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HP Envy 120 review: HP Envy 120

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The Good Unusual design. Quiet operation in normal mode.

The Bad Bulky and heavy. Slow to print.

The Bottom Line HP's Envy 120 has an unusual design that should work well in your living room, but you'll need plenty of patience while you wait for it to work.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.2 Overall

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It's probably horribly printerist to say this (and we may have just accidentally invented printerism along the way), but most multi-function printers look pretty much alike.

That's part of the issue relating to form and function. There's only so many ways you can dress up a scanning plate, paper feed and print head mechanism, and the established big players have pretty much drained that well dry.

We've got to give some marks to HP, though, with its Envy line of printers. Like the rest of its Envy range, the focus here is on style. Or at least as much style as you can reasonably get out of the form of a multi-function printer. HP's been producing Envy printers for a good number of years now; back in 2010 when we reviewed the Envy 120's predecessor, the Envy 100, it was notable for looking different; since then, we've had the duplexing-capable Envy 110 and now the Envy 120. Like its predecessors, the Envy 120 certainly looks different to most multifunctions.

It's just that unlike the Envy 110 and 100, which more or less looked like explosions in an iPod factory, the Envy 120 is visually more akin to an old-school 1970s-era overhead projector. That's an image created almost entirely by the fact that one of its innovative features is an entirely clear top scan plate. It certainly changes the look of the Envy 120 compared to its forebears, although the accent is still on a printer that you might not mind having in your living room. At 432x495x337mm and 7.98kg, it's not going to be a subtle part of the decor, mind you, and at AU$329, we'd advise against using it as a coffee table.


Despite its unusual design, the HP Envy 120 is otherwise a stock-standard multifunction printer with inbuilt print, scan and copy features, but no faxing. It's essentially built for light use, given that HP only graces it with an 80-sheet paper tray.

HP's made a lot of noise in recent years about its interfaces and app selection. Like much of HP's line-up, the Envy 120 features a touchscreen panel that offers a variety of both business- and consumer-centric apps, all with one core mission: to make you use more printer ink. There's nothing wrong with them if you see value in that trade-off, but there's little within the app space that doesn't end up with a printed page or two along the way.

From a connectivity viewpoint, the HP Envy 120 hooks up via USB or Wi-Fi. Our review sample came with the USB cable, but it wasn't entirely clear whether this is supplied in retail models. It'll also read SD/MMC and USB drives for photo and document printing, as well as Wi-Fi direct printing from smartphones and tablet devices.

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