As a work from home Mum and a crafter we use our home printer a lot and there is nothing more frustrating than running out of ink at the most inopportune moment. For the past three months, I have been reviewing a HP Envy 5540 and trailing HP’s instant ink service.
If you are a regular printer of photographs or using coloured ink then HP Instant Ink is for you. Over the last three years, we have had three different printers, a cannon, which had excellent print quality but was really expensive when it came to ink, an Epsom, which was fantastic for printing in black and white and now the HP Envy5540, which is the best all round printer we have had. The HP Envy 5540 has coped with everything we have thrown at it from scanning images and letters, to photocopying and printing to it from Mac, PC and tablet. My only issue is that it has a large footprint and we do not have deskspace for it, but being wireless we have it under the table.
Often the cost of ink outways the initial cost of the printer and many people have to limit their use and their kid’s use of the printer
This is where HP Instant Ink comes into its own. You pick a subscription service from below and you can and you can print in colour or black and white, it doesn’t affect the price of the Ink.
- To print 50 pages a month – £1.99 per month
- To print 100 pages per month – £3.49 per month
- To print 300 sheets per month – £7.99 per month
You can roll over 50 sheets to the following month and if you need extra then you can purchase add-ons, £1 for 15 extra sheets on the cheapest plan and 25 extra sheets on the highest plan. I love the ability to add on as we often design and print our own Christmas cards and print a lot of pictures a couple of times a year. Oh and the costs above include postage, making them even better value.
The best way to think about instant ink is like a mobile phone providers service. You get so many minutes each month for a set amount, you can carry a set amount over or purchase more minutes if needed.
So this week Maxi asked me to print out some images from out holiday to Matheveives and typically as soon as we started I ran out of ink!
Normally this would have filled me with dread and sent me scuttling through every drawer to see if I had a spare set of ink cartridges. But Instant Ink to the rescue and I had received a box containing my ink a while before.
So I popped the ink cartridge from the box into the printer and the old one into the recycling envelope and we were off again.
Just look at the difference and we didn’t have to wait – happy Maxi, happy mummy.
What we LOVE about HP Instant Ink
- It takes the pressure off me of making sure we have spare ink cartridges in – as a busy parent it is one less thing for me to worry about – phew!
- It is so simple to set up, it took me 8 minutes to register the printer and get the instant ink subscription sorted.
- It doesn’t matter if you print 50 black pages or 50 coloured pages the cost remains the same – perfect for printing pictures.
- The ink quality is great – you never feel like you need to scrimp with compatible ink due to the value of the HP Instant Ink.
- I love that I know how much it is going to cost me each month and I can budget for it.
- It is so refreshing to be able to let the boys print off what they want and need.
- I used to print in draft to save ink, no need now as a page is a page.
What we think of the HP Envy 5540
- The HP Envy is a workhorse of a home printer that does a really great all-round job.
- A wi-fi printer that is fast to install and easy to use.
- You can scan direct to email, computer or card reader.
- You can use it to photocopy in black and white or colour.
- You can print direct from your phone, tablet, PC or MAC and we have tried them all!
- With two trays you can keep A4 in one and 6 by 4 photo paper in the other.
- It printer 6 by 4 borderless photos.
HP Instant ink and Envy 5540 or Epsom Ecotank?
We were sent an Epson Ecotank printer at the same time as the HP Envy 5440 and encouraged to test and compare them together.
- Set up – The HP won hands down. You have to fill the Encotank with ink bottles and it took time. We also had some issues setting up the Epsom with our wifi. The HP was really simple and fast.
- Print Quality – It was pretty even until it came to photo printing, where the HP seemed crisper. The Epsom does not print borderless 6 by 4 which is a game changer for me.
- Print Speed – The Epsom was slower when it came to printing colour. To be honest print speed isn’t too much of an issue for us.
- Ink Quality – Not only did the HP ink dry faster, it smudged less both wet and dry.
- Print Cost – The Ecotank is cheaper for black and white printing, but the HP is cheaper for colour and photo’s per print.
Overview – If you are a small business printing just black and white then the Ecotank is better value, but overall I would choose the HP Envy 5540 and Instant Ink.