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HP Officejet 4500 Wireless review

Kat Orphanides
30 Mar 2010
HP Officejet 4500 Wireless
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
116
inc VAT

With a low price and low running costs, this fully featured MFP is ideal for home office use.

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HP's new Officejet 4500 Wireless is a business MFP with scanner, copier, fax and wireless networking capabilities. Better yet, it's cheaper than most comparable devices, temptingly priced at just £116.

It's simple to set up via either a USB or wireless network connection. Although the MFP has just a two-line mono LCD screen, its presence means you don't need to plug the 4500 into a PC to configure it for your wireless network. The built-in menu system makes it easy to search for networks and enter your password using the alphanumeric keypad.

Despite using integrated print heads and a tri-colour cartridge, the Officejet 4500 doesn't cost much to run. 700 page black and 360 page colour cartridges are available for just £17 and £13 respectively, producing a mono cost of just 2.4p per page and a combined black and colour cost of 6p – one of the lowest page costs we've seen from an inkjet MFP.

We have no complaints about print quality, either. Even draft text is dark, well defined and easily good enough for everyday printing, with only slight fuzziness around the edges of lettering. This is particularly impressive at a draft text speed of 12.8ppm.

Standard quality mono text printed at a more sedate 5.2ppm and is very sharp. A slight flaw in the print head of our replaceable ink cartridge produced a couple of faint lines across the page. It's not a very common problem, but we see it more often that we'd like. Our richly coloured business documents were slower still, at 1.7ppm, but every textual and graphical element looked perfect. Copy quality was also generally accurate, although mono copies were a little uneven on blocks of mid-tone colour.

Even photo prints, usually a weak area for business printers that lack a dedicated photographic black ink cartridge, looked excellent. Areas of subtle shading were smooth and detail was clear, although large areas of dark colour looked a little pale and bluish. A 6x4in photo on HP Premium Plus paper should cost around 28.5p.

Unfortunately, the TWAIN scanner interface suffers from problems common to many HP devices. It automatically carries out a 21-second 200dpi scan whenever you open it, it closes after each scan too, and the resolution settings are hard to find. If your scanning requirements are simple, you're better off using the basic WIA driver. Scanned documents and photos looked great, though, with sharp text and bright, vivid colours. You can also use the MFP's front panel controls to scan files at the touch of a button, which is far more convenient.

This MFP is brand new and, at the time of going to press, only available from directly from HP. That means that you should be seeing cheaper high street prices soon. In spite of a TWAIN interface that is senselessly hard to use, the Officejet 4500 Wireless is good value, conspicuously cheap to run, and performs all the tasks you'll need from a home office MFP, from copying to faxing.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Maximum native print resolution4,800x1,200dpi
Max optical resolution1,200x1,200dpi
Output bit depth48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A428ppm
Quoted speed, colour A422ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.010m 12s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.013m 33s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 802.11b/g wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Weight5.9kg
Noise (in normal use)56dB(A)
Duty cycle3,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight180gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity100
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity100
Duplex (code, cost if option)No

General

Printer technologythermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/Vista 64-bit/7 32-bit/7 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.4-10.6, Linux
Other inkjet featuresone line LCD display
Other inkjet optionsWarranty extension to thee years next day exchange (UG195E), £26

Buying Information

Price£116
Price per colour A4 page3.6p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge360
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)200
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.hp.co.uk
Detailswww.hp.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges2
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges2

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview26s
A4 document at 150dpi26s
A4 document at 300dpi1m 5s
6x4in photo at 600dpi58s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi4m 18s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.030s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.047s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.04m 26s

Photo Features

PictBridge supportNo
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingNo
Supported memory cardsnone
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99
Max mono copy resolution600x1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution1,200x1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution300x300dpi
Fax memory (maximum mono pages)100