HP Envy Inspire 7220e all-in-one A4 printer (review)

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e is a low-cost, all-in-one A4 printer. It is strictly for occasional home printing and scanning.

Why the caveat lead-in? Because this printer sells for $159 (on sale at Harvey Norman for $87 after cash back to 28 August), and the Black and Tri-colour 804 cartridges cost $66. We will cover running costs later.

Overall it is quite an attractive unit in two-tone beige, with a flatbed scanner on top and a 125 A4 sheet front tray.

HP Envy Inspire 7220e all-in-one A4 printer

WebsiteProduct Page and User Guide
Price$159 but on special for as low as $87 after cash back at Harvey Norman to 28 August. 2022
Warranty12-months ACL
Country of originThailand
CompanyHP Inc. (Est 2015 after the spin-off from Hewlett-Packard Company) is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California that develops personal computers (PCs), printers and related supplies, as well as 3D printing solutions.
MoreCyberShack HP news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

First impression – beige – Pass

It is pretty big at 460 x 383 x 191 mm x 6.91kg (with paper receive tray extended) and in two-tone beige/white. Is that making a comeback? It has a modern, simplistic look with a small 2.7” LCD colour touch screen.

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e has a flatbed scanner, and the same-speced 7920e at $189 has a single-sided auto-document feeder.

Setup – Pass(able)

HP encourages you to use the HP Smart App for Android and iOS. This App tracks usage, analytics, advertising, and offers personalised suggestions – you can turn some of that off at install time. It also suggests you set up an HP account. You don’t need to do this to use the basic App features or the printer.

But if you want to use HP+ Smart features – cloud print, mobile scan, fax, file sharing etc., you have no option but to establish an HP account. Otherwise, it is ANNOYINGLY PERSISTENT, NAGGING YOU ALL THE WAY THROUGH SETUP AND THEN SOME.

Why be concerned? It seems every manufacturer now wants your details, and as much as you may trust it, we have to point out that there are personal data risks, spam emails and more.

Windows, Android, Chrome, macOS, and iOS apps include HP Smart+ and Full/Basic Driver support for print and scan only. Although Windows automatically recognises it and loads generic Windows drivers.

You can access a hidden webpage using its IP address (get that from the display readout). Note this is secure as you have to use a unique pin printed inside the printer but set an Admin Password as well.

Cloud print – Pass

Print from Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, and Facebook via both Apps. The iOS version adds Box, Evernote, and Apple iCloud.

The Android Mopira app allows quick printing of files and photos stored on your phone. Hint: use this to avoid HP Smart app.

Connection – Pass

It has Wi-Fi 5 2.4/5Ghz (you must enable this in the App) and USB-B to USB-A 2.0 connectivity. As it is strictly a home printer, you don’t get Ethernet. It has Wi-Fi Direct for direct print.

Paper – Pass

The front paper tray holds up to 125 sheets of up to A4 (60-105gsm), and the photo tray (which sits on top of the paper tray) holds 15 sheets of 280gsm photo paper. It will handle regular envelopes, but as there is no by-pass, it won’t handle heavier or glossy stock.

Ink – Expensive – Pass for low-volume users only

It uses genuine chipped HP 804 cartridges (you can’t use generic or refills) – one Black and one Tri-colour Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Tri-colour has one distinct disadvantage – if you use more of one colour than the others, you must replace the whole cartridge.

It comes with a ‘starter’ set – page count unknown. Of course, page counts depend on the amount of black and colour per page.

A replacement HP 804 set has 200 pages of Black (pigment if you printed only black) or 165 pages of colour (dye – if you print CMYK colour images) for $68. That is 40 cents a page in colour.

You can get HP 804 XL versions that print 600 pages in Black or 415 CMYK for $143. That is 34 cents a page in colour.

Hint: This printer should remain on as inkjets must purge their heads regularly to avoid clogging. But that means ink will gradually be depleted. If you turn the printer off after use, you may have to perform ink head cleaning or deep cleaning that will use even more ink.

The duty cycle is 300 to 400 pages a month. So, if you are a casual printer – say no more than a few hundred pages a year, then you will probably wear the ink cost. If you print more, then you need to look at Ink Tank printer.

It is also covered by HP’s Instant Ink subscription plan, which can reduce print costs for a greater volume of prints.

Print speed – Pass

The killer is the slow first page-out-time, around 20 seconds. After that, the speeds are as claimed.

HP claims single-sided print speeds of 10ppm (A4 pages per minute) in colour and 15ppm in black. Our tests indicate that it is achievable with simple test and spot colour, but it slows considerably with more complex or higher print quality documents.

HP doesn’t state auto-duplex print times; it depends on the page complexity, but you can more than halve the single-sided speed.

A 4 x 6” photo is a great example – it can take from 30-seconds to 2-minutes depending on print quality.

Scan speed – Pass

If you select 300 DPI (typical), a scan will take about 15 seconds.

Print quality – Pass

Normal quality was adequate for crisp black text, but the colours were a little thin and inaccurate. Best quality is better but slows print speeds down.

But be careful as the printed page needs to dry – leave it in the output tray for a few seconds before picking it up.

Photo print 4 x 6” (can’t do A4) is average – skin tones and colours are reasonably natural but lack the saturation we all like. Blue tones are accentuated. Gradients are OK, but details in the shadows and highlights are lost. Again, Best Quality improves that at the expense of more ink and speed.

Power – Pass

In sleep mode, it is negligible. When scanning or printing, it can reach 14W. Remember, it is best to leave this on.

Maintenance and jams – Pass

It is a throw-away item at the end of life – whenever that is. It should be good for tens of thousands of prints. Maintenance is purely the replacement of ink cartridges and keeping the scanner glass clean.

Paper jams are easy enough to remove despite the non-removable paper tray.

CyberShack’s view – the HP Envy Inspire 7220e all-in-one is not a bad little A4 printer – if you don’t care about ink costs

Ink costs are the killer on all low-cost devices – per ml ink is hundreds of times more expensive than the finest perfumes and champagnes. But for a low-volume user that wants a flatbed scanner, it is fine.

Rating

While nothing is fundamentally wrong (OK, everything is fundamentally right), nothing is outstanding about this or any low-cost printer Tri-colour from Canon, Brother, Epson et al. None get our buy recommendation because of extraordinary ink costs. However, HP’s supply program may address that in part.

If you want to get into ink tank printers, you will spend $300-900 for an Epson or Canon (HP doesn’t do ink tanks but its lasers are pretty good and economical). Here ink costs are a few cents a page, and after a few reams, you have paid for the printer.

HP Envy Inspire 7220e all-in-one A4 printer

7.2

Features

8.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Performance

6.0/10

Ease of Use

7.0/10

Design

7.0/10

Pros

  • Cheap to buy (expensive to run)
  • Can use a single black cartridge only for lower-cost mono print
  • Decent print quality
  • Fit for purpose for a low-volume personal printer
  • Works from smartphones and computers

Cons

  • No heavy 100+gsm or glossy stock
  • Incessant nagging to sign up for an HP account
  • Ink cost$


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