I have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with printers over the years. As a teacher they are an indispensable resource; I can't tell you how many letters and labels have been printed out for display purposes, let alone instruction sheets and activity cards, photos for display and children's books. I try to print out a lot in school, but there's some that needs doing at home as well and so a home PSC (printer-scanner-copier) is a necessary piece of technology.
It's saved my bacon many times, although the most infuriating thing is doing work downstairs and then having to take the laptop upstairs to connect it into the printer, almost as infuriating as the low ink warning sign coming on and having to find a shop that sells the ink cartridges the next day.
I've recently been sent a new printer from Hewlett Packard. The HP Envy 5530 has ended my irritation with all of the previously mentioned issues. Aside from the fact that the Envy is a wireless printer, it also uses the latest intuitive service from HP; Instant Ink.
Instant Ink is a ground-breaking idea which allows the printer to order ink when it's running low. The description is that it, "then delivers direct to your door without you having to do anything – apart from put the new cartridges in, of course. All this so your household can carry on printing unabashed. Firstly, you'll never run out of ink again – so there'll be no homework disasters or washed-out family (or kitten) pictures. Secondly, you won't have to go out of your way to buy cartridges – they just turn up at your door when needed. Thirdly – and most excitingly – you can save up to an impressive 70% on the normal cost of ink, with prices as low as £1.99 a month."
In reality, it's a little bit different from that. The printer ran out of ink this afternoon after having used it for the past month to print out photographs, a dialogue warning box popped up on the laptop telling me that the ink was running low and I could order some straight away from the HP website. I followed the link and within a few minutes I'd ordered new cartridges. The initial process was a little fiddly with the creation of various accounts for both HP and the site that supplies the ink, but it was a damn sight easier than going to the shop to buy. It is also a lot easier to have the printer warn you that the ink is running out, and be able to order it within a few minutes while the printer is happily still churning out photographs.
So it's not quite the case that you "never run out of ink"; you can run out and in fact we did run out five pages of photos later. However, we'd already ordered by the time the printer ran out and the new cartridges are arriving tomorrow because I was able to order quickly. Yes I didn't have to go out to order cartridges, and actually the cartridges were so much cheaper than I'm used to. Our old HP printer used to cost £65 to replace the cartridges, this set cost £25.00 (I haven't initialised a subscription to the service yet).
Instant Ink is a subscription service, which starts with the purchase of an eligible printer, then continues with a price plan from £1.99 as a minimum and the maximum charge is £7.99.
I like the fact that the allowance of pages can be rolled over to the next month if need be, and that the subscription service is so much cheaper than the conventional way to buy ink cartridges. It is incredibly helpful that it can be ordered online and delivered so quickly.
Eligible printers are the HP Envy 4500 and 5530 series, HP Officejet 4630 series, HP OfficejetPro 8610 and 8620 series, the subscriptions to Instant Ink start from £1.99.
I was sent this printer and a credit to use for Instant Ink, my opinion is honest and unbiased.