HP Officejet 4500 review
Good value, but it can't match its Canon rival for speed, quality or features
HP's Officejet all-in-ones are designed to bridge the gap between home and the workplace at an affordable price. At £110 exc VAT, the Officejet 4500 undercuts its main rival - the A-Listed Canon Pixma MX870 - by around £25, which is a positive start.
It's more economical in the long-run too. Its 2.9p cost per colour page is one of the cheapest we've seen and, if you use the high-capacity black cartridge (which costs around £14 exc VAT), the HP costs 2p per mono print - almost a penny less than the Pixma.
The HP is Windows 7-compatible and offers an 802.11g Wi-Fi connection, and there's a 20-sheet ADF on top and a 100-page input tray in the base. But there are evident cutbacks to meet that price: the two-line LCD panel contains a plethora of nested menus and proved awkward to navigate, and there's no proper output tray to prevent prints from tumbling onto the desk. There's also nothing to match the Canon's Ethernet connection, memory card reader, automatic duplexer and 2.5in colour screen.
The two-cartridge, black and tri-colour print engine is also fairly middling. Document print quality was solid enough for work use but, next to that of the five-ink Canon, text lacked sharpness. For images the gap was even wider, with photographs lacking the contrast and punch of a good photo inkjet.
It also proved slower in our tests. Over USB, the HP churned out mono pages at 5.7ppm and colour prints at a disappointing 2.4ppm. These results were slightly slower when we printed the same documents over the Officejet's 802.11g wireless connection, and were outclassed by the Canon, which in colour tests was up to three times faster.
The scanner took 1min 39secs for a 6 x 4in photograph at 600dpi, and copied mono documents at 4ppm over the USB connection. Scan quality is one area where the HP competes well, with sharp, clean results, so if you scan a lot it has at least one area of appeal.
But in most other areas the Officejet 4500 falls short of the quality needed for an award. Thanks to its broader range of features, flawless picture quality and decent speed, we'd still spend our cash on the Canon Pixma MX870.
|Price ex VAT||£110|
|Price inc VAT||£129|
|Features & Design||3|
|Value for Money||4|
|Resolution printer final||4800 x 1200dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||no|
|Rated/quoted print speed||28PPM|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||2.0p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||2.9p|
|Inkjet technology||Gel ink|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||428 x 420 x 215mm (WDH)|
|Copier rated mono speed||28cpm|
|Fax page memory||100|
|6x4in photo print time||1min 7s|
|A4 photo print time||3min 22s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||5.0000000ppm|
|Colour print speed||2ppm|
|Input tray capacity||100 sheets|
|Output tray capacity||N/A|
|SD card reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Memory Stick reader||no|
|USB flash drive support?||no|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 2000 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows 98SE supported?||yes|
|Software supplied||HP Solution Center, Photosmart Essential, Smart Web Printing, Document Manager|