When you have been doing product reviews for a while, you develop the idea that you have things more or less pegged. See, surprises do come along from time to time, but for the most part the changes that one sees while doing this job are the kind of things that evolve from previous ideas.
This is particularly applicable in terms of design. It seems that people like to stick to what they know, more or less, when it comes the aesthetics. One of the companies we thought we had pegged was HP, whose printers always look more or less like a variation of a strong theme running through the product line. Oh, boy, were we in for a surprise when we opened the HP Envy 110 box.
Where HP generally produce printers that are fairly tall, a bit boxy and almost always black or grey, the Envy is the exact opposite: low, sleek, curvaceous and light, finished in creams and whites. It is, as far as modern printers go, visually striking. If you are of the opinion that this one is almost directly aimed at the Apple crowd, you’re probably right. It looks like it would fit into an Apple setup beautifully. Of course, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t look great next to a PC either... after all, IBM derivative users aren’t snobs; as long as the product works, looks aren’t everything. Different strokes...
Aside from a striking appearance, the Envy 110 is a dependable printer, offering the kind of performance one would expect from an HP device. It offers printing, faxing, scanning and copying capabilities, as well as wireless connectivity and ePrint facilities. It uses a two cartridge system, which is not ideal, with a delivery of around 200 pages from a standard black and 160 pages from a standard colour cartridge.
The unusual build of the printer means that it might surprise you when operating. Prints, for example, are delivered via a port just below the scanner lid, and the interior of the device can only be accessed by lifting the entire scanner bed. No train smash... it just takes a little getting used to. Controlling the device takes place by way of a touch screen built into the printer’s front panel. This panel can be tilted for maximum convenience, too.
In the end, choosing the Envy 110 over another printer will really come down to whether you want to take advantage of its aesthetic. Simply put, it performs almost exactly like any other HP printer. It is a bit smaller, too, offering a more compact solution to some of the other models, and its online connectivity does bring some fun and funky applications to the table. But while things like that and the integrated card reader are great, they are not essential. So, in short, once again, it comes down to looks. If you like what you see, then it is the right printer for you.
With performance similar to any other HP printer, the Envy is really all about its unique appearance.
• Looks great
• Nice size
• Good performance
• All about the Looks
• Two cartridge system
• Touch screen