The HP Envy Pro 6420 printer is designed for the user who needs a printer at home that does not cost too much and which does not take up a lot of space.
For decades, HP has been the leader in the manufacture of office printers. Back in the ’80s, office printers were big and boxy. However, technological advancements have enabled the design to be more streamlined and lightweight. The HP Envy Pro 6420 is a prime example of that. This multi-functional printer combines printing, copying, and scanning all into one machine, with each function clearly identifiable in the design.
Similar to the popular HP DeskJet Plus 4120, the HP Envy Pro 6420 is designed for the home office and families. Connections are wireless. It only needs two inkjet cartridges to provide you with high-quality printing in vivid colour.
If your family prints a lot at home, and you are concerned about the frequency of replacing the ink cartridges, you will be pleased to know that the cartridges use by the HP Envy Pro 6420 are covered by HP’s Instant Ink subscription plan. There are different pricing tiers that you can sign up for, one of which is sure to fit your needs. If you print a lot, the subscription plans save you money over buying individual cartridges on your own. However, if you are an occasional user, it may cost less if you just purchase a new cartridge when you are running low.
This review of the HP Envy Pro 6420 is comprehensive. You will learn how the printer works, what the quality is like, and how much it costs to use it. At the end of the review, you will have enough information to make an informed purchase decision.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 – Basics
The HP Envy Pro 6420 is a multi-functional machine that operates as a colour printer, copier, and scanner. The design is clean and simple, and it takes up a minimal amount of space. The average price is about £90.
The design is so clean that the control panel has no display. All of the operational commands are executed from your computer and mobile devices. There are only lights to indicate status and a few controls.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 gives you the versatility of connecting to your desktop computer with a wired USB or connecting to your mobile devices and laptops via Wi-Fi. Because you execute commands from your device, the printer does not need to display controls on a panel.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 can accommodate a wide range of paper sizes, from the basic A4 to other sizes like A5, A6, B5, C6, and DL. It supports duplexing (otherwise known as double-sided printing). You can fill the ADF (automatic document feeder) with up to 35 sheets of A4 paper. You can conveniently produce hard copies of files that are many pages long. The scanner scans an image at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi and produces copies at a resolution of 300 x 300 dpi. It creates sharp images on ordinary paper. You can print in black at 1200 x 1200 dpi and in colour at up to 4800 x 1200 dpi.
HP Envy Pro 6420 – Printing Speed
It takes less than five seconds for the HP Envy Pro 6420 to print one single-sided page of text. That amounts to a printing speed of just a little over 90 seconds for a document with 20 pages. The speed is quick and efficient even if you use the duplex function. It takes a bit less than three minutes to print 10 double-sided pages. Compared to the HP DeskJet Plus 4120, the HP Envy Pro 6420 is faster when printing text. When printing a photograph on A4 paper, both models took about two minutes.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 specifications state that the printer can print on photo paper that has a high gloss. However, for this review, the printer was not able to do so.
For scanning, the HP Envy Pro 6420 can read text and images in less than 20 seconds. It took about 35 seconds to copy and print a page of text, and a little under 50 seconds to copy and print an image in colour.
HP Envy Pro 6420 – Print Quality
At the default settings and using regular paper, photos and graphics are printed out with a nice appearance. Of course, you can adjust the settings if you want optimal quality. The text appeared clear and sharp. The colours came out vivid and rich. Skin tones in photographs appeared natural and warm. There were no areas that had too much or too little colour. Overall, the print looked very nice.
Unfortunately, contrary to what the printer specs stated, the printer failed to print on glossy photo paper. When the printer picked up a sheet of paper from the paper tray, the glossy paper got stuck in the rollers and caused a paper jam.
HP Envy Pro 6420 – Cost of Operation
The HP Envy Pro 6420 uses two ink cartridges, just like the HP DeskJet Plus 4120. One cartridge is for black ink, and the other is for the three colours cyan, magenta, and yellow. The HP Envy Pro 6420 can accept the standard HP 305 cartridge or the high-volume HP 305XL cartridge.
The cost of printing on the HP Envy Pro 6420 is about average for this class of printers. Each page costs about 8p to 10p. However, if you sign up for one of the HP Instant Ink subscription plans, you can lower your printing costs.
When you subscribe to this plan and establish an Instant Ink account, you are connected to the central service. When the HP Envy Pro 6420 detects it is low on ink, it will send a message to HP telling it to send you refills. The subscription plans are priced on a sliding scale based on how much you print. The subscription is monthly so you can cancel, resubscribe, or choose another plan at any time.
HP Envy Pro 6420 – Ease of Use
The HP Envy Pro 6420 is quick to set up and easy to use. The size is small and efficient. However, because the design is compact, sometimes the paper rollers can pick up more than one sheet of paper at a time when you execute a print job. This ends up in a paper jam.
During set-up, you will need to download the HP Smart app for the operating system of your device, be it Windows, Mac OS, Android, or iOS. You also need several sheets of paper to run alignment tests after you connect your printer to your home network.
Although theoretically, you can go through set-up using popular operating systems with a wired connection or Bluetooth, for the sake of efficiency, you should set up via a wired connection. That is because wireless connections can sometimes experience interference that will cause the connection to drop. This can be frustrating during the middle of a set-up. So, to play it safe, set up your printer via a wired connection.
When you have completed the set-up and have connected your printer to your Wi-Fi network, run an alignment test. If you are satisfied with the results, you can start sending print requests to your print queue.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 is compatible with Apple Airprint. Therefore, if you use a Mac, you don’t need to do any more before you can print. However, if you use Windows, you will have to download and install the right print driver. You can find drivers on HP’s website.
Printing is very easy. The printer apps are user-friendly so you can print on demand any time you want. You can enhance your images with filters provided by the app. There is a link to HP’s Printable activity centre that gives you even more tools to enhance your images.
The app for desktops allows you to print from files stored on your desktop. However, the mobile apps allow you to print files stored on your mobile device as well as cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and Facebook. The main advantage of the desktop app is for setting up your printer and testing alignments with minimal problems. The mobile apps do not have the capabilities to do this.
Our decision: Is the HP Envy Pro 6420 a smart purchase?
The HP Envy Pro 6420 has an attractive, sleek, space-saving design. It produces high-quality prints quickly, even when you print on both sides of a sheet of A4. Colour printing was also good in quality and speed. However, it did have trouble printing on glossy photo paper, so we have no comments on image quality on this type of paper. It does suffer from paper jams every now and then, and sometimes the paper feed can pick up more than one sheet of paper at a time from the paper tray, which causes problems. Just keep this in mind if you plan to buy this printer.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 has a fairly low usage cost like the HP DeskJet Plus 4120. If you want to save on printing costs, even more, you should subscribe to one of the HP Instant Ink plans.