HP Envy 4520 Wireless (Full Review)

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The home use HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Printer is anticipated. This is clear from the fact that it doesn’t have office-specific features like an automatic document feeder (ADF) for scanning. This is also clear in how this low-cost inkjet multifunction printer (MFP) handles different output types.

In our tests, it made a text of average quality, but it made images and graphics of high quality. One disadvantage of the 4520 is that it’s easy to discover competing MFPs that cost the same amount or less and can compete in areas where it excels while resoundingly outperforming others.

HP Envy 4520 Wireless 2

The Brother MFC-J470DW, our Editors’ Choice reasonably priced inkjet MFP, in particular, ties the 4520 for photo and graphics quality and photo speed, delivers superior text quality, and was more than three times as fast on our tests for business applications. Additionally, the Brother model includes capabilities more appropriate for offices than the 4520, such as ADF and faxing. Both devices have Wi-Fi, but only the 4520 has Wi-Fi Direct.

HP Envy 4520 Wireless Review

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  • Wireless Printing
  • Mobile Printing
  • 2-Sided Printing
  • Beautiful Photo Prints With No Trimming

The 4520’s basic MFP capabilities are limited to printing, copying, and scanning. There is only a 100-sheet input tray and a built-in duplexer, which is a pleasant addition to the limited paper handling.

For the majority of domestic uses, it is adequate, but each time you want to switch between plain paper and photo paper, you must replace the paper in the tray. The flatbed can hold up to letter-size material for scanning and copying.

Although there is no Ethernet port on the printer, you may use the 2.2-inch front-panel touch screen to use HP’s print apps to print from various websites. According to HP, the most popular print applications are crossword puzzles, Disney coloring book pages, and a 7-day menu planner.

Printing from the cloud is possible with mobile printing with a network connection. Mobile devices running iOS, Android, Windows, Google Chrome, Amazon Kindle, and Blackberry, can print via a Wi-Fi access point on your network. You won’t be able to print over the cloud or use the Web apps if you connect to a single PC by USB.

However, you can still connect directly with Wi-Fi Direct to print from a mobile device and print various templates that are saved in the printer. Graph paper, music paper, and strangely fax cover sheets are options for an MFP that doesn’t support faxing.


The driver CD you receive in the packaging is fairly simple and has a clearly labeled guide to connecting the printer to your computer and your home network. HP also includes a manual for initial setup and basic troubleshooting.

With just a USB connection, you can start printing immediately, but to use the print-sharing and cloud-printing functions, you’ll need to join a wireless network. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, services that let you send tasks to the printer from your iOS devices and Google Chrome Web browsers, are the most convenient methods if you subscribe to the Apple or Google ecosystems.

You can also enter your SSID and network password into the printer directly to go wireless. You can connect with only a single button press if your router supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (or WPS). Since the printer lacks an Ethernet port, you must use a wireless network in your home to connect it to the internet.

Speed And Quality

The 4520’s processing performance for business applications is, at best, poor. It was clocking out at a noticeably sluggish 1.4 pages per minute using the hardware and software in our business applications package (ppm).

Contrarily, the Brother MFC-J470DW measured at 4.9ppm. Even the Epson Expression Home XP-420 Small-in-One, whose speed I characterized in my assessment as little better than satisfactory for the price, managed 2.6ppm.

HP Instant Ink

The distinction between pages and pages under the Instant Ink program that firms report as cartridges further complicates issues and makes it nearly difficult to compare running costs to printers from other manufacturers.

When HP or another business claims that a particular cartridge will print, say, 100 pages, they are basing that claim on a particular image specified in an ISO/IEC specification. However, when HP claims that the Instant Ink service allows you to print 50 pages monthly, it means 50 actual pages.

One period printed on a page counts as one page. Two-sided pages count as two, as does inking it from edge to edge. Due to all of this, it is challenging to compare operating expenses with and without the Instant Ink plan. Remember that and carefully weigh the cost before agreeing.

One of HP’s Instant Ink’s selling features is the printer’s ability to monitor ink levels and automatically purchase more ink before you run out, ensuring that the replacement cartridges arrive before you need them. However, if your printing requirements change and you go without printing for a while before printing a lot over a few days, you run the risk of running out of ink on one day when you print a lot and still running out later.

Another problem is that HP pushes you to sign up for Instant Ink during printer installation and when you replace an ink cartridge by reminding you on the printer’s front-panel LCD. The reminders on the LCD may start to annoy you repeatedly, though they are only a little irritating if you choose not to sign up for one of the Instant Ink plans.

  • Wireless Printing
  • Mobile Printing
  • 2-Sided Printing
  • Beautiful Photo Prints With No Trimming
  • No Cons

Star Rating

4.1 out of 5 Stars


The 4520 is lightweight and compact enough for one person to move into place, measuring 5 by 17.5 by 14.5 inches (HWD) and weighing 11 pounds 15 ounces. I used a USB cord to link it to a Windows Vista computer for my tests.

The physical setup of an inkjet MFP is typical. Although installing the software differs slightly from other printers, HP claims this method will eventually become the norm for its new inkjets. Visit the HP website, where “HP will lead you through. The configuration of your printer,” according to the Start Here guidelines.

HP Envy 4520 Wireless 1

However, similar to the HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Printer, the homepage is for installation rather than the printer itself, and when I went to look for the 4520, the site was unable to locate it. According to HP, the website should have the printer by the time you read this because it wasn’t available when I tried it. I used the alternative installation method of the printer’s distribution CD for my tests.

Product Comparison

The HP Envy 4520 performs better than its rivals in photographs, taking a 4 by 6 image in an average of 1 minute and 1 second. This is more than a minute faster than the Epson XP-420 and practically tied with the Brother MFC-J470DW. The output quality is uneven. Text quality falls noticeably short of the level in most inkjet MFPs. It shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t frequently use font sizes smaller than 8 points.

The graphics and photo quality are significantly higher than the competitors’. The graphics output is below average, placing it at the bottom of a narrow spectrum made primarily of inkjet MFPs. It is more than adequate for most casual home uses, including PowerPoint presentations and similar tasks. Photos are comparable to standard drugstore prints, making them compatible with the majority of inkjet MFPs as well.

To Conclude

The Brother MFC-J470DW is a good option if you require a printer for both regular home use and your home office or if you merely desire one with better text quality and a higher print speed for business applications than the HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Printer offers.

The 4520 is a decent choice but not a standout one if you don’t require office-specific features like an ADF, aren’t concerned with text quality or print speed for documents, can connect using Wi-Fi Direct, or find HP’s Instant Ink program appealing because it promises a relatively predictable running cost per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is HP Envy a good printer?

The HP Envy 5540 is a decent and trustworthy printer with many useful features. Its low price and high degree of use make it the perfect entry-level picture printer for everyone. It produces papers and colors photos in good quality quickly.

Does HP Envy 4520 print photos?

The HP Envy 4520 prints everything on A4 paper fine; however, it won’t print photographs. Because it is nowhere to go once the lid is closed and one cannot print if it is open, the 6 x 4 (professional) gloss photo paper merely gets stuck.

Does HP Envy 4520 support AirPrint?

To print documents from Apple devices, use AirPrint. To utilize the AirPrint feature, ensure the printer and iOS device meet these requirements. Ensure the HP Envy 4520 supports AirPrint and that iOS 4.2 or later is installed on the Apple device.

Is HP Envy 4520 printer inkjet or laser?

The ENVY 4520 All-in-One Inkjet Printer is prepared for HP’s Instant Ink Program. It can be configured to automatically order new ink cartridges when you are getting low, ensuring you always have a fresh cartridge available when yours runs out.

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