HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer

Last updated date: May 16, 2019

DWYM Score
7.4

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 HP Printers and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, CNET, Consumer Reports, Tech Gear Lab, PC Magazine, ZD Net, Gizmo Freakz and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best HP Printer you should buy.

Overall Take

Weighing just 11 pounds, this printer is compact and lightweight yet full of features. It produces high-quality photos and graphic prints from anywhere, even a smartphone or tablet. The printer also has the ability to produce borderless photos, printed to the edge of the paper. In our analysis of 65 expert reviews, the HP HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer placed 8th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note June 3, 2019:
Checkout The Best HP Printer for a detailed review of all the top hp printers.

Expert Summarized Score
6.8
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
16,588 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
You get a lot for your money with a compact, lightweight design (only 11 pounds).
- BestReviews
The control panel rests on a lip just below it at a fixed angle, easily viewable unless you have the printer higher than eye level.
- CNET
October 22, 2015 | Full review
Scanning performance was Very Good, fine for general-purpose scanning.
- Consumer Reports
The Envy lures potential buyers with its low retail price of $100, the lowest of all of our printers.
- Tech Gear Lab
October 25, 2016 | Full review
It's also apparent when you consider the way this inexpensive inkjet multifunction printer (MFP) handles various kinds of output, with relatively high quality for photos and graphics, but subpar quality for text in our tests.
- PC Magazine
October 23, 2015 | Full review
We found the Envy 4520's print quality to be excellent for text, graphics and photos -- especially given the price.
- ZD Net
January 6, 2016 | Full review
This multi-function inkjet printer can handle various output with high quality photos and graphics printing, can connect to other devices and not just your computer/laptop.
- Gizmo Freakz
What experts didn't like
It doesn't have an ethernet connection
- BestReviews
The user experience on the tiny display makes you lift and drag a finger to scroll across all the menus, and the touch response isn't as snappy as on a smartphone, causing issues with latency and accidental presses.
- CNET
October 22, 2015 | Full review
The caveat? It's costly to print a page of text.
- Consumer Reports
The Envy was one of the worst models for text quality that we tested.
- Tech Gear Lab
October 25, 2016 | Full review
The 4520's speed for business applications is disappointing at best.
- PC Magazine
October 23, 2015 | Full review
Though HP 4520 offers cloud printing through Wi-Fi, it doesn’t support Ethernet LAN connectivity (wired network connectivity).
- Gizmo Freakz

From The Manufacturer

You can afford to be creative with HP Instant Ink: Save up to 50% on ink and never run out. Print lab-quality photos at home for pennies. Full of value. Print up to twice as many pages or photos with Original HP high-yield ink cartridges. Get high-quality prints—time after time—with an all-in-one designed and built to be reliable. Easy photo printing from your mobile device: Your device, your choice. Easily print documents and photos from a variety of smartphones and tablets. Start printing and get connected quickly with easy setup from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Connect your smartphone or tablet directly to your printer—and easily print without accessing a network. Everything you need to create: Print, scan, or copy quickly and easily with the 2.2-inch (5.5 cm) display—simply touch and go. Save paper and conserve resources—use up to 50% less paper with easy, automatic two-sided printing. Print borderless, lab-quality photos, laser-quality documents, scrapbook pages, and more—right in your home. Do more in less space: Save your space with a sleek, compact all-in-one designed to fit where you need it. Print in any room you choose—without causing disruptions—using the optional quiet mode. Access menu planners, news reports, recipes, and more with free HP Printables—delivered on your schedule.

Overall Product Rankings

1. HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Wireless Printer
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 6
2. HP Laserjet Pro All in One Wireless Color Laser Printer
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 8
3. HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-One Wireless Printer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 2
4. HP Envy Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 5
5. HP Laserjet Pro Monochrome Printer
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 4
6. HP OfficeJet All-in-One Wireless Printer
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 7
7. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 9
8. HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 7
9. HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Overall Score: 7.0
Expert Reviews: 8
10. HP LaserJet Enterprise Monochrome Printer
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On HP Printers

Even though so many tasks can be completed electronically, there are still many times when a printer is necessary. When shopping for a new printer, one brand has definitely stood the test of time.

Hewlett Packard had been in business for several decades by the time they released their first printer in 1984. Since then, HP has offered virtually every type of printer imaginable, becoming a tried-and-true brand for numerous consumers.

If you are looking for a new HP printer, taking multiple factors, desires and requirements into consideration will help you purchase the best printer for your unique needs.

Think about how you plan to use the printer. If you only need a printer for occasional home use, you might not need many features. Alternatively, if you are shopping for an office or small business printer, you might prefer something more feature-rich, such as the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One Wireless Printer. This model can print wirelessly, copy, scan, fax, print and scan two-sided documents and more. Similarly, a photographer will likely prefer a device that prints pictures, such as the HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing.

There are essentially two types of printers for home and basic office use. Inkjet printers drop small dots of ink onto paper to create a printed copy of an image, while laser printers use laser beams to create a design with static electricity. The toner, which is a form of powdered ink, is attracted by the static and adheres to the paper. Comparing the advantages and drawbacks of each printer type could help you determine the right one for you.

For photos or color documents, such as charts and illustrations, inkjet printers work very well. Color laser printers are available, such as the HP LaserJet Pro M281fdw All in One Wireless Color Laser Printer. However, laser printers are more expensive, at least initially. Since laser printers use toner, which lasts much longer than ink, you do not have to replace it as frequently.

Another consideration to include when deciding on a new printer is whether you want a wireless printer or a wired printer that is connected to one computer, typically with an ethernet cable.

If you need a printer that several people can use for multiple purposes, a wireless printer such as the OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One is a solid bet. Once you set it up, a wireless printer can be used across your Wi-Fi network. If you only plan to connect to the printer with a single computer and your network is already heavy with other wireless devices, you might wish to go with a wired printer. That being said, most wireless printers can also be connected directly to a computer with a cable, which gives you the option to use it wirelessly in the future, if you choose.

Of course, your printer budget also goes a long way toward your final decision. HP printers can range in price from less than $50 to several hundred dollars. Along with the initial cost of the printer, you will want to consider the price of the ink or toner it requires and how often you will need to replenish your supply. Establishing the features that are most important to you and determining which options are not as important will enable you to find the most suitable printer within your predetermined price range.

DYWM Fun Fact

William Hewlett met David Packard at Stanford University. The classmates became good friends by the time they graduated with electrical engineering degrees in 1935.

In 1938, Bill and Dave sold eight models of their first electronic device to a rather well-known customer. Walt Disney purchased the HP Model 200B devices (audio oscillators used to design, produce and maintain audio equipment) to prepare theaters to show the film, “Fantasia.”

By 1939, Hewlett-Packard was running out of a Palo Alto, California garage. The business had a little more than $500 in capital, partly in a used drill press.

Although Bill and Dave didn’t have a business plan, they knew they wanted to have their own business. After giving it a go with multiple unique products — foul-line indicators for bowling alleys, automatic flushing devices for urinals, and shock machines for weight loss, to name a few — they began to discover their niche in electronics.

After products such as microwave ovens, handheld calculators and atomic clocks, the first HP computer was produced in 1966. Nearly two decades later, the company released the first thermal inkjet printer.

The HP Printer Buying Guide

  • Keep it clean. Most HP printers have built-in tools that help clean the printer cartridge heads, keeping them from clogging or smearing ink on paper. Look for this feature in the printer’s “toolbox” or the HP Solution Center, which should be added to your computer when you download the printer’s software.
  • Know your equipment. Your HP printer should come with a user manual, which should also be available on the manufacturer’s website. Look it over before using your new printer. Not only will it help ensure proper use, but it might also clue you into features you may not otherwise have known about.
  • Perform updates regularly. Keeping your printer’s drivers up to date could keep you from experiencing problems with the device down the road. Look for update options in the HP printer’s settings. Choosing automatic updates prevents the need to check for and download them manually.
  • Replace responsibly. Although ink cartridge refills and off-brands might be cheaper than name brand replacements, using them could void a printer’s warranty. Be sure to read the fine print on your warranty information prior to buying and installing new printer cartridges.
  • Use black ink. When printing drafts or items for personal use, you can save ink (and money) by using only black ink. Look for the grayscale or black and white option in the Color menu when preparing to print a document.
  • Shut it down. Heat can cause printer ink to dry up more quickly. It can also shorten the lifespan of a device. Shutting down your printer at the end of the day or when you don’t plan to use it for some time can prevent it from heating up unnecessarily.