HP Envy 4520 vs. 5540 vs 4500: All-in-One Printer Comparison

The HP Envy series is a sleek collection of all-in-one printers that print, copy, and scan often at the touch of a button. The series has come a long way in design and functions.

HP ENVY 4520

The HP Envy 4520 sits low on the desktop and only rises to about a foot-and-a-half tall. It is definitely not the smallest all-in-one, but it does have a sleek look that minimizes clutter and visual impact. The printer connects quickly via USB and you can start using it pretty fast out of the box. There is a networking drawback, however, in that the 4520 does not have an ethernet port. WiFi is necessary to access the printer through any other means, but once you’re there, you can hook up with Airprint or Google Cloud Print. As for printer control, you’re limited to the touch screen due to the connectivity deficits.

The HP Envy 4520 is an inkjet printer that operates with two ink cartridges – one for black and one tricolor pack. Ink economy is always a concern and users will appreciate that the 4520 will run even if one color is out, and it will gradually register and make up for declining levels of one color with gradients of the others. HP also provides an “Instant Ink” service, which is essentially a subscription-based service that monitors your ink levels and automatically mails a new cartridge when the existing one gets to a certain level.

All-black text documents print rather quickly on the 4520, with an average of 8.9 sheets per minute. With one of the quieter operating mechanisms, the 4520 also produces high quality prints, especially for text, and color images are also impressive. All-in-all, the HP Envy 4520 is a great all-around printer for home or office if you don’t mind the lack of ethernet or memory card ports.

HP ENVY 5540

The HP Envy 5540 is a great option for a home-based all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. It’s limited capabilities for scanning (such as a lack of automatic feed) make it incompatible with most office environments but impressive photo printing capabilities will make it a family favorite.

The dimensions of the 5540 are about 17.9” x 6.1” x 16.1” and it weighs about 15 pounds. It doesn’t take up much real estate and it’s pretty light. You can connect via WiFi or USB, although using the wire connection to a PC will cut off access to the printer via HP apps, but you can still hook up to the printer with a mobile device to print and scan.

Once hooked up, the business applications of this printer, again, are not impressive. It prints only about 2.1 pages per minute on business applications. It is faster than the 4520 in that regard, as well as with printing photos. The 5540 can print a 4 x 6 photo in about 53 seconds, whereas the 4520 can take around a minute. The quality of the photos is also great for home use and the dual trays allow transfer from paper to photo printing without having to change paper and adjust the tray. The 5540 is also eligible for the HP Instant Ink program.

HP ENVY 4500

The HP Envy 4500 is designed to integrate all-in-one functionality advances into an entry-level price bracket. It’s a more boxy member of the Envy family, without the sleek edging of its more business-oriented siblings. It comes in at 5” x 17.6” x 22.5” but is still small enough to sit comfortably on your desk. 

The 4500 allows for WiFi hook ups to most mobile devices. You can print from virtually anywhere as long as you have compatible apps setup with access to the WiFi network, such as Google Print and Airprint. You can also email your document to the printer.

The 4500 uses the same dual-cartridge system as the 4520 and 5540 printers. The ink inside can get used up quickly, however, depending on what and how often you print. The low cost (generally under $100.00) of the printer is a trade-off for potentially higher ink prices. Also, as is the case with many


HP Envy 4520

●       Compact size

●       Small business

●       WiFi connectivity

●       USB connectivity

●       Two-cartridge inkjet

●       No mem card slots

●       No ethernet

●       Great picture quality

HP Envy 5540

●       Compact size

●       Slower printing

●       WiFi Connectivity

●       USB Connectivity

●       Two-cartridge Inkjet

●       Dual tray system

●       Fast photo printing

●       Great picture quality

●       No mem card slots

●       No ethernet

HP Envy 4500

●       Compact size

●       Not for business

●       Low cost

●       High ink cost

●       Noisy

●       Two-Cartridge inkjet

●       WiFi connectivity

●       USB connectivity

●       No mem card slots

●       No ethernet


Final Verdict

The choice between the Envy printers discussed above really will come down to how you plan to use it. If you are an infrequent home printer, the HP Envy 4500 could be the perfect low-cost hardware for you. Beware the cost of the ink, though, and look for deals. If you are looking for business capability and don’t mind a higher price and no ethernet, the 4520 is a great deal. It’s sleek and it prints quietly and quickly. The best all-around winner, though, is the Envy 5540, with an average cost and high quality photos. It’s not the best for an office due to its slower business application printing speeds, but for a home office with minimal printing requirements it could be the perfect fit.

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