It’s one of the few pieces of hardware that still offers functionality with paper in an age where digital technology is saving trees – but it’s a printer, so that’s kind of the point.
Hewlett Packard, or HP, is one of the most prominent names in all of technology. Over the years they’ve built up a large fan base and a big market share in the fields of PCs, laptops, and computing accessories. Though more things are going paperless today than ever before in the history of technology, printers still have their place.
Most printers that come with any sort of price tag are combo units. They can print, scan, and copy documents from a single device – greatly cutting down on office clutter as well as the costs associated with completing your setup.
HP’s line of printers offers something for almost everyone. Regardless of your preferred price range or the features you’re looking for, their inventory can likely show you something to fit your needs. Today we’ll be checking out the HP Envy 4500. What does this printer offer? What are its pros and cons? And when compared to the competition for the price, is it the best option out there?
Primary Features of the HP Envy 4500: What Are the Pros?
Downfalls of Buying the HP Envy 4500
HP Envy 4500 vs Canon PIXMA MG3550
For the sake of a more accurate comparison, we wanted to compare a model from HP’s line to another from a reputable competitor. We’ll go with Canon – not only are they known for making great printers, but their PIXMA line shares the same qualities as HP’s Envy line. They’re value-based devices, making them perfect for buyers on a budget.
One of the main benefits of the MG3550, which costs around $60, is that it has a good software bundle. This matters a lot, as older printers like this don’t always have the ability to be detected and configured automatically. It’s also useful if a person is trying to set up their device without an internet connection. In short, it’s better to have good software than not – even if it’s a disc that’s left on the table along with the operation manuals, passed over in favor of digital installation and instruction programs.
Like the Envy 4500, the PIXMA MG3550 has AirPrint and Wi-Fi Direct printing capabilities. It also has Duplex printing as a standard feature, and a twin-cartridge system. The differences come into play when you consider what it lacks – an LCD screen, for one. This makes it a little bit harder to use, unless you take quickly to these devices and learn without much difficulty.
There’s also the fact that the PIXMA MG3550 runs at about the same speed, so it has no distinct advantage over the Envy 4500 in that area at least. But the area where the MG3550 may excel is in the efficiency category – it can be a lot cheaper to run, as it is known for less paper jams and less ink waste. You can save on both potentially, meaning it is possible to get more value out of his printer.
However, the HP Envy 4500 is still right there – if you take into account how much easier it is to use thanks to the display, as well as how sleek it looks thanks to the space-efficient design, this printer is hard to beat in many areas.
HP Envy 4500 vs. Epson Expression Premium XP 830
For the sake of showing just how the printer stacks up against those in a higher class, we’ll compare it to one that costs around two-to-three times as much. Epson is another popular brand that can be called one of the top choices in the industry. They’re as reputable a company as HP and they have a good thing going with their Expression line.
The Premium XP 830 is one of their best home printers, utilizing a duplex printing mode and including a scanner for great all-around value. The area where it excels over the HP Envy 4500 is connectivity. There are plenty of slots to connect media devices to, meaning you have a wide range of options for a smoother and more seamless workflow.
Despite being a pricier printer, as such models usually have complex controls, this one is very easy to use. It has an LCD display and also the required hardware to facilitate quicker printing. When you’re in a hurry printing out that short-notice academic paper or those photos you want to frame immediately, this can come in handy.
But even a printer that costs twice as much as the Envy 4500 has its downfalls. The most noticeable being the low-capacity paper tray. It also has comparable costs to the 4500, meaning the 4500 could potentially be the higher-value choice of the two in that category. Finally, there are plenty of options in both Canon’s and HP’s lineup that can rival this one.
It just goes to show that the more expensive option isn’t necessarily the better one. So long as the features are good, and the manufacturer is reputable, it is a good buy to consider.
- Superior photo quality - vivid, bright photos and sharp text, with five-color inks
- Full-featured - 30-page Auto Document Feeder; auto 2-sided print/copy/scan/color fax; auto-extend/retract output tray
- Create - print on specialty paper1 and DVDs; plus, lab-quality, borderless photos up to 8" x 10"
Examining HP’s Reputation: How Are Their Products Viewed?
We wanted to take one section to rate the quality of the manufacturer themselves. A good name on a product doesn’t necessarily mean that product is worth buying. However, most companies with a good standing in their industry got it through quality controls in both their product manufacturing processes and their approach to customer service.
For years, HP has exceled in the areas of PCs, laptops, computing accessories, and technological business solutions. It’s easy to see why – they’re not only dedicated to quality, but they’re constantly researching on how to make better products.
A better product doesn’t always necessarily mean more features. In some cases, that can be worse as it raises the price. There’s a sweet spot when it comes to value-based products. Having enough features to warrant the price and solve the customer’s problem, but not having so many that the cost becomes unreasonable.
With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and creativity that has been commended, HP is a trusted manufacturer and one whose printers can be expected to deliver in all areas.
Final Verdict: Is the HP Envy 4500 Worth the Money?
When it comes to printers, cost is everything. They’re often viewed as a necessary evil in terms of computing accessories, helping us cling to paper in the era where everything is going digital. That being said, people don’t want to spend too much on a printer.
This all-in-one model gives you everything you need. A sleek design, an LCD display, a copier, and a scanner – combined with the reliability of the HP name, and that’s a great buy. Sure, you could get faster print speeds or less ink waste by spending a bit more. But if you’re on a budget and want something that is well-rounded and gives bang for your buck, go for the 4500.