Envy is HP’s low-end range, but this is at the lop of that range, and you’d expect excellent photo printing from a printer labelled ‘Photo’. Unfortunately, the 7830 only uses four inks, and the black is pigment based to give more solid print than the dye-based colours. What could possibly go wrong? Well, on glossy paper (best for image quality), we found areas of black came out with a visibly different finish, making pictures look patchy This happened on both of the HP papers we tried. Colours also looked oversaturated.
Not great for photos but fine for your general printing needs
If you don’t particularly want to print photos, this photo printer could be fine. There are USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports as well as Wi Fi, and you can print directly from SI) cards, made easier by the big colour touchscreen. Fax is supported if you have a phone socket handy. There’s a secondary paper tray for the printer as well as a 35 sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for the scanner. Scanning and copying are one side at a time, but you can print double-sided (duplex).
On plain paper, speeds of 13.3 pages per minute (ppm) for black text and 4ppm for colour graphics were reasonable, while a 6x4in photo print took 90 seconds. Printing was quiet.
One off copies were a bit slow, at 19 seconds for a black and white page or 27 seconds for colour, but a 10-page black- and-white copy completed in 79 seconds via the ADE Documents looked good. A 1200dpi 6x4in photo scan was slow at 2 and a half minutes, and showed over sharpening that couldn’t be turned off.
At around 4p. black pages are pricier than average to print, but 6.6p for colour isn’t bad. You could save money by signing up for HP’s Instant Ink scheme, which delivers more ink to you when each cartridge runs out. If you use less, you still pay the same until you downgrade your plan, but if you use more you’re charged extra. Why can’t they just bill you for what you use?
To complicate matters further, a version without the ADF and fax, the Envy Photo 7130, can be found heavily discounted. It’s not our favourite photo printer, but it’s a lot more appealing at that kind of price.
HP Envy Photo 7830 Review: SPECIFICATIONS
4800x1200dpi maximum print resolution • 1200x1200dpi maximum scan resolution • Ethernet • USB 2.0 • 802.11n Wi-Fi • SD card slot • 193x491x454mm (HxWxD) • 7.6kg • One-year warranty
HP Envy Photo 7830 Review: VERDICT
The first mistake here was to call this a photo printer, and the second was the price. If HP can fix the latter, general users might overlook the former
The first mistake here was to call this a photo printer, and the second was the price. If HP can fix the latter, general users might overlook the former.
HP Envy Photo 7830 Review: ALTERNATIVE
Similarly equipped, much faster and cheaper to run, this isn’t great for photos either but is clearly a better deal