There is almost no instance where owning a printer will not be beneficial for you. A college student who has to submit his assignments or an office where quick printouts are needed, owning a printer is necessary. However, the printer market, believe it or not, is extremely diverse. Ranging from some expensive photo printers to low cost budgeted text printers, there is a lot to consider. HP is a well-known brand in this genre of products and so it’s understandable that you’ve narrowed your list down to some of their products. Today, we’ll be looking over one of HP’s all in one printers, the Envy 4512 to help you make your choice.
HP Envy 4512
- Allows direct printing from the web using the touchpad
- Pre-stored templates for quick printing
- No Ethernet port
- Inferior black and white prints
- Infeasible subscription plans with HP Instant Ink
Print Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi (monocolored) and 4800 x 1200 dpi (colored) | Copy Resolution: 600 x 300 dpi | Scanning Resolution: 1200 x 2400 | Cartridge Type: HP 63 and HP 63 XL | Input Tray: 80 pages | Output Tray: 25 pages | Page Size: A4 8.5 x 11.7 inches
VERDICT:An all in one multi-functional printer, scanner and copier- the Envy 4512 does it all. Although the print quality is nothing too special, it's still nothing to lose sleep over. This printer is ideal for those with mediocre printing needs albeit at a low quantity. Packed with HP's new cartridge type, WiFi connectivity, and some pre-stored templates, the Envy 4512 might just be what you're in the market for.
The Envy 4512 is a very well built and designed printer with scanning and copying capabilities as well. The best feature of the Envy 4512 is that, when connected to the WiFi, prints can be taken directly from the internet. Using the front touch panel, prints can be taken from HP print apps from a vast array of websites. Moreover, the Envy 4512 also has an assortment of pre-stored templates that can be printed out directly. The print quality of the photos, although subpar, is still decent for the price range.
Although the Envy 4512 looks great in design, it suffers from some serious drawbacks that raise some concerning flags. Most importantly, the slow printing speed. Although the defined speed on the official HP spec sheet is moderate, the Envy 4512 rarely is able to work at that speed. That being said, it is important to consider that fast printouts spontaneously at times, are not so fast. Secondly, the Envy 4512 does not have an Ethernet port for connectivity. This printer does support wireless connectivity via WiFi direct however, a dedicated Ethernet port is missing. WiFi prints are unreliable as a break in connection means restarting the print altogether.
Keeping all of that in mind and the fact that there is much more to be talked about, let’s dive in and explore the Envy 4512.
The Envy 4512 houses a black body throughout and it just feels great. The plastic with which it’s made up of feels well built and good to the touch. Instead of traditional buttons, there’s a touch screen with all the options. There is only one button on this combo printer and that’s the power button at the front left of the panel. Unfortunately, there is no Ethernet port for dedicated and consistent connection to the internet. The touch panel is a 2.2-inch monochrome LCD panel. Everything except power is controlled via this touch panel. On paper, it sounds very fancy but the touchpad suffers from quite a bit of input delay. Apart from basic navigation, the printer takes quite a few seconds before the command is registered. And the main menu is a clutter of sub-categories which need to be explored for more options.
The Envy 4512 has a capacity of 80 sheets in the input tray and 25 sheets in the output tray. Neither of these numbers is too phenomenal nor something to lose sleep over but it’s there. You will have to occasionally clear out the output tray to prevent clutter but that can be managed as well. On the top is the flatbed scanner for all scanning and copying purposes. We did notice the hinges of the flatbed’s top to feel be rather clickety. In our experience, we have witnessed cases of plastic hinges being subject to weaker parts. Unfortunately, Envy 4512 seems to be subject to that as well. How this printer stands to this issue over time is something that remains to be seen.
Luckily, the Envy 4512 weighs just under 12 lbs in a very compact and small size. This allows the printer to be placed conveniently in many places with its lightweight and miniature size. After connecting all the cables, the next step is getting this printer to start printing.
HP provides a guide in the box on how to do this however, the guide is not very elaborative. After connecting it to the PC, you can install the drivers via the CD provided with the box. The alternative to that is installing the drivers via the internet; this is beneficial for those without a DVD ROM, since who has those in 2019.
If connected to the internet, you’re directed to the HP webpage for the Envy 4512 printer. The webpage includes all the necessary components that need to be downloaded. Some other optional downloads include HP smart apps that can be downloaded for a smoother and easier experience. Additionally, you can also install HP Smart Apps on your mobile or tablet devices and have the Envy 4512 print directly from that.
The Envy 4512 has a print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi for mono and 4800 x 1200 dpi for colored prints This resolution is fairly standard so does not offer anything too special for printing needs. When printing, the Envy 4512 has a printing speed of 20 monocolored pages per minute and 16 colored pages per minute. However, in actual practice, we found that the speed was quite slower than that. This is a strong con against the Envy 4512 as printing speed is of utmost importance for quick needs. Because of this, usage for this printer is not recommended in office based environments. In instances like that, quality of the print can be traded off with the speed. Seeing how the printing speed of this printer is not quite as fast, usage for it is better suited for personal home use.
Along with being a printer, Envy 4512 has copying and scanning functions too so let’s take a look at them. For copying, this printer supports a resolution of 600 x 300 dpi for both colored and monocolored media. The copying speed is 7 black and white pages per minute and 4 colored pages per minute. In the feature list accessible from the menu in the touchpad, there is one for ID card copying as well. There are a few other helpful ones as well that make copying easy with the touch of a button. For scanning purposes, the Envy 4512 has an optical resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi.
Apart from integrating all the basic functions- that a combo printer would have- in the main menu, there are some extra ones too. While connected to the WiFi, you can use the menu to print directly from a number of websites. HP has also added in some stored templates that might come in handy- 7 day planner, fax cover sheets, music sheet, graph paper and more. In addition to this, the Envy 4512 also supports direct printing via iPad, iPhones, Android and Windows mobile devices and even Amazon Kindle.
If you opt to sign up for HP Instant Ink, you can have a monthly based subscription that lets you print a fixed number of pages and charges extra for more. HP keeps track of your cartridge ink levels and automatically orders more ink before you run out. There is a downside to this though and that’s the additional charges. There is no justifiable metric for measuring the number of printed pages. HP Instant Ink will count a single letter on a page as one fully printed page. This can cause the running costs to get quite high since with a subscription, you can only print the said number of pages. Printing any more will mean extra money out of your pocket. Doesn’t matter if it’s a full black ink covered page or a tiny dot on a fully white page, the extra money will be charged.
The print quality of the Envy 4512 is a bit of an oddball. We tested out several types of picture and text with variations in size and color depth. All of these were done to fully grasp where the Envy 4512 performs well and where it lacks behind.
This printer has a total of 328 black nozzles and 588 colored nozzles for cyan, magenta and yellow. The Envy 4512 takes HP’s updated model cartridges called, HP Cartridge 63. With this new design, the printhead is integrated along with the ink tank for better ink distribution and coverage. It also makes improvements to ink balancing and preservation. Due to there being only 328 black nozzles, the print quality of black and white media is subpar at best. The degradation in quality really pops up in tight black spots. Since the density of these nozzles is low, the black text with smaller fonts are not very filled with the ink. An average consumer will barely take notice of this but it should still be considered. Especially for those who’re looking to print some professional documents.
The graphics and photo quality, however, are a lot better than this. Again, this is in no way a killer for printing out graphics and photos but it’s decent enough. The quality of colored prints is a little better than most multi-functional all in one printers. However, the black one is not so that’s where the Envy 4512 falls short.
If you need a printer for home use where usage is a few pages every day or even a week, the Envy 4512 might just be it. It does not offer anything too special and the print quality is very average, if not below, at best. Fortunately, it’s friendly on the pocket as far as all in one printers go and that serves its purpose in the favor of 4512. There is no automatic document feeder in the Envy 4512, which is sometimes extremely important for office uses. That along with the fact that text print quality is very moderate makes it a not so suitable choice for work environment. Google Print and printing directly over the WiFi is an option for the Envy 4512. All in all, a somewhat decent printer with a friendly cost but nothing too special is featured in it.
Price at the time of review: $64