HP - HP Envy 4520


HP Envy 4520: a versatile 3-in-1 for those who print little

Aprox. 249€

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With a distinct design, the multifunction printers of the HP Envy range target families who are looking for a model to do everything in everyday life and rather gifted in photos. Sold around 70 €, this Envy 4520 will be especially suitable for homes that print in small quantities, the fault at a high cost per page.

Positive points

Successful design, albeit a little bulky.

Ease of use.

Photo print quality.

Low energy and fairly quiet.

Bad points

High cost per page.

Minimalist touchscreen control.

Rendered in office and in copy just correct.

Our review


We know the design of the Envy range of printers rather inspired. The black plastics used are of a correct quality and the finishes are of a good standard. The Envy 4520 is no exception to the rule, even if we must admit that with the efforts made by the main manufacturers in recent months to reduce the size of their printers, the models designed on this mold are starting to seem a bit bulky.

Very simple in its approach, the Envy 4520 is a 3-in-1 that offers USB and Wi-Fi connectivity (Wi-Fi Direct compatible, but also HP ePrint or Apple AirPrint). In the latter area, all the settings are made directly via the small monochrome touch screen on the front. With a diagonal of 5.5 cm, it deserves to be a little more reactive and a little larger to improve the comfort of use. Whether you are used to the HP menus or not, it only takes a few minutes to make the main settings before you are ready to launch the first prints.

The Envy 4520 has only one input paper tray, the capacity of which is limited to 100 sheets of 80 g / m², which is however consistent with the monthly printing volume recommended for this model (up to 400 pages). Small adjustable plastic strips and marks present in the tray make sure that each type of paper has been correctly placed before printing.

The receptacle where the printed sheets are stacked is a simple articulated arm which comes out automatically when a print is launched. It is simple and effective, even if the system shows its limits when the quantity of printed pages becomes substantial.

The Envy 4520 opens in two parts, the top flap giving access to the scanner glass, the second to the ink cartridges. Good point, once in the bowels of the printer, a small removable cover provides access to the paper drive rollers, to intervene in the event of a possible paper jam. Note that the Envy 4520 supports automatic two-sided printing. A function on which some professional oriented printers ignore this price range.


In terms of energy consumption, the HP Envy 4520 acts as a very good student. It consumes only 0.7 W during standby, and 10 W during a photo print job in A4 format. As for noise pollution, they are very acceptable. Not particularly noisy in office automation (40.1 dB measured with a sound level meter a few tens of centimeters in a room measured at 34 dB with the printer off), it is even quite silent in photos (36.7 dB), knowing in addition that a mode can be activated, further reducing these nuisances.

Cost per page

This is clearly an area where the HP Envy 4520 disappoints, without however being a surprise knowing that it works with only two HP 302 type cartridges. To obtain the lowest cost per page, it is advisable to opt for the XL version of these cartridges, sold for around € 35. In black and white, the cost per page is then € 0.073, while the overall cost per page is calculated at € 0.23. We are well above the 10 euro cents which represents the average inkjet. For comparison, even the HP Deskjet 3720 does much better with its overall cost per page yet already high of 0.17 €.

Scanner and copies

The Envy 4520's scanner is a flat model that works on a maximum resolution of 1200 dpi in 24 bits. This scanner is quite fast, knowing that it only takes 13 seconds to scan a document in 100 dpi and 14 seconds for a 10 x 15 photo in 300 dpi. Good speed found on the side of the copy function, since photocopying an A4 document in black and white requires only 10 seconds, while it takes 23 s to perform the same operation in color. The quality of these photocopies is correct, even if we perceive a slightly degraded quality on the texts and the graphic of our test page appears visibly less defined.


Even if it only uses two ink cartridges, the HP Envy 4520 turns out to be quite good in photos. It works with micro-Piezo heads to print up to 4800 x 1200 dpi. If it does not shine by its speed (1 min 3 s to take out a 10 x 15 shot without borders and 2 min 13 s for a photo in A4), we can nevertheless say that it takes its time to deliver "prints" quality .

Without being perfectly faithful, the colors measured with the probe are relatively preserved (delta E of 6.7, which is a good figure on this type of printer). And if a high resolution scan of the printed photos reveals a slight noise generated by a drop size that could be finer, it must be recognized that the rendering is good with the naked eye.


In office automation, the flow rates measured on the Envy 4520 are quite average. It already takes 16 seconds to get out its first page in grayscale, which is a lot. For example, an Epson XP-445 delivers its first page in just 8 seconds. But it must be said that the Envy 4520 is penalized by an automatic arm opening mechanism rather lethargic to receive the printed sheets. With 13.6 pages / min in black and white and 9.2 ppm in color, this Envy 4520 catches up a little thereafter by barely registering in the average.

Regarding the rendering of printed documents, we note that the black on white texts tend to drool very slightly; a high resolution scan reveals some imperfections on the contours. Imperfections that can be found on the color graph, with texts that could be sharper to improve their readability. If the gradations stand out rather well, we note that the surface printed in color in standard quality slightly lacks uniformity, for a result which, to the eye, is just correct.


The HP Envy 4520 printer is a great family printer. Connected, it has modern features and offers - in addition to a nice design - an interesting photo print quality. Energy efficient and rather silent, it is however penalized by a printing quality that can be improved in office automation and a poor screen. But it is above all a cost per page that is too high which prevents it from claiming better. We will therefore reserve this model for those who print little.