HP Envy 100 review

Apple doesn’t make printers any more, but if it did they might look a bit like HP’s Envy 100. Measuring just 4in high and topped with a reflective-silver top panel, this slimline multifunction inkjet makes most of its rivals look like bloated lumps of plastic.

The printer is cleverly designed too. Instead of having a separate output tray for documents, the touch-screen control panel on the front of the unit lifts up out of the way and allows a supporting arm to project forward in order to catch pages as they feed out of the printer. The Envy 100 also supports Apple’s AirPlay technology, which allows you to print photos straight from an iPhone or iPad. Overall, it’s very easy to use.

However, underneath that sleek, shiny exterior, the Envy 100 is actually a fairly conventional inkjet printer, and that’s not a criticism.

Its text output is extremely good – on a par with many laser printers, in fact. Photo printing is very good too, however, the Envy 100 prints with just the four standard CMYK inks – cyan, magenta, yellow and black, so it’s not specialised for photo printing, as the Canon and Epson printers are.

The Envy 100 has a stylish, compact design and allows you to print straight from the iPad

Some of our photo test files suffered from a slight banding when printing on ordinary plain paper. Results were much better when printing on more expensive glossy paper. However, we’d still suggest that the Envy 100 is more suited to text and business graphics work, with photo-printing on glossy paper being an occasional optional extra.

That impression was backed up by the Envy’s printing speed. While it turns out text documents at a respectable 6ppm, it slows right down to just 1ppm when printing out A4 image files. Printing costs are about average, at 4p per page for black-and-white pages and 7p for colour.

OUR VERDICT

The Envy 100 is a very good general-purpose printer, but was somewhat lacking in its overall performance. Photo enthusiasts may also prefer to look at some of its more specialised rivals if you know that you need to print high-quality photos on a regular basis.

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£305

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