Hands-on review: HP Envy Pro 6430 + Instant Ink
When it comes to printers in 2021, it's all about user-friendliness.
Gone are the days of frustration, attempting to get your device connected to the correct network, just for the printer's connection to disappear from view. Now, if a printer isn't straightforward to set up with a streamlined document-to-print process, it's an outlier.
HP's Envy Pro 6430 All-in-One encapsulates this simplicity while also boasting a litany of features — and while it does have rather wasteful ink cartridges, its competitive price at around NZ$100 means it's an attractive option.
Setup and operation
Setting up the printer was incredibly easy: it's as simple as taking it out of the box and plugging in the power cable. I was then prompted to download the HP Smart app, which was also very straightforward. Upon pressing the ‘+' button on the app, the printer showed up on the screen, where I was prompted to enter my WiFi password. Once that was done, a button flashed on the printer — I pressed it, and that was it!
The app also doubles as a quick guide on installing the ink cartridge. As soon as the printer was set up on the app, it gave me all the information I needed to insert the cartridge. Just like that, the entire setup process was done in less than five minutes.
And because my primary device for printing was my computer (not my phone), the app also directed me to send a link to my laptop via the app to easily link it to the printer. From then on, printing from my computer was a breeze.
The Envy Pro 6340 takes up a smaller space than expected: at only 433x512x132 mm, its slight form factor makes it ideal for small working spaces. Its sleek design is also complemented by a gentle purple light above the paper tray, as well as multicoloured buttons on the control panel.
Its small build does have a drawback, however: its 130mm height means it has a rather small paper tray, meaning paper will need to be replenished more often.
The Envy Pro 6430 comes with a surprising amount of features considering its size and price: colour printing and scanning at 1200dpi, a 35-page ADF, a mobile fax facility and an auto-duplex mode. The duplex mode is a personal favourite, as I can't abide single-sided printing when duplex printing is theoretically possible.
While the printer doesn't support duplex scanning, it can scan up to 35 pages at a time. Printing time is relatively slow, however: it prints about 10 pages per minute on non-duplex mode.
HP Instant Ink
While having an ink cartridge, as opposed to laser capability, makes it less environmentally friendly, HP's ink replenishing service injects even more convenience into the whole experience.
HP Instant Ink is a subscription service that mails refills to your door as you need them. When ink or toner levels are low, HP automatically ships a new cartridge. Cartridges are shipped before you need them, so you never run out.
The subscription service uses high-volume cartridges, pricing based on pages printed, and direct-to-customer shipping delivered only when you run low. This means fewer cartridges travel shorter distances and require fewer packages.
Overall this is a great product at an affordable price that doesn't skimp on features and looks good on a small working space. Setup is easy, and WiFi and Bluetooth connections make everything straightforward; however printing time can be slow, and the printer sacrifices eco-friendliness with its ink cartridges.
However, Instant Ink ensures you're never without ink — only adding to the convenience that this printer affords.