HP has been in the printer business for decades, and for many buyers, the brand is synonymous with desktop and office printers and copiers.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is one of the cheapest home printers HP has released to date. It combines the functions of a typical inkjet colour printer with a flatbed scanner and photocopier with an automatic document feeder (ADF).
Like most modern home office printers, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is wireless, meaning print jobs can be queued over Wi-Fi from your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, as well as the more traditional USB.
Running on two cartridges for black and colour ink, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is relatively inexpensive to run, but, as it’s covered by HP’s rolling Instant Ink automatic cartridge replacement service, it could be just the thing for busy homes printing hundreds of pages every month.
Read our in-depth review of the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 below, as well as our out best printers round-up and comparison feature to see how the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 compares.
- HP DeskJet Plus 4120 review: summary
- What is the HP DeskJet Plus 4120?
- How much is the HP DeskJet Plus 4120?
- How fast is the HP DeskJet Plus 4120?
- HP DeskJet Plus 4120 print quality
- HP DeskJet Plus 4120 running costs
- HP DeskJet Plus 4120 ease of use
- Our verdict
- Where to buy
- All-in-one colour printer
- Prints on plain and glossy paper
- Ability to scan and print
- Good at printing graphics and photos
- Easy to set up and use
- Text quality is middling
- Alignment issues
- Not cheap to run without Instant Ink
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is a cheap entry-level all-in-one priced at around £60.
Aimed at buyers on a budget, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is cheap to buy and, when paired with an HP Instant Ink subscription, can be cheap to run as well if you’re going to be printing lots of reports, essays, or contracts every month.
Households and families who want the flexibility of being able to scan travel documents and passports will appreciate the flexibility the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 offers, as well as the low cost barrier.
Able to print on standard weight plain A4 as well as thicker glossy photo paper, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is versatile, too.
Essentially, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is a cheap multifunction all-in-one colour printer.
What does the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 do?
Here are the main specifications for the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 all-in-one colour printer/scanner/copier:
- Ink type: Cartridge (HP 305 Black, Tri-Color, HP 305XL Black, Tri-Color)
- Cost per page: 9-10p / 8-9p
- Print resolution: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Scanner resolution: Up to 1200 x 2400 dpi
- Print speed: 7.53ppm
- Paper tray capacity: 60 plain A4, 20 photo (main) / 35 plain A4 (ADF)
- OS: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android
- Dimensions: 200 x 428 x 332 mm
- Weight: 4.82kg
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is priced at £55.99 from most retailers.
Cartridge People had the best price at the time of writing, selling the DeskJet Plus 4120 for slightly less at £57.99.
John Lewis also sells the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 for £59.99, but no stock was available at the time of writing.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 prints text quickly, producing single pages of text in under six seconds and larger, 20-page documents in under three minutes.
Text documents with pie charts and bar graphs and presentations with big colour graphics take a little longer to produce, with single pages taking around 13 seconds and half a minute, respectively. Larger presentations can take around 4-6 minutes.
It’s not so fast at printing photos – when printing on plain A4 or glossy 10 x 50mm sheets, expect printing to be done in around two minutes while printing on glossy A4 takes just over seven minutes.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 takes around 25 seconds to scan a document or colour image. Copying and printing a single page of text on A4 taking around half a minute, while copying and printing colour images takes around 50 seconds.
It’s one of the faster printers we’ve tested, but it’s not quite as quick off the mark as the Epson XP-7100, Epson EcoTank ET-2750, or the Brother MFC-L3710CW.
HP DeskJet Plus 4120 speed test – text and graphics
|Pages||Text only||Text & graphics||Graphics only|
|1 page||5.65 seconds (10.61 pages per minute)||13.08 seconds (4.58 pages per minute)||30.51 seconds (1.96 pages per minute)|
|5 pages||37.67 seconds (7.96 pages per minute)||1m 9.81 seconds (4.29 pages per minute)||1m 20.74 seconds (3.71 pages per minute)|
|20 pages||2m 39.22 seconds (7.53 pages per minute)||4m 38.44 seconds (4.30 pages per minute)||6m 47.32 seconds (2.94 pages per minute)|
HP DeskJet Plus 4120 speed test – photos
|1 colour photo printed on plain A4:||2m 25.27 seconds|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy A4:||7m 11.50 seconds|
|1 colour photo printed on glossy 10 x 50mm:||2m 14.52 seconds|
HP DeskJet Plus 4120 speed test – scanning and copying
|Scanning 1 page of text:||23.27 seconds|
|Scanning 1 colour photo:||27.20 seconds|
|Copying 1 page of text:||31.17 seconds|
|Copying 1 colour photo:||49.32 seconds|
Print quality of the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is something of a mixed bag. Graphics and photos look strong and vibrant, but text quality, on the Normal print setting, is average. For essays, first drafts, or documents that aren’t of high importance, the quality will likely be fine, but it might not cut it for formal letters, finished articles and final drafts.
Text only really looks rich and sharp when printed on the highest quality setting – which uses more ink and therefore makes the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 less economical to run.
On more than one occasion during testing, images weren’t always aligned squarely on the page either, which is particularly annoying when you’re printing out something on a full page, and even more annoying when printing on glossy photo paper, which isn’t exactly cheap.
You can correct this by running an alignment test, which can be actioned from the desktop version of the HP Smart apps, but that’s both time and ink-consuming. That said, when images are aligned properly, they generally look fantastic, benefitting from rich detail and vibrant colours, whether printed on plain paper or shiny photo sheets.
The HP DeskJetPlus 4120 costs per page work out at around 9p-10p, based on the standard cartridge prices and average page yield.
That’s about as expensive to run as most printers in its price range – In fact, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 uses the same cartridges as the HP Envy Pro 6420, which means that the running costs are roughly the same.
The HP DeskJetPlus 4120 uses two cartridges, one for black ink and the other for colour (cyan, magenta, yellow) inks. Both the standard-sized HP 305 black and tri-colour cartridges are used, as well as the bigger HP 305XL cartridges.
The XP cartridges are only slightly better value for money, according to the prices on HP’s site:
|||HP 305 Black||HP 305 Tri-Color||HP 305XL Black||HP 305XL Tri-Color|
|Cost per page||9p||10p||8p||9p|
At these prices, if you’re only going to be printing once every blue moon, this won’t likely break the bank. However, some households may find it economical to sign up for an HP Instant Ink subscription.
The Instant Ink service sees the HP DeskJetPlus 4120 monitoring your ink levels and usage, and detecting when it thinks you’re close to running out and instantly ordering fresh cartridges when it thinks you’re low.
HP Instant Ink subscriptions are based on the number of pages you print every month and are priced as follows:
|Pages||Cost per page|
Compared with the standard prices for the HP DeskJetPlus 4120 cartridges, these subscriptions represent good value for money for busy households. Instant Ink contracts are rolling, so you can cancel at any time or downgrade to a cheaper plan to better reflect your usage. HP also runs a recycling scheme with all Instant Ink subs, which sees old cartridges picked up to be reused when your new ones are delivered.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is both easy to set up and use and lets you print files stored locally on your devices or from the cloud.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is designed to be able to pick up print requests via Wi-Fi from virtually anywhere in the home, from a desktop PC to a cheap Android smartphone.
However, when setting the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 up for the first time, you’re better off doing so with a laptop or desktop machine plugged into the printer’s USB socket. Download the HP Smart app for Windows and Mac OS on your device, connect everything up and follow the on-screen prompts to connect the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 to your home Wi-Fi network.
If you want to send print jobs to the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 over Wi-Fi from a Windows laptop or desktop, you’ll probably need to download and run the latest drivers from HP’s site first. As the HP DeskJetPlus 4120 is Apple AirPrint-compatible, Mac OS users won’t have to do this.
The mobile apps are easy to use and well-designed, and in addition to letting you print files stored locally on your phone, they will let you print documents and photos stored in cloud drives, including Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook. The iOS app is a little better in this respect, as it lets you print from Evernote and Box, as well as Apple iCloud. You can also access a range of fun templates, including birthday cards, colouring sheets, and homework exercises from HP Printables.
For more practical things like running print nozzle cleaning cycles and realigning the print heads, you’ll need to use the desktop apps, however, as the iOS and Android apps both lack this functionality.
The only other issue with the desktop apps is that they’re not so good for printing and scanning – you’re far better off printing from specific programs and using the default scanner software – and they’re also prone to crashing, so be patient when you use them.
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 is cheap to buy, and it’s relatively cheap to run, too. In terms of printing speed, it’s not as fast as the HP Envy Pro 6420, and text quality is also middling. A few snags, such as occasional misalignment images, prevent this from being the sale of the century, but if you can learn to live with its shortcomings and find a pricing plan that suits, the HP DeskJet Plus 4120 could be just what you need.
Still undecided? Check out our best printers 2021 guide. Looking for a printer on offer? Head to our printer deals round-up for this month’s best prices. If you are an Amazon Prime member there’s always the possibility of discounts during Amazon Prime Day 2021.