The ability to print from a computer or mobile device is a necessity in most households. You can spend less than $100 to get a really basic, no-frills inkjet printer, but you’ll probably be disappointed by its print quality, speed and capabilities. If you spend more than $600, you’ll get a much higher-end printer, but that might not be within your budget.
That said, a mid-priced printer like the HP Envy Inspire 7955e may be better fit for your budget while still meeting your home printing needs. If you’re looking for an all-in-one printer that prints, scans and makes photocopies, this inkjet printer is worth taking a look at. While it may not offer the print quality or speed needed to equip your home office, it will nicely meet the diverse printing needs of a typical family.
The printer offers an average print speed of 10 pages per minute. This isn’t particularly fast, but there are slower printers out there when it comes to printing text or creating photo prints from digital images. For a family that prints less than 300 pages per month on average, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e allows you to easily generate those print outs wirelessly from your computers or mobile devices.
Yes, at just $270, the suggested retail price of the printer is attractive. It’s within the ballpark of what you’d expect to pay for any printer with similar specifications. That said, this is an inkjet printer that relies on traditional and costly ink cartridges, as opposed to ink tanks (which are far less expensive to keep filled). With that in mind, consider the ongoing maintenance costs based on how often you will be using your printer.
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e Offers Some Nice Printing Features
As you’d expect, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e offers a pretty comprehensive selection of features, such as two-sided printing. There’s also a 2.7-inch, full-color touchscreen built into the printer. There’s one 125-sheet paper tray for letter or legal-size paper. There’s also a second smaller 15-sheet tray for photo paper or envelopes.
While you can use regular 20-pound multipurpose paper with this printer, if you plan to use the two-sided printing feature, you’ll want to use thicker paper to prevent the ink from bleeding through. As for the photocopier and scanner, the printer offers up to 1200 dpi resolution and will store scanned files in JPG, BMP, TIFF, PDF and PNG formats. The photocopy resolution is up to 600 dpi.
In the box, you’ll find the printer itself, a power cord, an HP 64 Black Ink cartridge and an HP 64 Tri-Color Ink cartridge. If you choose to forego wireless printing with your Windows PC or Mac, you’ll need to purchase a USB cable separately.
For wireless printing from your smartphone or tablet, you’ll have the most control over the printer using the HP Smart mobile app. Without the app, however, the printer supports Apple AirPrint (for Mac, iPhone or iPad) or Bluetooth wireless printing from an Android-based mobile device. Noticeably lacking from the printer are a memory card slot and USB port that allow for printing directly from external media.
HP Sells Its Envy Inspire 7955e Printer For $270
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e In A Nutshell
- Offers B&W and full-color printing
- Serves as a full-featured printer, scanner and photocopier
- Free ink cartridges are included during the first six months
- Wireless printing (including AirPrint)
- Relies on ink cartridges (instead of ink tanks)
- Relatively slow print speed
- Small-capacity paper tray
- Prints from digital photos are good quality, but not professional photo lab-quality
- A bit noisy when printing
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Technical Specifications
All-In One Capabilities: Printer, Scanner, Photocopier | Print Speed: 10 ppm | Page Yield: 200 (B&W) / 165 (color) using HP 64 Ink cartridges; or 600 (B&W) / 415 (color) using HP 64 XL cartridges | First Print Out: 16 to 18 seconds (longer for photos) | Connectivity: Wireless, USB or LAN | Mobile Printing Support: Apple AirPrint, Bluetooth or HP Smart App | Monthly Duty Cycle: Up to 1,000 pages | Display: 2.7-inch touchscreen | Paper Handling: One 125-sheet capacity letter/legal paper tray and one 15-sheet capacity photo/envelope paper tray | ADF Capacity: 35 sheets | Scanner Resolution: 1200 dpi | Dimensions: 18.11 x 15.08 x 9.17 inches | Weight: 17.9 pounds
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e Meets Basic Printing Needs
Right out of the box, setting up the HP Envy Inspire 7955e is a quick and easy process. Between the printed quick start guide and the information displayed on the printer’s touchscreen, you’ll be up and running within 15 minutes.
During the initial unboxing experience, the biggest innovation you’ll discover is something that has nothing to do with the printer itself. There’s a strong tape and paper handle surrounding the entire unit. This handle makes it very easy to lift the printer out of the box. Once the printer is placed on a table or desk, the handle gets removed as you peel off the strips of tape that hold all the printer’s moving parts in place.
Connecting the printer to your home’s wireless network is also a straightforward process. Your computers may need to download drivers, but this happens automatically during the setup process.
For a typical family’s printing, photocopying and scanning needs, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e can do it all. That said, you don’t get the superior print quality as you’d experience from a higher-end inkjet printer or a dedicated photo printer, especially when creating prints from digital images.
For printing shorter length text-based documents that contain some graphics, this printer is more than adequate. If you often need to print longer-length documents, the 10 pages per minute print speed will get a bit frustrating.
The main paper tray will only hold about 150 sheets (less if you’re using thicker paper), so you’ll likely need to refill it often. This paper tray does accommodate a nice range of paper sizes, though—between 3.85 and 8.5 inches wide and between 5 and 14 inches long.
The photo paper tray, which has a much smaller capacity, is hidden between the main paper tray and the 60-sheet output tray above it. This smaller tray accommodates 5 x 5-inch, 4 x 6-inch or 5 x 7-inch photo paper, as well as #10 envelopes.
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Design
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e looks very much like any mid-size, all-in-one printer. The front offers easy access to the paper trays and touchscreen display. On the back, you’ll find the port for the power cable and an Ethernet port. There’s also a door that opens to provide access to the printer’s insides if paper gets jammed. I didn’t experience any paper jams during rigorous tests, but of course, your mileage may vary over time.
The topside gives you access to the 35-sheet capacity auto document feeder (ADF) for the scanner and photocopier. Below it is where the pages get returned once they’ve been copied or scanned. You get continuous easy access to the ADF and ADF output tray.
When you manually raise the ADF, the flatbed scanner is revealed. The locking mechanism to hold the lid open must be placed at a 90-degree angle; otherwise, you’ll need to hold it open to insert individual pages into the flatbed scanner.
One thing you may need to do rather often is replace one or both ink cartridges, and that calls for raising the printer’s entire top lid, including the flatbed scanner. This is done by flipping down the front panel that features the HP logo. You then lift the entire lid open until it locks into place.
Underneath the lid, the ink cartridge ports are on the right. The black cartridge gets inserted into the rightmost port and the tri-color cartridge slips into the cartridge port to the left. Also under the lid is a sticker that displays the printer’s product identification and unique serial number, along with a QR code for accessing online-based tech support.
Much of the printer and its casing is made from off-white and tan plastic, which you’ll see when you’re pulling out or pushing in either paper tray. Once the paper tray is filled and pushed back in, you always need to pull out the main paper output tray and make sure the flap that catches printed papers fully opens. Any time you need to replace paper in either paper tray, the output tray needs to be folded into place and pushed back in. This only takes a few seconds, but it is an added inconvenience.
The mainly plastic construction of the printer becomes more obvious when manipulating the paper trays, since the movement of the plastic makes some noise and feels a bit flimsy. You’ll find the main power button for the printer on the top of the printer in the lower-left corner (to the immediate left of the touchscreen).
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Using The Touchscreen Display
For enhanced viewing, the touchscreen tilts a bit, but it only locks into place when it’s fully flush against the printer’s front panel or at a pre-defined angle of about 45-degrees. Each time the printer is turned on, the touchscreen displays a warmup screen. Once the printer is ready to function (which takes about 30 seconds), the main menu is continuously displayed unless the printer discovers a problem such as low ink, a paper jam or the main paper tray is empty. The touchscreen turns off when the printer goes into Sleep mode.
The main menu offers large, easy-to-tap, color-coded icons for photocopying, scanning and shortcuts. The top-right corner of the display shows a series of smaller icons. Tap on any of these icons to reveal submenus. From here, you’re able to control other printer features.
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Wireless Printing
During the initial setup, you link the printer to your home’s wireless network. Your computers will load the required drivers automatically. You’ll also be encouraged to install the HP Smart app onto each of your mobile devices.
Ultimately, when printing anything but plain text on 8.5 x 11-inch paper wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet, you want to use the mobile app to gain enhanced control over the printer. This is particularly necessary if you want to create different size prints from digital images, for example.
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Ink Refills
This printer relies on ink cartridges, not ink tanks which are much more cost-efficient. On the plus side, it comes with a six month trial subscription to HP’s Instant Ink service, so you won’t need to pay for any ink during this time. After the free trial, you can sign up for this service to save money on replacement cartridges or purchase cartridges on an individual basis as they’re needed.
HP sells the HP 64 Black Ink cartridge (which generates about 200 pages) for $19, while the also required tri-color cartridge (which generates about 165 pages) sells for $25. High-capacity HP 64 XL cartridges are also available, but these cost more.
HP Envy Inspire 7955e: Performance
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the HP Envy Inspire 7955e’s performance based on print speed, color printing, photo printing, noise level and ink source.
Once you click or tap on the Print icon on your computer or mobile device, the first page out time is consistently between 16 and 18 seconds. For color prints from digital images, the first page out is closer to 30 seconds. This is reasonable for a printer at this price point, but it will seem slow to anyone accustomed to using a higher-end printer at work, for example. The 10 pages per minute print speed is also adequate, but not lightning fast.
When printing black and white text-based documents with minimal graphics, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e does a decent job. When printing full-color documents with a lot of graphics (like charts, photos or graphs, for instance), the quality is also decent for a home printer and the pages appear clear and crisp.
Printing a lot of colorful graphics on 20-pound, multipurpose paper sometimes causes the paper to ripple a bit because of the initially wet ink. If you’re using the two-sided printing feature, the ink occasionally bleeds through thinner paper. In general, the printing quality looks better when you use slightly thicker paper.
As for printing digital photos, when compared to a higher-end photo printer, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e often makes images look slightly darker. The colors are nowhere near as bright and vivid as you’d probably like. When generating 8.5 x 11-inch prints from digital photos, not only did the colors in the images appear darker and slightly pixelated, but subtle (unwanted) lines from the printheads could consistently be seen on the prints.
These lines were more obvious when prints were generated on 20-pound multipurpose paper, as opposed to premium photo paper. Lighter colors consistently reproduced better within digital image prints compared to images with a lot of black and darker colors (which also showed more unwanted pixilation).
During multiple tests, trying to generate truly borderless 8.5 x 11-inch images was a bit of a challenge. While the preview window on the Mac or iPhone showed a borderless image, what came out of the printer was often a small and somewhat uneven border around at least two or three of the photo paper’s edges (sometimes all four edges).
Meanwhile, when creating smaller 4 x 6-inch or 5 x 7-inch borderless prints, the quality was much closer to what you’d get from a one-hour photo lab. The darkness of the colors could be offset by editing (and lightening) the images, but this is a step you should not have to take. Thus, if you’re looking for a home photo printer, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e can handle this task, but there are better options on the market for photos. (See 15 Photo Printers That’ll Preserve Your Memories True To Life.)
Whenever the printer is active, you can definitely hear it working. If you turn on the Quiet mode, its overall speed slows down and the sounds generated by the printer are reduced, but it can still be heard functioning. When the printer sits dormant, it generates no sound. From the Environmental Settings menu, you’re able to pre-set the printer to turn on or off at specific times of the day or enter Sleep mode after a pre-determined number of inactive minutes.
Is The HP Envy Inspire 7955e Printer Worth It?
Overall, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e does everything that Hewlett-Packard promises the printer can do. It does not, however, perform all these tasks at an above average level. As a general-purpose printer, it offers a decent value and performs well. In terms of its performance as a photo printer, it’s merely average.
Two of the printer’s biggest drawbacks are the life of the printer cartridges and the ongoing cost to replace them. For anyone who does an average or above average level of printing from their home, an all-in-one inkjet printer with ink tanks is a better long-term investment.
You can save a bit of money by subscribing to the HP Instant Ink service or by purchasing generic ink cartridges from a company like LD Products. For example, LD Products charges between $25 and $30 for individual black and tri-color ink cartridges, which are compatible with the high-capacity HP 64 XL cartridges. You’ll save a bit more if you buy both required cartridges in 3-packs instead of individually. (You can also buy HP-compatible LD products on Amazon.)
In a word, just about everything about this printer is average. If the HP Envy Inspire 7955e was priced below $200, it would represent a better value based on its overall performance and print quality. However, even if you pay the suggested retail price of $270, you won’t feel ripped off. You’ll wind up with a decent general-purpose printer that doubles as a photocopier and scanner. The good news is, right now, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart have this printer on sale for just $220.