HouseParty Chatterbox: HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Printer with HP Instant Ink #HPInstantChat

With all the advances in computers recently, sometimes it feels like printers are being left a little behind. HP sought to try to remedy that by updating it’s venerable Envy series of printers with a touch screen, wireless capabilities, cloud printing and HP’s service, HP Instant Ink.

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I found the HP Envy 5540 AIO printer fell a little short almost everywhere, and way short in some places. To start, I’m not a fan of the “Instant Ink” service. Not only does it have a lot of intrusive, near constant pop-ups, but it wants to order ink way before the current cartridge is depleted. Not only that, it wants me to order paper, photo paper, and it does it every time you connect. That alone would have led me to box it up and take it right back. HP wants to claim “photo lab-quality prints” on pictures, and while the included photo sample paper made for a lovely print, it was obvious even to my untrained eye that I printed it at home. And HP’s yield for their ink is still near the bottom of the pack. The scanner wasn’t a lot better, but gave me good results for documents. There’s also no feed tray at the top for copies, faxes, or scans, just the flatbed, which after about 10 pages gets tiresome. Lastly, the minuscule monochrome touchscreen controls are frustratingly small. My hands were fine, but Hubby’s sausage fingers had him ready to pull his hair out. With everything tech under the sun having a big, bright color touchscreen, this is nigh unforgivable.

On the plus side, it grabs and holds the wifi signal, a clear improvement from the last HP Envy I tried out. It’s fairly quick to print, especially plain text black and white. The setup was painless, and going back to just two ink cartridges after using the 4 required for my Brother All In One printer was a welcome relief.  And while Hubby found the touchscreen on the “too small” side, I didn’t have any issues entering commands and found the interface very user friendly. And while I liked some things a lot, the things I disliked weighed more heavily on my mind because while they weren’t the kind of things that make the printer useless, they’re annoying enough to me that I wouldn’t have bought, kept or highly recommended this printer to anyone. HP has always made good to great hardware hamstrung by bad to awful software, and it seems this printer is no exception to this rule. In the end, I went back to my Brother printer, and this is coming from someone who had only had HP printers for over a decade.Whether these things would be deal breakers for you is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from House Party/Chatterbox/HP. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Finally, a true, wireless All-in-One wonder!

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I’ve been doing a lot of crafting lately. Aside from the staples needed to be “crafty”, what has become indispensable is a good printer. I’ve had and used quite a few over the years, some good, some bad, one or two truly awesome. But when I got a chance to try a honest to goodness “All-in-One” printer, I was giddy. One that prints, copies, scan, and prints pictures. And, as a cherry on top, it will do it wirelessly. HP’s Envy 4500 boasts all these features and more. And while it does most everything you ask of it quickly, painlessly, and with quality, there were some hiccups I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight as well.

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This HP Envy 4500 is prints quickly,up to 21ppm speed, and has sharp, crisp blacks. And the bright, vivid colors, pops on all types of papers, especially genuine HP photo paper. But, this HP Envy also wants to save you time by offering 2-sided printing! Oh, huzzah! No more waiting for a document to reinsert and then hope and pray you guessed the correct orientation. I’m also loving the photo printing, because there’s nothing worse than sorting through page after page of clip art, finding that one gem, and seeing it printed like it’s a lousy dot-matrix printer from the 80’s and all the detail is LOST. That isn’t how the HP Envy 4500 rolls. And I haven’t even got to the best part. Wireless printing. Be it from your laptop, your tablet, or your smartphone, everything you need to print, you can in a snap. Once you connect the printer to your home network, you’re golden. Your 100 page tray is you’re only limitation, because the work can be printed from your fingertips. And with a one-year warranty, and 24/7 tech support just a phone call away, but it’s sometimes hit or miss if you get someone who will help, or asks you if the printer is plugged in.

DSC_0007 (2)Now, I must mention the hiccups. This is my third HP printer. Every HP product I’ve ever owned has been rock solid in their build, and this one is really no exception. The chink in the armor with HP’s software. It’s always been a little buggy, for as long as I’ve owned HP products (I’ve beta tested for them in the past too), and this software is no exception. And, most frustratingly, is the constant “pop-up” asking me to sign up to HP’s ink cartridge subscription program. No means no, people. But once you get past that, you get to the quick printing, the colors that pop, and the privilege of not having to drag your devices across the house to print anything and everything. To scan documents and upload them from three rooms away. There’s a lot to like about this printer, and I’m happy I got to try it.

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**An addendum to this review previously posted, on Amazon, on July 22nd, is that the software seems to be somewhat corrupted, or very faulty. It loses it’s connection almost every day and jams fairly frequently now too. It’s also quite the ink hog, as I’m already being told to replace the black ink cartridge. I recant my previous recommendation because really, it isn’t doing any of the things it’s supposed to do very well. When it does print, it’s gorgeous. But no one wants a crap shoot when they click “print”. You want to know it’s going to work the first time, every time. **
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I received the above product(s) free of charge for the purposes of review . I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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