Scanners, printers, and multifunctions have a tendency to be forgotten about these days, what with emailing so prevalent, but many of us still need these gadgets to do the basics.
Activities like printing off documents or scanning in photos won’t just go away, and many of us still even need the humble photocopier, even if taking a photo of documents with a smartphone will suffice for others.
Often these gadgets aren’t the most attractive of things, though HP seems to have found a nice middle ground with the Envy 120.
We’ll start with the look, and here on HP’s new flagship multifunction, it’s a relatively professional design, with a minimalistic matte black chassis in every place but the front and the top.
At the front, it’s glossy black all over, with a small touchscreen for you to use when you’re working out what to do, while up top, there’s a big sheet of glass that you can look through and scan products face up with.
That last bit is the most interesting part of the design, because normally multifunctions require you to lift up this heavy cumbersome piece of plastic, place your papers face down, and then close it up. In HP Envy 120, you just leave it facing you and close the lid, making it virtually impossible for anyone to not work out how to do.
Switching it on is simple – a power button on the front allows this – and then the entire unit springs to life. The front glossy black panel springs up automatically, the touchscreen lights up ready for you to play with it, and if you need to load more paper in ahead of some expected printing, you can simply hit the eject button and some electronic parts will slowly push out the paper tray.
With parts that move for you, the HP Envy 120 already makes itself feel like a special box, worthy of a premium tag, so what does it do?
Printing is an obvious thing, and this is possible through either the traditional USB plug, wireless connectivity, or by applying a special HP-assigned email address and sending emails directly to the printer from anywhere in the world, which works better than you’d expect.
There are also HP’s included apps which allow you to connect with services from Dreamworks, Disney, Paddington Bear, and others to print off special things, such as colouring book pages for the kids, or news direct from organisations, or crosswords, menus, and even instructions for paper aeroplanes.
One thing we get from using the web connected apps is that it’s nice to see that you can still have fun with a printer and a sheet of paper.