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HP Envy Inspire 7220e review: Great value printer

The Envy Inspire 7220e is a cost-effective, all-in-one color inkjet home office printer, scanner and copier from HP, capable of printing on plain and glossy photo paper.

Recently launched, it’s available to buy now for just over £100 and offers buyers a lot for this very attractive price. It offers fast print times for text documents and color photos, fast scan times, and it’s covered by HP Instant Ink subscription plans, which can be great value at long term for families, busy households or anyone who needs to make a lot of impressions.

With support for Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android devices, the HP Envy Inspire 7220e can fit into virtually any home office setup, and with Wi-Fi support and USB, there are wireless and wired connectivity options.

Design and build

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e is a compact, low-profile all-in-one. Mostly white plastic, there are colored accents on the scanner lid and paper tray, which can be Surf Blue or Portobello Beige – I was sent a beige one.

It might look bulky, but the HP Envy Inspire 7220e is reasonably light, weighing around 7kg. It has recesses on the sides, which makes it easy to pick up and move.

All inconspicuous sections of the HP Envy Inspire 7220e, from the scanner lid to the paper tray to the printer cover, are clearly delineated either by differently colored plastic or by indentations that show you exactly where to grab and shoot things. It is literally easy to pick up.

While you can control the printer remotely with the HP Smart desktop and mobile apps, there’s also a built-in 2.7-inch adjustable touchscreen control panel. The touchscreen itself is quite responsive and the Android-style user interface is easy to navigate.

The scanner bed is lightweight and opens easily, but there’s no slow-close mechanism, so you have to push it all the way back. The main cover, however, features a slow close, making it easy to install and change ink cartridges.


The paper input tray has two tiers, the upper for glossy photo paper and the lower for plain paper. It can hold up to 15 sheets of photo paper (max. size 13 x 18 cm) and up to 125 sheets of plain paper (max. size: A4).

While the HP Envy Inspire 7220e can work as a photocopier, there’s no ADF (automatic document feeder) here, so you’ll have to scan and print anything you want multiple copies of manually. This is common for affordable printers.

Configuration, applications and wireless printing

You can set up the HP Envy Inspire 7220e from a Windows, Mac OS or Chrome OS device, or an iOS or Android mobile device through the HP Smart apps – whichever way you do it is simplicity itself. The only thing you will need is your home network Wi-Fi password.

As the HP Envy Inspire 7220e is compatible with Apple AirPrint, there is no need to install any drivers – Windows users may need to download and install them from HP’s site, and Chromebook owners may need need to install this extension.

HP Smart apps guide you through the setup process and make things easier for anyone who’s never set up a printer before. Cartridges fit easily into the cradle and the printer arm is reassuringly sturdy.


Of the two, the HP Smart mobile apps are more convenient and likely the ones you’ll use most of the time. You can print from Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox and Facebook through both apps, but the iOS version also adds support for Box, Evernote and, naturally, Apple iCloud.

Finally, the Mopira app for Android devices is also supported, which allows quick printing of files and photos stored on your phone’s gallery. Handy if you don’t want to have to use the HP Smart app.

If you want to run maintenance cycles, you’ll need to use the desktop apps, or better yet, just use the HP Envy Inspire 7220e’s control panel.

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e features HP’s “self-healing” Wi-Fi technology, which establishes the best Wi-Fi connections and automatically reconnects when interrupted. It has a dual-band Wi-Fi antenna, and via the HP Smart mobile app you can configure it to use the less congested 5GHz band.


If you are installing the printer in the same room as a router or access point, it is a good idea to do so. If you’re unable to access the 5 GHz band or are still having connection issues, consider investing in a mesh Wi-Fi network solution.

You can also connect directly to the HP Envy Inspire 7220e from a desktop or laptop computer if you have a USB Type B cable and send print jobs the old fashioned way.

Performance

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e prints black text pages quickly, and pages with color text and graphics are also produced fairly quickly.

Printing a 20-page test document took 1 minute and 22 seconds, which gave me a pages per minute score of 14.63 ppm. As expected, printing a test document with a mix of text and color pie charts and bar graphs took a little longer – 2 minutes and 4 seconds, which equates to 9.6ppm.

That’s below the 15ppm and 10ppm speeds that HP claims the Envy Inspire 7220e is capable of, but only slightly, and these are good speeds for a home office inkjet in this price range.

That’s faster than last year’s Canon Pixma TS7450 and HP’s own Envy Pro 6420. It’s not as fast as a laserjet, like the Brother DCP-L3510cdw, but again, you shouldn’t expect it to be. If you need to print lots of reports, letters, or essays quickly, the Envy Inspire 7220e might be the printer you’re looking for.

Print quality on the Normal setting is also very high, with rich, well-defined text and solid color blocks. The grain is only really noticeable if you look at the pie charts, so you really only need to switch to the highest quality for important documents.

The only hiccup I encountered is that the black ink needs a few seconds to dry, if you grab the sheets as they are ejected from the HP Envy Inspire 7220e you will end up with very inked fingers.


Photos printed on regular A4 took an average of 31 seconds, while photos printed on 10 x 15 cm glossy paper took only slightly longer, 34 seconds on average.

Print quality, especially on glossy paper, is good, with natural flesh tones and rich artificial colors. The blues might look a little too rich, but not in a way that will make your holiday snaps look unnatural. Thanks to the guides in the paper tray that bring everything into place, alignment issues were rare in testing – I only had to reprint the photos a few times, even then they weren’t horribly misaligned, but not enough dead on.

So it’s a shame that the HP Envy Inspire 7220e can’t print so well on A4 photo paper, as I expect the results to be just as good.

Although there’s no automatic document feeder, scanning doesn’t take long, with plain text documents and color photos taking around 12-15 seconds to scan at 300 dpi.

Running costs

Like many HP color inkjets, the Envy Inspire 7220e uses a two-cartridge system, one black ink cartridge and one tri-color (cyan, magenta, yellow). It takes full size HP 303s and larger HP 303XLs.

The standard RRP for the HP 303 black and HP 303 tri-color cartridges are £16.99 and £20.99 each, and these give you around 200 and 165 pages of ink. This is a cost per page of 8p and 12p respectively.

The larger HP 303XLs offer better value for money; an HP 303XL black costs £35.99 and promises 600 pages of ink – or 5p per page – while an HP 303XL color cartridge costs £40.99 and gets you 415 pages – or 9p per page.

These prices are roughly equivalent over inkjet printers in this price range. The bigger cartridges are worth buying, especially if you can find them as part of a bundle deal somewhere.


If you rarely print documents, replacing cartridges when you need them is probably the best option. Busier households have the option of subscribing to one of HP’s Instant Ink subscriptions, which automatically send you new cartridges in the mail whenever the printer detects that you’re low on ink. Pricing plans are based on the number of sheets you browse in a month and are currently priced as follows:

15 pages: 99p/month
50 pages: £2.99/month
100 pages: £4.49/month
300 pages: £9.99/month
700 pages: £22.49/month

The middle option and the 300-page option compare well to the prices of the HP 303, and you can already see why if you’re printing hundreds of pages a month, a subscription might be a good cry.

Price and availability

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e is available for purchase now. You can pick it up direct from HP in the UK, where it’s priced at £130. It is also available from Amazon, ArgosRyman and john lewis.

The Envy Inspire 7220e was not available from the HP Store in the US at the time of writing, but a similar model, the HP Envy Inspire 7255e, is available now, for $219.99.

You can also get the 7220e from HP in Australia, where it’s priced at AU$149.

In the US, the HP Envy Inspire 7255e variant is also available from best buy again for $219.99 – it’s listed at Amazonbut was marked as currently unavailable.

The only other place to buy an Envy Inspire 7220e in Australia is currently Amazon, where it’s listed for AU$229.55.

Verdict

The HP Envy Inspire 7220e is a great value all-around home office all-in-one that lacks a few features, including ADF and the ability to print on glossy A4 paper.

But if you can live with that and primarily want something to print documents on, then the low RRP, high speeds, and high-quality results make the HP Envy Inspire 7220e a good choice.

Specifications

HP Envy Inspire 7220e: Specifications

  • All-in-one color inkjet printer, copier, scanner
  • Ink Type: Cartridges
  • Print resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi (colour), 1200 x 1200 dpi (black)
  • Scan resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Maximum paper size: A4 (plain), 13 x 18 cm (glossy)
  • Dimensions: 191 x 460 x 383 mm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 6.91kg