The Good The fully functional HP Officejet 4630 is tuned for productivity gains through generous use of features including automatic document submission, duplexing, cloud printing, a specialized fax machine, and compatibility with the new HP Instant Ink subscription service.
The Bad It prints slower than its competitors. The output quality is limited by the expensive three-color ink tank, which lacks a media card reader and an Ethernet port.
The Bottom Line The HP Officejet 4630 is not the fastest printer on the market, but it offers professional-quality prints and features that protect the future, such as cloud connectivity and HP Instant Ink, which can potentially save customers a lot of money by refilling cartridges.
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The durable HP Officejet 4630 is a mid-range multifunction inkjet printer that combines an impressive list of features at a $ 100 price tag, making it a cost-effective device for home office printing, copying, scanning and faxing. You can find 4,630 online for as little as $ 70, as well as for sale in the UK for £ 66.15 and in Australia for $ 98.
HP Officejet 4630
Design and features
I like the new, flatter 4630 design – the combination of glossy and matte finish gives the printer professional quality, and HP has made the right decision to move the paper input tray to the bottom so you can slide it against the wall without blocking the paper path. With folded trays and no paper loading, the machine weighs 13.72 pounds (6.2 kg) and measures 17.56 inches (44.6 cm) wide, 13.2 inches (33.2 cm) x 7.45 inches deep height (18.9 cm).
HP Officejet 4630
|Price as reviewed||$99.99, £66.15, AU$98|
|Dimensions in Inches (Width x Depth x Height)||17.56 x 13.07 x 7.45 inches (44.6 x 33.2 x 18.9cm)|
|Inks||2-ink tank (Black, Cyan/Magenta/Yellow)|
|Automatic 2-sided printing (duplexer)||Yes|
|Automatic Document Feeder||Yes, 35 pages|
|Memory Card Reader||No|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, Wi-Fi, Airprint, Google Cloud Print|
|Paper Input Tray Capacity||100 sheets|
|Display||2-inch Monochrome LCD|
100 sheets of 8.5×11 inch paper are placed in the feed, but the guides are also configured to accommodate different types of media, including envelopes, pointers, iron transfers, and different sizes of photo paper. Built-in automatic duplexer that lets you print both sides of a sheet of paper, and you can load a 35-page stack of documents automatically from above for batch scanning and faxing.
The front panel is purposefully simple, with a solid-state backlit display and several buttons around the bezel that let you scroll through the on-screen menu. Also to the right is a numeric key to add phone numbers to the built-in address book and a few more buttons that switch network settings, web services and help. Unfortunately, the printer does not have a media card reader and a USB port, so it is not possible to print the pictures easily or quickly without first uploading them to your computer or phone.
Network settings and settings
HP includes a manual for initial setup and basic troubleshooting, but the supplied driver CD is very easy to follow, clearly marked with a guide for connecting your printer to your computer and home network. The disc also has a few additional software titles to help you upgrade your printer firmware, buy ink and paper online, and start projects using your HP Photo Photo Creation photos and templates. (Of course, you can download it all directly from the HP website.)
You can start printing in minutes with a simple USB connection, but you need to shake your hand at wireless to take advantage of shared printing and cloud printing. If you subscribe to the Apple or Google ecosystems, this is the easiest way to do this Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print that allow you to send jobs to your printer from your iOS devices and Google Chrome web browsers.
In addition, you can also enter your SSID and network password directly into the printer for wireless communication, and HP even offers a way to use the printer wirelessly without a router – just select “Wireless Direct” from the home screen and follow the instructions.
It would be nice if the printer had an Ethernet port for network connection, but no such luck here.
Chassis 4630 is lifted up to reveal the dual-cartridge entrance, one for black ink and the other for blue, purple and yellow to form a single three-color cartridge. The disadvantage of this system is that over time, you will have to replace the entire three-color cartridge, even if only one color is exhausted.
Keep in mind that print quality also affects the use of three-color cartridges, so check them out Epson Expression XP-420 if you think you will print a large volume of full-color photos or presentations. The XP-420 is another $ 100 multifunction inkjet that uses individual color cartridges, but the trade-off is that it doesn’t have a dedicated fax line. To get both a fax machine and individual color cartridges, you need to go for more expensive multifunction, such as HP Officejet Pro series.
As usual, HP is offsetting the price of refill cartridges by selling XL capacity models with larger ink tanks at a discounted price. Using the cost of these XL cartridges and the benefits of your own HP pages, you pay just over six cents per page of black ink and 17 cents per color. These prices are high compared to the Epson XP-420 and Canon Pixma MG5620 that can produce up to 3.5 cents and 5 cents for black and color pages, respectively.
HP Instant Ink
One reason HP has decided to use a three-color ink compartment is to encourage users to choose a new Instant ink service . Here’s how it works: For a monthly fee, HP will track your ink levels and automatically replace you in the mail when you’re done.
You start by choosing one of three payment levels, based on how many pages you think you print each month: $ 2.99. $ 50 per month, $ 4.99 100 pages US $ 9.99 300 pages US. You can always buy additional pages if you find that you are flipping through the allotment and the unused pages will go to the next month.
Subscribers who can accurately estimate their monthly print volume can save up to 50 percent on cartridge replacement, and of course it is a great advantage to never lose ink. The downside, though, is that Instant Ink cartridges aren’t backward compatible, so existing HP printer owners need to upgrade to a compatible model to use them. The instant ink cartridges HP currently sells are Envy 4500 , Envy 5530 , Officejet 4630, Officejet Pro 8610 and Officejet Pro 8620.
If your query speed is high in your list, you may be dissatisfied with the slow performance of Officejet 4630. Using your own CNET test documents, the printer typed only 4 pages of black text per minute and 2.5 pages of color graphics page per minute – the first especially slow for industry standards compared to the Epson XP-420, which registered more than twice the pages using the same performance test.
The single-color, three-color ink cartridge of the printer also boasts high output quality, but you probably won’t notice it unless you are a professional photographer and cannot recognize the subtleties of gradation and hue in the color spectrum.
I have printed a variety of full-color images in my anecdotal quality tests, and while this is certainly not comparable to a full six-color reproduction of the Canon Pixma MG5620, I would not hesitate to use the HP 4630 to produce professional documents such as summaries, slideshows and graphics.
The HP Officejet 4630 doesn’t guide you with its average print speed and quality, but I’m amazed at the variety of connectivity and ink options you can customize to your printing habits. It works well with both a small office printer and a home-based cloud-based photo printer, and you can stand to save a decent amount of money on consumables by signing up for a company-wide Instant Ink program.
The Epson Expression XP-420 is the best option if you have a compact footprint and high-quality pictures more attractive to you, but keep in mind that you donate a 4630 duplexer and a dedicated fax machine to do so. As always with printers, it comes down to how you plan to use it and what you plan to print.