HP’s Envy Inspire 7955e
“The HP Envy Inspire 7955e is as full-featured and high-quality as it is painless to set up.”
- High-quality photo prints
- Fast document printing
- Versatile scanning
- Easy set up
- Good value
- Tri-color cartridge can cause waste
- Mobile app lacks some features
If you’re shopping for a printer, you’ve likely come across HP’s Envy Inspire 7955e all-in-one printer in your research. It offers high-quality photo printing, fast document printing, flexible scanning, and more at a low price.
It’s become a staple of the remote work and small office world, but I wanted to test it out myself to see if it really lived up to the hype, looking through the design details, print performance, special features, and software to find out if it’s a good value at the current price. Spoiler alert: it’s every bit as solid as you may have heard.
HP’s Envy Inspire has an attractive but functional design with a soft, off-white body and light beige accents. It will fit in nicely in most home office environments.
Since it’s an all-in-one printer, it stands taller than a print-only model but doesn’t seem overly large or obtrusive. The dimensions are 18.1-by-15.1-by- 9.2 inches, and the weight is 18 pounds.
It includes a 2.7-inch color touchscreen that makes accessing various functions simple without a mobile app or computer. The most useful of these is the copy button. One touch is all it takes to start a color copy, first scanning, then printing.
HP has been making printers nearly forever, long before the internet existed. That means little details have been refined to perfection. Inserting ink cartridges is easy, and directions are clearly marked inside the device.
Notes and marks on the printer indicate how to load paper for printing, how to use flatbed and feeder scanning and adjust guides on each to accommodate different paper sizes.
For example, when adding paper, there are icons of documents and envelopes as a reminder the side to be printed should face down. That’s important when using photo paper and other specialty paper.
The print quality of the HP Envy Inspire 7955e is fantastic when using high-quality HP paper. It’s hard to tell in the photo above, but the printed photo matched what I saw onscreen. Even on multipurpose paper, details are crisp.
High-brightness photo paper provides more range with brighter whites and more accurate blacks. Photo paper also yields more intense colors, while less expensive sheets still give accurate tones with less vibrancy.
A dedicated tray for small, picture-sized prints accepts 5-by-5, 4-by-6, and 5-by-7-inch photo papers. The main paper tray can hold up to 8.5-by-14-inch legal paper, standard letter-sized paper, envelopes, and various other sizes.
The ink dries quickly and doesn’t spread even with standard paper. I didn’t need to play with settings to get good results, and everything I printed came out looking great on my first try.
For documents, fonts are sharp and legible, even when printing gray text. No banding or other issues arose. The HP Envy Inspire 7955e outputs up to 15 black-and-white pages per minute (PPM), more than enough for casual and home office use. Color speed is up to 10 PPM.
Unless you are planning high-volume printing or selling your prints, the speed, and quality should be more than good enough.
Beyond printing, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e is a great scanner and copier. Scanning the entire flatbed (a little larger than a letter-sized page) at 300 dpi takes about 20 seconds.
The mobile app has a multi-item scan mode that automatically crops and individually saves several photos scanned at once. There’s also a document feeder that accepts up to 35 pages. It runs slower but allows you to step away while several sheets are scanned, saving time overall.
Optical character recognition, which HP calls text-extract mode, is one of the few problem areas. OCR seems prone to small errors that make editing time-consuming. You’ll want a third-party OCR app if you anticipate an ongoing need to turn scanned documents into editable text.
The HP Smart mobile app also has a fax feature that’s currently free. HP notes that this is a trial, so there may be a charge for faxing in the future. If so, HP will alert you to the change in terms.
Software and compatibility
Installing software and setting up this printer was incredibly easy. Within minutes I had an iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, Android phone, Chromebook, and MacBook connected and functioning. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
I unpacked the HP Envy Inspire 7955e and plugged it in. The packaging instructed me to install the app. The app asked me to sign in or create an HP account, then it told me how to install the ink cartridges and connect to the printer, all from my phone.
You can use a USB cable (not included) to connect, but Wi-Fi makes more sense and allows you to place the printer wherever it’s most convenient. This is a very quiet printer, but I put it in the secondary bedroom because I had extra space available.
The software is generally outstanding, and most things just work, being easy or automatic. When I looked for borderless printing on the iPhone app, I couldn’t find it, but it’s relatively simple to enable on Android or a computer. Printing from Windows, macOS, or Android yielded the edge-to-edge result I expected.
You can print through the HP Smart mobile app or your operating system’s standard print system. You might need to install a print service, but HP guided me through the process quickly and without any issues.
One minor complaint about the software is uncertainty about ink levels. The app shows a bar for black and color ink, which lowers as the ink is used, but doesn’t quantify that with a percentage or estimate of how many pages you can print. HP+ offers an Instant Ink subscription that removes any concerns about running out.
The price is right
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e retails for $220, a bargain for such a capable printer. HP and third-party sellers have sales periodically to bring the cost even lower. If you aren’t that particular and just want a printer that is cheap but good, we have a comprehensive list of the best cheap printer deals.
Ink supplies are always important with a printer, particularly a color inkjet. As usual, the black ink included lasts a long time, and the indicator barely drops after printing several pages.
Each color print takes a toll on the starter color cartridge that’s included. I got four full-page color prints and seven 4-by-6 photo prints, some set to the best quality, before getting a warning to replace the tri-color ink cartridge.
You can still print when that happens, but the colors could be off. Several prints featured blues and greens, so pink flowers came out nicely, but green leaves muted with the partially empty cartridge. Still, it’s nice to have the option to print even after the warning.
Thankfully, the HP Envy Inspire 7955e includes a six-month Instant Ink subscription with HP+. Immediately after creating an HP account and entering my shipping and billing details, a black and a tri-color cartridge shipped.
The idea is that ink ships before you need it so you don’t run out. If you want to take advantage of the offer of six months of free ink, sign up immediately so more ink will arrive before the limited color cartridge runs out.
After the six-month Instant Ink bonus, you’ll be billed according to your estimated usage. If you need ink faster or slower, you can adjust your plan.
The service ships more cartridges when you need them. Presumably, HP will alert you if you need to upgrade your plan based on usage. Changes can be made monthly. HP also says ink costs are up to 50% less than buying HP cartridges off-plan.
Is this the printer for you?
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e is a superb all-in-one printer at an affordable price. Whether you want to print photos, documents, scan, or fax, setup is quick and painless and it works with every device you own.
The ink comes in a black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge. If your color prints average out to use roughly the same amount of cyan, magenta, and yellow, you’ll enjoy the best value. HP makes its printers energy-efficient and eco-friendly and that’s worth consideration.
A printer with individual ink cartridges for each primary color will be more efficient if you favor particular colors. I’m more likely to print nature photos that feature greens and blues with pops of reddish tones. As expected, I ran out of cyan and yellow faster than magenta. That’s a little thing, but it can add up over time.
The HP Envy Inspire 7955e is a wonderful printer, and it very well may be exactly what you’re looking for.