HP Printer Review: Which One Is The Suitable For You?
HP’s Envy Pro 6452 All-in-One ($109.99) can be an entry-level multifunction inkjet printer targeted at families and micro offices. Where most all-in-ones (AIOs) of its kind lose points for his or her high operating costs, in cases like this, subscribing to HP’s Instant Ink service makes using this printer a member of family bargain. This Envy sells for approximately $30 significantly less than our current low-end Editors’ Choice, the Brother MFC-J491DW; however, that printer’s running costs are sky-high versus the 6452 paired with Instant Ink. This little Envy’s good deal and running costs make it solid for home offices, family rooms, and dorms. It’s best for 200 to 300 pages a month-just enough to edge it into our slot for favorite starter AIO for homes and home offices.
Just like the Envy Pro 6455 All-in-One reviewed in June, the Envy Pro 6452 can be an economy model offered by Walmart. Also just like the 6455, it prints well and packs an excellent feature set for the purchase price, though, predictably because of its class, it’s slow.
Generally in most ways, the Envy Pro 6452 (that may print, scan, copy, and fax) is related to the 6455. They both measure 6.8 by 17 by 14.2 inches (HWD) and weigh 13.6 pounds, about average in both footprint and heft for a beginner AIO. Both are part of a recently available release in the brand new Envy Pro 6000 series (today’s 6452, June’s 6455, and a less robust Envy Pro 6055 to be reviewed here shortly).
While there are a few slight variations included in this, it’s generally the 64xx models’ 35-page computerized document feeders that produce them more flexible and a larger value. That is, for the record, a manual-duplexing ADF, instead of the auto-duplexing type that scans and copies two-sided multipage documents without user intervention.
You do get some good feedback-for instance, when the printer is in a variety of modes, such as for example copying, scanning, or printing-from status LEDs that light the most notable of the input and output trays. (Purple, for instance, is Setup mode.) But you will mostly rely upon your smartphone to regulate this printer.
Setup entails scanning a bar code together with your handheld device’s camera. Once that’s done, all functions, including printing and copying, are executed from either your phone or tablet or a desktop or notebook computer PC with HP Smart App installed, which we’ll look at in a bit.
Another common feature on family and home-based printers nowadays makes sense home voice activation. Most HP, Canon, and Epson inkjet printers and AIOs are actually operable via spoken commands. The Envy Pro 6452 supports Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant. However, HP’s voice activation support no more includes simple IFTTT (If This Then That) scripting, which would enable you to create voice commands for specific services such as for example Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri.
Paper handling includes an individual 80-sheet tray that may alternately endure to 10 envelopes or 40 sheets of premium photography paper. The printer’s maximum monthly duty cycle is 1,000 pages, with a suggested monthly level of up to 100 prints.
Of the machines mentioned here up to now, an 80-sheet capacity may be the smallest, with the Envy 6455 and Brother MFC-J491DW coming next at 100 sheets. The 6455 gets the same duty cycle as the 6452, as the Brother maxes out at 2,500 prints per month with a recommended level of 1,000.
The Envy Pro’s Connectivity, and HP’s Smart App
Standard connectivity involves Wi-Fi, USB, and Bluetooth 5.0. Whichever wireless or wired connection you hook up to the hardware on, more often than not you talk to the Envy Pro 6452 via HP Smart App. It’s a cross-platform iphone app that operates similarly on all computing devices-such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones-but also supports other useful options, such as for example scanning to or printing from cloud sites.
First, though, there will be the standard connectivity interfaces, such as, as stated, USB and Wi-Fi, plus Wi-Fi Direct. The last can be handled via Smart App, as is the opportunity to use your handheld’s camera for scanning documents right to the AIO or even to an area drive or your selected cloud site. On various other HP machines, Smart App also handles the optical character recognition (OCR) routines that let you scan text documents and convert them to searchable PDF, Microsoft Word, or various other format which allows you to edit scanned text directly. But that feature isn’t available with Envy AIOs.
The HP Smart App printer driver runs on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. With respect to the HP printer you utilize, its functionality goes well beyond simply communicating between computing devices and printers, though. Smart App’s Smart Tasks is a assortment of customizable workflow presets that automate repetitive tasks, such as for example scanning to your chosen cloud site, scanning to email or local folders on a networked PC or server, and printing remotely. The Envy Pro also supports Apple AirPrint, Mopria, and HP ePrint (for printing emails and attachments).
Testing the Envy Pro 6452: No Hurry Here
A downside to entry-level home inkjets is that a lot of, the Envy Pro 6452 included, are slow. HP rates this machine at 10 monochrome pages each and every minute (ppm) and 7ppm for color pages. Six seconds per page (or simply under 10 seconds for a color print) might not exactly sound slow, but believe me, when you’re looking forward to a several-page print job to complete, it is. (Observe how we test printers.)
To determine its speed (or lack thereof), I tested the Envy 6452 over USB from our standard Intel Core i5 testbed running Windows 10 Pro. It printed our 12-page Microsoft Word text document at the average speed of 11.2ppm, slightly faster than its 10ppm rating and tied with the Envy 6455. That was 2ppm slower than Brother’s MFC-J491DW.
Next, I printed several full-color Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint business documents containing charts, graphs, and other business graphics and embedded photos. I combined those results with the term document test to calculate a thorough score for printing our full suite of test materials. Here, the Envy 6452 managed a reasonably sluggish 3.3ppm. To be fair, however, both HP printers and the Brother aren’t really suitable for printing the big, complex business documents that define this part of our tests.
They are, however, made to print photos. The Envy churned out our colorful and highly detailed 4-by-6-inch test snapshots at the average time of 36 seconds apiece. That is clearly a typical printing pace because of its market segment.
Output Quality: Nothing to Complain About
Just like the Envy Pro 6455 and other family we’ve reviewed, the Envy Pro 6452 prints good-looking text and respectable graphics and photos-about what you’d expect from an entry-level inkjet AIO. The written text I printed arrived sharp and highly legible for the most part point sizes, right down to about 6 points. The Excel charts and graphs, PowerPoint handouts, and Acrobat documents also looked good, except that dark gradients and fills weren’t immaculate. I saw some streaking, but overall graphics output was A-OK.
As for images generally, while HP did an outstanding job at tweaking its four-ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) machines to turn out good-looking images (they turn out even better if you are using the company’s premium photography papers), your competition in the consumer-grade printer market is stiff. Several entry-level, photo-optimized AIOs, like the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 and the Canon Pixma TS6320, deploy five (sometimes six) inks. These additional colors give a wider color gamut (range) and more detail, creating more vibrant and accurately colored images.
This is not to state that the Envy’s photographs aren’t much better than acceptable, but they’re not the very best obtainable in this class. A good touch, though, is that AIO prints borderless documents and photographs up to 8.5 by 11 inches. Bordered photos, or images with a quarter-inch roughly of white margin around them, seldom look as professionally finished as borderless prints.
Printing Costs: Instant Ink to the Rescue
Until recently, a downside to entry-level inkjet AIOs is that they cost a lot of money to use on a per-page basis. If you select the conventional approach to purchasing ink cartridges as needed if they empty (or get near it), printing monochrome pages on the Envy 6452 can cost you an impressive 10.3 cents each and color pages a straight steeper 22.3 cents.
That’s painfully high, regardless if it matches the 6455 model. The Brother MFC-J491DW’s cost per page is 6.8 cents for monochrome and 16.8 cents for color. Brother offers the MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank All-in-One, which gives black pages for under a cent apiece and color pages for approximately 4.5 cents.
This brings us to HP’s Instant Ink subscription program, where in fact the Envy Pro 6452 itself monitors just how many pages you print and orders cartridges from HP if it is time to get new ones. Created for low-volume users who print around 50 to 300 pages monthly, this program offers three service levels, with the 300-page plan (at $9.99 monthly) training to a cost of 3.5 cents per page. The huge advantage here, though, is that that 3.5-cent cost pertains to any page you print, be it a monochrome text page with hardly any ink coverage, or an 8.5-by-11-inch photography with completely ink coverage.
And, to create Instant Ink a lot more attractive, HP as of this writing was providing you the first 8 weeks of your subscription, or 600 pages, free of charge. Hence, if for the first year you max out your 300-page plan every month, your running costs will certainly reduce to 2.8 cents per page.
Print Pics? You’re within an Enviable Position
In the grand scheme of things, the Envy Pro 6452 isn’t that impressive a machine. Its capacity and volume levels are smallest amount; it’s slow; and you truly shouldn’t print lots of hundred pages onto it every month. But if a couple of hundred quality prints and copies are you will need, this Envy is ideal, and its own ability to utilize HP’s Instant Ink ecosystem can save you time and money, particularly if you’ll make usage of it to print plenty of ink-drinking photos. That’s enough to raise the 6452 to your Editors’ Choice for an entry-level home-office and family printer.