Today it may print less than before, but manufacturers do not give up and continue to launch multifunction printers that take advantage of any progress to make a traditional task more comfortable. We already saw a trace of that with the Epson Eco Tank ET-3600, and now let’s take a look at the HP ENVY Photo 7830.
This multifunction of HP has a more accessible price and try to solve the “dilemma” of the ink cartridges in another way : through a service in which it is the printer itself that orders these cartridges to get you home. It’s profitable? Let’s remove the magnifying glass and discover it …
HP ENVY Photo 7830: Design and Features
|HP ENVY PHOTO 7830|
|MEASUREMENTS||454 x 193 x 491 mm|
|CONNECTIVITY||USB, Ethernet, telephone cable for fax (cables not included) or Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5 GHz)|
|WIRELESS PRINTING SYSTEMS||HP ePrint, AirPrint, Mopria, Wireless Direct Printing|
|COMPATIBILITY||Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and later; macOS 10.8 and later|
|NUMBER OF TRAYS||Two, with space for various types of plain and photo paper|
|SUPPORTED PAPER FORMATS||A4, A5, A6, B5, C6 (envelope), DL (envelope), 10 x 15 cm photo paper|
|PRINT RESOLUTION||4800 x 1200 dpi|
|PRINT SPEED||15 pages per minute in monochrome and plain paper of 70 to 90 grams per square meter according to ISO standards, 10 pages in color under the same conditions.
In “draft” quality you get 22 pages per minute in monochrome and 21 pages per minute in color.
|SCAN RESOLUTION||1200 dpi|
|SOFTWARE INCLUDED||Installation assistant|
|PRICE||159.90 dollars on Amazon|
The HP Envy is a large printer, there is not much to discuss here. I’m not talking about an exaggerated size, but when you see it, you realize that you are facing a multifunction with more height than normal. There may not be much difference in width and depth with other printers, but the impression is that it “bulges” more.
That size is justified with some feature that we can not find in most printers. We have a multiple paper tray in which we can place plain paper and at the same time photo paper of various sizes, and a top feeder for the scanner in which we can leave several papers so that the ENVY Photo 7830 is responsible for scanning them one at a time. This avoids the classic mechanical work of scanning sheet by sheet.
The front is very simple: the only physical button is the on and off button. Then we have a color touch screen with which to configure the printer and give some basic commands to photocopy or scan a document, with tactile side buttons. The resolution of that screen is more than enough for what you have to do.
A positive point for HP ENVY Photo is its connectivity. The multifunction does not include any cable beyond the current, encouraging you to connect using your wireless network (accepts 5 GHz networks, by the way). However, there is a connection for Ethernet network cable, another USB and a pair of telephone cable connections so that the printer can also act as a fax.
Knowing this and the price you have, the HP Envy can become an interesting printer for both at home or in an office and basic multifunction. It is probably a very good option to take into account if you work remotely and you need to scan or print enough.
Instant Ink: HP’s attempt to simplify the replacement of ink cartridges
While Epson resorts to its ink cans and argues that in this way we save money, HP continues with its choice of traditional cartridges. Its twist is the Instant Ink service : the same printer, when it detects that it has little ink in its cartridges, automatically places an order for them to get you home.
The advantage is that you can forget about having to make your purchase, and in theory you never get empty cartridges because the order is made in time for the new cartridges to arrive before that happens. This service is paid with a monthly flat rate that can go from 2.99 dollars per month (about 50 pages printed according to HP) to 9.99 dollars per month (about 300 pages). At any unforeseen time you can pay a small plus of 1 dollar more to print additional pages.
Of course, the option to subscribe to HP Instant Ink is completely optional. You can always take care of buying the cartridges separately, as it has always been done with all inkjet printers. Now, the prices are what are: 18.90 and 23.90 dollars for the cartridges in black and white or color respectively. And there are other models with more ink for 37.90 and 42.89 dollars.
According to this official document from HP, the HP 303 cartridges give 200 pages in black and 165 in color. The 303 XL, larger, increase the figure to 600 pages in black and 415 in color. As you can see in this table, the prices of Instant Ink come out pretty much even when you print many pages:
|WITH INSTANT INK||WITH HP 303 CARTRIDGE||WITH HP 303 XL CARTRIDGE|
|15 PAGES PER MONTH||Gratuitous||1.42 dollars in b / w, 2.17 dollars in color||0.95 dollars in b / w, 1.55 dollars in color|
|50 PAGES PER MONTH||2.99 dollars / month||4.73 dollars in b / w, 7.24 dollars in color||3.16 dollars in b / w, 5.17 dollars in color|
|100 PAGES PER MONTH||4.99 dollars / month||9.45 in b / w, 14.48 dollars in color||6.32 dollars in b / w, 10.33 dollars in color|
|300 PAGES PER MONTH||9.99 dollars / month||28.35 dollars in b / w, 43.45 dollars in color||18.95 dollars in b / w, 31 dollars in color|
|600 PAGES PER MONTH||21.99 dollars / month||56.70 dollars in b / w, 86.91 dollars in color||37.90 dollars in b / w, 62.01 dollars in color|
Note: The table does not take into account that the cartridges have a shelf life of about three months for private use according to the official website of HP. Therefore, prices may vary depending on how long these cartridges last.
Note that HP has taken care of the price of subscriptions knowing that there are many users who print very occasionally. We have a free plan with which, if you print 15 pages or less per month, you do not have to worry about anything. You will only be charged an additional dollar on the credit card (which you have to compulsorily place when you subscribe) for every 10 additional pages you print. Maybe buying the original cartridges you have more ink for a longer time, but then you enter the “risk” of that ink drying out if you print very little.
Therefore, seeing the flexibility of these plans, I would not be reluctant to this option considering also the additional comfort that we face: the ink is taken care of and arrives alone at home. Unless you print more than a thousand pages a month (and that’s very difficult if you’re not in an office), Instant Ink can save you time and money.
Another alternative is the unofficial cartridges, which can be cheaper. But there we went into the rather personal decision to decide for those cartridges or those sold directly by HP, with its corresponding guarantee.
Printing and scanning: What you expect from a printer of that price?
The HP ENVY Photo 7830 prints with good quality. Not at the level of a laser, far from it, but good for an inkjet printer. The colors are vivid and the definition is much more than enough if we use the best quality color printing. The noise of the printer is neither too weak nor too scandalous, it is more or less the noise we are used to seeing in multifunction of that size.
Perhaps it has surprised me more the scan : it is very fast and quite silent, even at the maximum quality of 1,200 dots per inch. It rounds the top paper feeder for that scanner, capable of scanning multiple sheets and joining them all in one PDF. PDF that can be saved automatically on a USB pendrive, by the way. A good way to create this document without using the computer at all.
Of course, the scanner can also be used as a black and white or color photocopier. And there is no need to resort to the computer or the mobile application to do it: the ENVY Photo 7830 has direct access to these functions from its touch screen. And although it is something that is used more and more marginally, the printer / scanner can be used to send and receive faxes.
Almost no software, and that’s good
HP has several applications that can be downloaded from its official website to accompany its multifunction, but with ENVY Photo 7830 it does not include practically anything. Only an assistant with whom you can subscribe to Instant Ink, something that can also be done through a mobile application or the same company website.
And it’s just what I appreciate the most. Knowing that modern operating systems such as Windows 10 or macOS High Sierra already have their own software and drivers for printing and scanning, any program that does the same but with the HP brand on it is completely unnecessary.
Something I have been very grateful for is that you can install the printer using the HP Smart mobile application, available for iOS and Android. You save yourself from struggling with buttons or very long processes just to enter the password of your Wi-Fi: the application detects the printer and from there you can apply all the configuration.
After that, the printer has appeared on my Mac without me having to do anything. In fact, I have even forgotten to add it in the system’s printing preferences panel, and when I tried to print a test note, the ENVY Photo 7830 already appeared in the list of available printers. Easier, impossible.