HP Envy Photo 7820. By Ng Chong Seng
The new HP Envy Photo 7820 is an all-in-one inkjet printer targeted at home office users. Equipped with print, scan, copy, and fax functions, it also supports dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, has a 35-sheet automatic document feeder and a built-in SD card slot for direct printing without going through a PC, and touts ISO speeds of up to 15ppm when printing in black-and-white and 10ppm when printing in color. Considering that HP products usually come at a premium, I originally thought the printer would sell for $300; but the good news is, the Envy Photo 7820 has list price of just $229.
Setting up the Envy Photo 7820 is a straightforward affair. In addition to the drivers, you can choose to install (or not) HP Photo Creations, a free software for creating photo books, calendars, and greeting cards; and Iris OCR, an optical character recognition software that converts scanned characters into digital text for easy searching and editing later on.
Printing from a smartphone or tablet is a cinch thanks to the printer’s native support for Apple AirPrint and the Mopria Print Service. For more complicated tasks such as sharing of documents and images through email or printing from popular cloud and social media services, you need to turn to the free HP Smart mobile app. HP’s ePrint, a cloud-based service that lets you do secure remote printing, is also supported on this internet-enabled printer.
Text quality from the Envy Photo 7820 is above average. Unless you print a lot of tiny fonts, I’d say its text output is good enough for most Word and email printouts. Charts and graphics in my PowerPoint and Excel test documents were mostly nicely rendered, too - that is until I threw in complex content such as a photo with lots of colors and gradients. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the printer uses only two ink cartridges: one for the black ink and another for the remaining three colors.
Speed-wise, the HP Envy Photo 7820 manages 15.5ppm for mono and 10.9ppm for color in full stride, which is pretty fast for an inexpensive, entry-level inkjet printer. However, I found its first-page-out timings to be often in excess of 20 seconds. What this means is that the printer may take longer to print a set of documents than another printer that has the same ISO speeds but with a faster first-page-out speed.
To sum up, the Envy Photo 7820 prints reasonably fast, excels in mobile printing, and is sensibly priced. My main knock against it is that like most cartridge-based inkjet printers, its cartridges are rated for only a couple of hundreds of pages, which means running costs will get high in the long term if you print a lot. For a home with modest printing needs, it’s great.
"Inexpensive if you don’t print more than a couple of hundreds of pages a month."
The printer’s 2.65-inch capacitive touchscreen isn’t very big, but it is responsive.
AT A GLANCE
FUNCTIONS Print, scan, copy, fax, wireless
ISO PRINT SPEED Up to 15ppm (mono) / 10ppm (color)
INK CARTRIDGES 1 x Black, 1 x Tri-color