The HP Envy 6055e is a decent compact printer that does everything pretty well but suffers from expensive replacement ink cartridges. As one of the least expensive printers that we have tested, we were particularly impressed with its vibrant color display when printing photos and graphics, including high-resolution photos. Unfortunately, its overall score is hit hard by high operating costs making it one of the more expensive printers to own and operate in our lineup. HP does offer an "Instant Ink Plan" that can help bring down cartridge costs; however, we think this is a pretty tacky solution to such a glaring issue. Ink replacement issues aside, if you want a small, all-in-one printer that produces high-quality photos and does everything else pretty well, this isn't a bad option.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the HP Envy 6055e on June 14, 2022, with an unbiased assessment of value and suggestions for other products that may better suit your needs and budget.
HP Envy 6055e Review
Pros: Good photo quality, lots of connectivity options, compact design
Cons: Confusing user interface, high long-term operating costs (this can be improved by using HP's Instant Ink Plan)
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HP Envy 6055e
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|Pros||Good photo quality, lots of connectivity options, compact design||Sturdy, well-built, awesome interface, strong all-around performance||Mulptiple connectivity options, compact and small size, great operating cost with a moderate initial purchase price||Compact design, good printing speed and quality||Small size, good graphic and photo quality for its price class|
|Cons||Confusing user interface, high long-term operating costs (this can be improved by using HP's Instant Ink Plan)||Lacks duplex scanning, proprietary ink only||Mediocre photo, graphic, text quality, display screen, and user interface||Very limited connectivity (no WiFi or Ethernet and it doesn't come with a USB cable)||Expensive operating cost, no duplex printing, inconsistent quality for print jobs, HP ink cartridges only|
|Bottom Line||A solid choice for those looking for a capable all-in-one printer with a low purchase price||A strong all-around printer where photo and graphic printing, cost efficiency, user interface, and print speed all score high||A cost efficient printer that makes a great pick for casual home use but isn't the best option for high quality document or photo needs||This printer does a stellar job at high-speed monochrome document printing, but lacks connectivity options, making it less versatile and convenient||A simple, small printer that excels at photos, but is costly to operate|
|Rating Categories||HP Envy 6055e||Epson Workforce Pro...||Brother MFC-J4335DW||Brother HL-L2300D||HP DeskJet 4155e|
|Text Quality (25%)|
|Operating Cost (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Graphics and Photos (15%)|
|Printing Speed (15%)|
|Specs||HP Envy 6055e||Epson Workforce Pro...||Brother MFC-J4335DW||Brother HL-L2300D||HP DeskJet 4155e|
|Type||All-In-One Inkjet||All-In-One Inkjet||All-In-One Inkjet||Laser||All-In-One Inkjet|
|Capabilities||Print, Scan, Copy||Print, Scan||Print, Scan, Copy, Fax||Print, Scan, Copy, Fax|
|Resolution (Black)||1200X 1200||4800 x 2400||Not Available||2400 x 600||1200 x 1200|
|Resolution (Color)||800 x 1200||4800 x 2400||1200 × 2400||2400 x 600||4800 x 1200|
|Supported Paper Sizes||Letter, 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", No. 10 envelopes||3.5" x 5", 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", Letter, Legal, A4, A6, Half Letter, Executive, User-definable (3.5" — 47.2" L), Oficio 9; 8.5" x 13"; Mexico Oficio||Letter, A4, Legal, Mexico Legal, India Legal, Folio, Executive, A5, A6, Envelopes (C5, Com-10, DL, Monarch), Photo (4" x 6")/(10 x 15 cm), Photo L (3.5" x 5")/(9 x 13 cm), Photo 2L (5" x 7")/(13 x 18 cm), Index card (5" x 8")/(13 x 20 cm)||Letter, Legal, Executive, A4, A5, A6, B5, B6||Letter, Legal, 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", No. 10 envelopes|
|Dimensions (excludes extensions)||17.0" x 14.2" x 5.2"||16.7" x 15.3" x 10.9"||17.1" x 14.2" x 7.1"||14.0" x 14.2" x 7.2"||16.9" x 13.1" x 7.9"|
|Paper Handling Input (sheets)||100||250||150||250||60|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||1,000||33,000||30,000||10,000||1,000|
|2-Sided Printing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (Manually)|
|Ink Cost per Ream: B/W||$49.98||$28.56||$5.50||$16.66||$66.63|
|Ink Cost per Ream: Color||$62.48||$13.40||$7.83||Not Available||$84.95|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost of Ownership||$940||$605||$250||$385||$1,155|
|Claimed Pages Per Minute||10||25 (Black) / 12 (Color)||20||27||20|
|Measured Pages per Minute: Single-Sided B/W||5||10||11||22||8|
|Connectivity||1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0; 1 Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual band) with Bluetooth® 4.2||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0||USB 2.0 (No wireless connection)||1 Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n with Bluetooth® 4.2; 1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0|
|Operating System Compatability||Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7, MacOS 10.12 Sierra, MacOS 10.14 Mojave, MacOS 10.15 Catalina, MacOS 11 Big Sur, Chrome OS||Windows 10, Windows 8, 8.1 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows Server 2003 SP27 — Windows Server 20197, Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.15.x8||Linux, macOS (12), macOS (11), macOS (10.15), macOS (10.14), Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008||Windows Server 2008 R2, MacOS X, Mac OS 10.7.x, Mac OS 10.8.x, Mac OS10.9.x, Windows XP, Windows Home Edition, Windows XP Professional||Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7, MacOS 10.12 Sierra, MacOS 10.14 Mojave, MacOS 10.15 Catalina, MacOS 11 Big Sur, Chrome OS|
|Google Cloud Print||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The excellent photo printing quality is what sets apart the HP Envy 6055e from the rest of the lower-cost printers in our lineup. All things considered, the 6055e is not a bad choice for those looking for a very compact, low initial cost, high-quality photo printer. If you don't mind the HP ink plans, or print photos very rarely (but when you do you want those photos to be great), the 6055e is a good option.
The HP Envy 6055e did pretty well for its price point here. The text quality was generally decent, with some apparent faintness for lighter shades in the grayscale. Otherwise, the resolution was quite clear, and the characters were legible. The performance of the 6055e is nothing stellar, but is better than you'd expect from a small, inexpensive machine.
This is the biggest detractor of the 6055e. Its price per monochrome ream is about $49.98, and color reams will cost about $62.48. That's about $25 for every 200 photos that you print. Compared to other printers in our lineup, that's very high upkeep costs. The 6055e's edge is that it has a low initial purchase price; however, it becomes more expensive the longer you own and use it.
Ease of Use
The 6055e started strong in our testing but had some interface issues that led to a reduced score. Setup is super straightforward. During WiFi setup, we hit a snag when we clicked the "Finish Setup" button in the app. The printer kept appearing to finish but then reverted to the "Finish Setup" screen repeatedly. Eventually, it connected, but it took the longest out of all the HP models we tested.
Once connected, the rest of the setup was very easy, and their website was simple and intuitive. The 6055e does not have a display screen that hinders the navigability of its settings. Instead, the printer communicates what's happening via sounds that it plays for different functions. Otherwise, a couple of lights indicate activity and change hue depending on what's happening. The light and sound indicators that the 6055e uses are a little confusing, but the lack of screen and buttons may appeal to those looking for a more streamlined, sleek, low-profile printer.
The 6055e performs surprisingly well for its low initial purchase price. It does a great job with the textural display. The various aspects of the different images, despite the subject, all have visibly different appearances. Business graphics have vibrant colors and sharp text, which is impressive because even more expensive printers in our lineup struggle with presenting business graphics well. The overall resolution of the images is sharp, and the color display is awesome. The entire range of color in the image shows up in print, even subtle colors. However, there is some striping and color banding in the black parts of images and inconsistency with color quality across multiple print jobs, which docked the 6055e's score slightly. We were impressed with what this little printer was able to do in this metric, and if it weren't for its high ink costs, this printer would've scored well against the rest of the lineup.
The 6055e had a strong performance here and would've scored better, but it had some unusually slow speeds when printing mixed text and photo documents. During our 9-page mixed text and color image document test, the 6055e struggled. It would stop and start abruptly repeatedly, eventually finishing the job after about 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Otherwise, the rest of the tests went well enough, and it was able to pump out 10-page duplex documents in about 1 minute and 22 seconds and simplex documents in about 2 minutes–not great, but not bad either relative to the rest of our lineup.
Should You Buy the HP Envy 6055e?
The 6055e has a low upfront cost, which will attract buyers whose priority is budget. However, its value-over-time is quite low due to its high operating costs — the longer you own the 6055e, the more expensive it becomes. Although this compact, low-cost printer can produce high-quality photos, its high operating costs make it a poor option for anyone who needs to print frequently.
What Other Printers Should You Consider?
If you plan on printing a lot, the HP Envy 6055e is not as "affordable" as it appears at first glance. If your priority is affordability, consider options like the Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 or the Brother MFC-J4335DW. These are price-point models that are actually cheap to operate and are still capable of producing relatively high-quality prints.
— Alex Hocevar-Smith and Genaveve Bradshaw
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