirPrint and direct wireless printing, so most mobile devices are well covered. HP’s online ePrint Center doesn’t appear to have any applications which can be downloaded to this model. If there are any, it would be good for them to be better flagged up.
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.
Score in detail
Print Speed 6
Print Quality 7
|Connection Type||Ethernet, USB|
|Extra Features||51mm mono LCD, fax, phone/tablet print|
|Number of Catridges||4|
|Sheet Capacity||80 sheet tray|
|Print Resolution (Dots per inch)||(colour enhanced) 4800 x 1200dpi|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||8ipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||7.5ipm|
|Max Paper Weight||280g/sm|
|Print Without PC||Yes|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||1200 x 1200dpi|