July 25, 2011

HP Envy 100 Review

HP Envy 100 Review

HP is a brand name that has long established itself as a reputable company in the all in one multifunction centres, but does the new HP Envy 100 e- and the emphasis being on the E, All-In-One bring a new standard for the old home printer.

There is no doubt that the Hp Envy 100 is sleek All-In-One, cosmetically its one of the most appealing we have ever looked. The Envy 100 offers the standard features such as printing, copying, scanning and wireless networking which we will look at in a bit, but that is not what differentiates it for the $299 RRP in Australia. Taking a look from the outside you will notice a large high resolution touch screen. The screen itself looks superb but the touch sensitivity unfortunately is not. It is fine for prodding but when sliding your finger across it would usually clicks on something unwanted or not responding in the intended way. Considering its a major feature of the product I would have expected much better. One warning to those purchasing the Envy 100 is make sure to update the firmware immediately to ensure everything is working correctly. It does take a while but firmware updates means HP is continually looking after is product line up.

Once you get into the Touch Screen interface you are prompted with applications that you can use. This is a really good idea as you can do thing like printing direction maps to get your location or colouring in pages. There is only a small set of available Applications currently and majority of them are targeted for parents wanting to entertain their younger children. However the potential from these apps is something I give credit to HP, innovating in an area previously not thought of is something we love to see.

The reason this printer is lifting the standard is its ability for the Printer to be assigned an email address. Named ePrint, hence the e-All-In-One, this allows you to email any document from around the world and it will print on the Envy 100. For business use this is really good but more a nice addition for consumers to have that option.

Airplay is a major feature that will appeal to Apple Owners, AirPrint allows you to print using any iOS device. Aslong as the device and printer are connected on the same wifi network it’s straight forward setup to print.

The printing quality for colours is decent however it is unusual for such a high end printer to be using only a single colour and black cartridge. Normally you would see high end printers using separated color cartridges for improved color accuracy.  Also in printing speeds it’s not that fast but in comparison to many of its rivals it’s not that a huge difference.

The cartridges used by this printer are a HP 60 Colour and Black, both setting you back about $25 AUD. Both of these cartridges should provide you with about 150 prints. Alternatively you can get the HP 60XXL’s which last for around 300-400 prints but are more expensive.

Scanning quality is also very accurate and sharp it competes with most of the high end scanners available. I believe it to be one of the highest quality scanners available in the consumer multifunction line up.

It is good that brands are recognising the important role of aesthetics in designing consumer based products. I definitely give credit for HP’s attempt at bringing another level in the printing arena. Features like AirPlay, ePrint and using Apps shows that they are valuing other forms of computing such as tablets, mobile phones and also building into the environment of WebOS. WebOS is HP’s flagship mobile operating system for those unaware. It is only with integration that such products like this can succeed.

Based on our review we award this printer a Product Feedback Silver Award with 4 Stars. We believe it needs a better touch screen and preferably the use of individual cartridges to allow more printing and improved colour reproduction.

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