HP Envy 5030 Review
The HP Envy 5030 is affordable and simple, but a bit sluggish as a result.
- Very affordable
- Good connectivity
- Auto duplex printing
- Decent color photo quality
- Slow print speed
- Average touch screen sensitivity
HP has been in the printing and computer business for a long time. They offer printers and other devices for a variety of needs, but the Envy 5030 is almost certainly designed for smaller families that only occasionally need the services of a home printer. It lacks the quality and speed of an office machine, but the low asking price makes it a worthwhile look if you fit the above category. Let’s examine all that it has to offer in our HP Envy 5030 review.
The HP Envy 5030 Wireless All-in-One Printer features a sleek black exterior that doesn’t take up too much space on the desk and isn’t too tall to avoid being stored in narrow compartments. However, the top of the printer opens for scanning, so keep that in mind when deciding where to put the printer for frequent use.
It features a touchscreen display that registers finger touches fairly reliably, although we’ve seen better touchscreens that incorporate more sensitivity without causing control issues. As it stands right now, you’ll need to push down rather firmly to get the touchscreen to register an action. It’s a little annoying but not unworkable.
The 5030’s paper tray has enough room for about 100 pages. This is plenty for most household uses, although industrial offices or shared printers normally have larger trays to accommodate the printing needs of an entire office. But for a family printer, 100 sheets are just fine.
The 5030, of course, takes advantage of the HP Instant Ink program. Ink can be expensive, regardless of what printer type you choose. The Instant Ink program works so long as your printer is connected to the Internet. The printer then sends a message to HP when the printer cartridges are almost empty and HP will automatically send new ink cartridges to your door.
This helps you avoid purchasing more ink than you need for a monthly fee. There are multiple tiers of subscription to let you pay for 50 pages worth of ink to 700, depending on your needs. You can also roll over unused pages to the next month so you don’t have to print out the entire supply that is shipped to your door each month.
This plan is best used for frequent printers that would burn through their supply of ink no matter what, but it’s too expensive for infrequent printer users who only occasionally use the 5030 for school projects or similar needs. It’s a better choice if you know that you’ll go through ink cartridges regardless of whether or not you’re signed up to the plan.
You do get a three-month trial service when you purchase the printer, which is a nice added bonus.
But there’s no getting around the fact that HP tends to be fairly expensive regardless. This plan is more of a cost-reducer than truly cost-effective. It’s still more cost-effective to use refilled cartridges that bring your cost per page to about five cents or so.
The 5030 can print, scan, and copy. Its versatility only enhances the power of its affordable asking price.
But what about printer quality? Most prints come out in about 1200 x 1200 DPI resolution in black and white or 4800 x 1200 DPI for color prints. This is fairly standard for printers of this size and pricing range, although we noticed that photographs and color images look much better than normal black text print.
In fact, the black text print emitted from the printer has a tendency to smear or fade depending on the status of your ink cartridge. Overall, this printer can produce homework quality pages but you’ll want something more expensive and higher-quality for more professional documents or legal papers.
The printer can spit out black and white or mono prints at about 10 pages per minute and color photos at about seven pages per minute. This isn’t super fast, but it isn’t exactly slow, either. We think it’s suitable given the asking price and the quality of the color photos. Just don’t go into this printer expecting it to turn out pages like an industrial copier.
In addition, the printer quality definitely slows down as you pack more information on to the page. Certain color photos can take several minutes to fully print and a page that has black text and color images might take four minutes or more. This is definitely slower than many other home printing machines.
The printer also features borderless printing options and a setting that allows for automatic duplex printing. This makes it easy to use, even if you haven’t used the finer technical options of printers before. There aren’t that many personalization choices to examine on the small screen, but this printer is really only meant for minor use at a small home.
The printer features built-in Wi-Fi, plus the AirPrint functionality that lets you connect your office iPad or iPhone to the printer relatively effortlessly. This is pretty handy for a home office or for a shared printer for your kids or spouse. Anyone in the home can connect their device to the printer and have it begin working on a project while they come from their own room or working space. The Wi-Fi connectivity is fairly reliable.
There is, of course, an included USB port if you would rather connect the printer to your computer by a hardwire.
Overall, the HP Envy 5030 is a decent printer for what it’s built for. So long as you go into the purchase understanding what the machine is and what it can you, you likely won’t be disappointed. But we’d recommend shelling out a little extra cash and getting a hyper quality machine if you print more than a few sheets a week.
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