HP’s Envy 5540 is a great option if you are looking for a decent looking printer at a budget price tag, priced at just £69, it features a sleek design with a range of features.
Including support for printing, scanning, photo printing and extra features such as ePrint that extend it even further with Wireless Direct and AirPrint wireless printing over a WiFi connection.
It also comes with support for double-sided printing, with access to HP Printables over the web via the printer’s 2.2-inch mono touchscreen at the front.
And all of that is compatible with any system from Windows Vista to Windows 10, as well as from OS X Lion to El Capitan. Google’s Cloud Print is also compatible with HP’s ePrint service, so it will work with Chromebooks too.
Setting up the printer was extremely easy, just plugin it in and then connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network and you’re ready to print anything you want.
When you finished have the setup, you will have access to full-colour printing via the printer’s thermal inkjet using CMYK inks, with support for borderless printing on 10 x 15 paper.
Sadly the printer does not allow you to print from an SD card or USB flash drive, however via HP’s ePrint app, you can print easily from a smartphone wirelessly.
In terms of performance, the Envy 5540 is able to print in 1,200 dpi and scan in 1,200 dpi, with 4,800 x 1,200 dpi printing in full colour on specific HP photo papers. It is also able to copy 10 pages per minute in black and white, and 5 pages per minute in colour. To top that off it has print speeds that are rated at up to 22ppm in black draft mode and 21ppm in colour draft mode.
ISO numbers are set to 12ppm for black and 8ppm for colour.
To do this the 5540 is equipped with a 525MHz processor and 128MB of RAM, sadly this does mean that the printer can take some time to finish printing a document, HP says this is 19 seconds for black printing, 22 seconds for colour and 34 seconds for a single borderless 10 x 15 photo.
In our tests, this was quite accurate, although sometimes it would be quicker and sometimes it wouldn’t be.
Of course in order to do all of this you also need to buy ink, which costs around £10 for a black cartridge and £15 for a colour cartridge, which are apparently capable of delivering 200 and 165 pages respectively, which is about 5p per page in black and 9p per page in colours.
You can also get XL cartridges for £20 each, these can print 600 pages in black and 415 in colour, making it 3,3p per black print, and 4.8p per colour print.
To make this process easier, the HP Envy 5540 allows users to subscribe to a service called HP Instant Ink, which will automatically deliver you new ink cartridges when HP detects that you are running low, it costs £1.99 for 50 pages per month, £3.49 for 100 and £7.99 for 300. Which is 4p per page, 3.5p per page and 2.7p per page respectively.
However, the 5540 is only designed for normal use cases, so most people who use it probably won’t hit too high limits, with a main tray that has a volume of just 125 sheets.
If you are looking for a printer to get the job done, then the HP Envy 5540 is a great option for you, it will happily print out all of your documents and photos with no problems, and it will do so without the hassle of connecting any cables, and even allow you to print straight from your smartphone.
We also liked that the 5540 comes with a sleek design that doesn’t really get in the way, the main tray is hidable, unlike many other starter printers, and the output tray pops out simplistically to make things even cleaner.
Unfortunately, the 5540 printers can be rather slow, and non-XL cartridges for the printer can be somewhat expensive, although HP does offer a service that makes up for that with a cool solution, that is if you are happy to subscribe to it.
Sadly it also lacks a USB port or camera card slot, we think the ePrint functionality might make up for that for most people, though.
Disclosure: HP sent us a sample of the Envy 5540 for the purposes of this review, it was returned upon its conclusion.