Review: HP's OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One Printer

HP's Little AIO and Instant Ink Program Rock Entry-Level

HP OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One Printer
HP OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One Printer and Instant Ink. HP

HP has had such an unusually good response to its Instant Ink replacement program that the company has recently released several new entry-level and midrange ENVY, Deskjet, and OfficeJet All-in-Ones that come with subscriptions to the Instant Ink service. Of them, of course, was the topic of this review, HP’s $99.99 MSRP OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One Printer.

Part of a six-printer debut, the OfficeJet 4650 is about middle-of-the-road for that group, and I’ll tell you what that means in a moment. One of the many beneficial aspects of the Instant Ink program is that no matter which printer you use, you’re pages will cost the same. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. All the ink the world is useless if you’re not happy with the quality of your printer and what it prints.

Design and Features

The OfficeJet series is designed for small- and home-based offices with minimal print requirements, such as 100 to 400 printed or copied pages and 20 to 100 scans each month. You can connect to it via Wi-Fi or  a single computer with a USB printer cable, but not Ethernet.

At 17.5 inches across, 22.2 inches from front to back, just under 8 inches tall, and weighing a slight 14.4 pounds, this is not a very big printer—especially considering all that it does. It has a 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for feeding multipage originals to the scanner. Unfortunately, the ADF is not auto-duplexing; you’ll have to flip double-sided originals manually. (But the print engine itself does two-sided printing automatically.)

A 2.2-inch “Hi-Res Mono” touch LCD helps you execute not only configuration changes but also walk-up, or PC-free options, such as making copies, scanning to or printing from cloud sites, or perhaps scanning to various drives on your network. Also included are several basic mobile connectivity options, such as Wireless Direct, HP’s equivalent to Wi-Fi Direct for connecting to compatible devices without either being attached to a network.

Some other mobile features include HP’s ePrint, Apple’s AirPrint, Google’s Cloud Print, and literally hundreds of HP’s own printer apps. Printer apps mostly provide content, from just about every imaginable type of provider, including copious forms, contracts, and so on.

Performance, Print Quality, and Paper Handling

Compared to several of its competitors, this OfficeJet’s print speed is about average. Since this is a low-volume printer, it really doesn’t matter how fast it is, as long as it’s not inordinately slow. My rudimentary tests showed just under 4 pages per minute (ppm).

As for print quality, HP printers typically do a good job, and this includes not only the print engines and how well they print, but also how well these machines copy and scan. Overall, I’ve no quibbles here. Text looked plenty clear enough, and images and graphics came out detailed and accurately colored. Not spectacular print quality, but plenty good enough for an under-$100 printer.

Paper handling is one of this HP’s weaker features. A 100-sheet input tray dumps on to a dismally small 25-sheet output tray. Since there is no override tray, each time you change paper size, you must reconfigure the input tray.

Cost per page

If you buy the ink cartridges for this printer at the store, it doesn’t matter whether you buy the standard- or high-yield ones—your cost per page will be too high. The best you can do with cartridges is 6.7 cents monochrome and 17 cents color. The only way you should use this printer is with Instant Ink, where each page, no matter what type (black-and-white documents, color documents, even photos), all cost 3.3 cents. If you print any color pages and photos at all, the average cost per page should average out equitably.

Overall Assessment

I didn’t care much for these little printers because they cost too much use, but HP’s Instant Ink addresses that one huge shortcoming, well.