- Photographic quality above average.
- Good variety of connectivity options.
- 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF).
- Fax capabilities.
- Automatic duplexer.
- Ink costs are high if you buy individual cartridges.
- Somewhat unsatisfactory graphics quality.
- Limited paper capacity allows for light or personal use.
A step up from HP’s Envy printer line, the Photo 7855 MFP ($199) has a wide range of connectivity options for a photo-centric MFP. Speed and photo quality are improved over the HP Envy 7640 e-All-in-One printer. The HP Envy 7855 is a good choice for home users who want to save money on photo printing and are willing to subscribe to HP’s subscription . based Instant Ink program to do this.
Style and Substance
An attractive printer, the Envy 7855 is matte black with glossy black highlights. It measures 7.6 by 17.9 by 19.8 inches (HWD) with the drawers extended and weighs 17 pounds. On the tilting front panel is a 3.5-inch color touchscreen. Paper capacity is 125 sheets, plus a 15-sheet photo tray. It has an automatic duplexer for double-sided printing. The 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) lets you scan, copy or fax multi-page documents up to legal size. Unlike many comparably priced inkjet MFPs, the 7855 cannot automatically scan two-sided documents, although many photo-oriented MFPs, including Editors’ Choice Pixma TS8020 wireless inkjet MFP printer, do not have an automatic document feeder at all.
The Envy 7855 can print, copy, fax and scan, and can print or scan to a USB stick or SD memory card. The printer supports HP ePrint, which allows you to email files as attachments to a unique address HP assigns to the printer, and the Envy will print the email and files even if it is on the other side of the printer world.
Connectivity includes USB, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and the printer can also establish a direct peer-to-peer connection to a compatible mobile device using HP Wireless Direct or Bluetooth. (You can configure the 7855 for wireless printing over a Bluetooth connection with the HP Smart app installed on your iOS or Android mobile device.) We ran our speed tests over an Ethernet connection with drivers installed on a Windows 10 Professional -pc.
The 7855 is the top model of the three recently introduced HP inkjet all-in-ones. The HP Envy Photo 7100 costs $149, while the HP Envy Photo 6200 all-in-one costs $129. The 7855 is the only one of the three with a USB memory drive port, Ethernet connectivity, an ADF, the ability to send faxes and support for legal-size paper printing.
Print Speed and Ink Options
In the text portion (Word) of our business suite, we clocked the Envy 7855 at 12.7 pages per minute (ppm), which is pretty close to the rated speed of 15 ppm for black printing. It printed our complete package, including the Word document, as well as files with more images, at a speed of 4.6 ppm. We can’t directly compare it to the previous-generation HP Envy 7640 ($245.90 at Amazon), which we tested using our old protocol. However, knowing that photocentric inkjet printers are not known for their speed, the 7855 performed respectably. The Canon Pixma TS9020 Wireless Inkjet MFP and the Editors’ Choice Canon Pixma TS8020 achieved comparable scores, 12.9 ppm in Word and 4.2 ppm overall for the TS9020, and 11.4 ppm in the Word portion of our test and 4.4 ppm in total for the TS8020. The small printer in one Epson Expression Premium XP-640 was slower, at 9.1ppm for the Word document and 3.2ppm for the whole package.
The printer uses only two ink cartridges, one black and one multicolor (the other three standard inks: cyan, magenta, and yellow). HP’s price and performance based running cost for its high-capacity cartridges is 6 cents per monochrome page and 16 cents per color page, but that is only valid if you purchase the cartridges separately. Customers can realize significant savings by enrolling in the HP Instant Ink program. In comparison, the running costs of the Canon Pixma TS8020 are significantly lower at 4.1 cents for black pages and 12.7 cents for color pages. The cost for the Expression Photo XP-860 is also lower, at 4 cents per monochrome page and 15.5 cents per color page. With Instant Ink, HP users can dramatically reduce those color costs.
See How We Test Printers
The Instant Ink program is a three-tier subscription that offers up to 50 pages per month for $2.99 per month, up to 100 pages per month for $4.99, and up to 300 pages per month for $9.99, and those rates remain. even if you stop, print in color only. The printer detects when the ink is low and automatically asks for more. Unused pages are turned over and additional pages can be earned for 15 pages per dollar on the Basic plan, 20 pages per dollar on the Mid-range plan, and 25 pages per dollar on the 300-page plan. For the $9.99 frequent printing plan, the cost per page (black and white or color) is 3.3 cents. For the cheaper plan, the cost goes up to 6 cents per page, which is still a significant savings for color printing over your cost of buying the ink without an Instant Ink plan, as well as on color costs from the other printers listed here.
Best for Photos
Output quality was mixed, with average text, slightly below average graphics and slightly above average photos. The text should be suitable for any commercial use, except for applications such as desktop publishing that use very small fonts.
Graphics should be good enough for school work or general business use, although you would draw the line on formal reports or brochures sent to the people you need to impress. Many illustrations showed bands, a regular pattern of faint stripes. The backgrounds weren’t as dark as we’d like them to be.
The quality of the photo was a little above average. The colors were well saturated, vibrant and punchy, although in a few prints they crossed the line to over-saturation, almost to the point of being showy. The 7855 did very well retaining black and avoiding a tint in our monochrome test photo. On a few prints it might have been better to distinguish between subtle changes in shadows. Most of our proofs were of the quality we would expect from pharmacy prints. The good black print matches what HP told us is a new ink formulation that produces better photographic quality than usual for a printer with only two inks, although it didn’t reach the print quality we saw in the recent Canon TS series, as as the Canon Pixma TS8020.
Understated and Improved
There was a time when HP Envy all-in-one printers, introduced in 2010, were all about style, at the expense of features and performance. The 7855 is still stylish, albeit in an understated and tasteful way. Speed, features and photo quality have improved since we last tested an Envy printer (the 7640). The overall output quality is lower than the Canon TS9020, as well as the Editors’ Choice Canon TS8020. It has two features that both Canon’s lack, an ADF and fax capabilities, but the 7855 only has half the paper capacity of those two models. Ultimately, as an all-in-one photo, primarily for home use, its usefulness depends primarily on the quality of the output, and that’s where it falls short. The TS8020 retains our Editors’ Choice crown, but the HP Envy Photo 7855 All-in-One Printer is hailed as a step up from the Envy line. If you need to scan multi-page documents and print good photos, the 7855 is worth checking out.