HP Instant Ink - Review

Like many people, I suspect, I have been suspicious of HP's Instant Ink service. The idea is that rather than buy replacement ink cartridges when you need them, HP sends them before you need them and you pay per page. I'm not a heavy user of printing and wondered if it would be a bit like gym membership - you get ripped off because you pay every month but don't use it enough. Even so, I thought it was worth giving it a go - and it has definitely proved beneficial.

I've opted for a 100 page a month plan, which costs £3.49 a month. Up until now I was typically buying a set of ink cartridges twice a year, which cost about £65 a set - so as long as I don't exceed the limit overall, this means a very significant saving. I do occasionally go over 100 pages in a month as the graphic above from the HP control panel shows - but the system rolls over pages you don't use, so in practice I'm very unlikely to go into the excess, which is charged at £1 for every additional 15 pages.

What is particularly good is that the system works per page, not by amount of ink you use - so there's no need to be stingy about using colour. It has really opened up my use of colour printing, which used to be very tight as printing a page with a lot of colour ate up the colour cartridges.

One obvious worry is that you would run out of ink before HP sent any more. So far, they have been more than careful - I have plenty of spare cartridges waiting to be used. The printer keeps HP updated, so I don't need to request extra cartridges.

If you want to give it a go and have a suitable HP printer (you can check at the HP instant ink website) using that link gives both you and me a free month of ink. I really can't see any reason not to use it - I don't have to faff around ordering cartridges, I'm saving money and I can be more flamboyant with my printing. What's not to love?


  1. I use it too and it's great. My printer is in the home network and although I don't print much myself, the various students in my home find it invaluable. It's good for me, too, as I am no longer nagged about the printer not having enough ink (nowadays, paper seems to be the limiting factor). It is a bit eerie, though, having one's printer send information over the net to some remote server, telling them about my page use. A sign of things to come. The Internet of Things is here. As William Gibson observed, the future is already here - it's just not widely implemented.

  2. This service is useless for any new wireless deskjet 4100e series. The hp smart app is failing and has no updated drivers or ports.. do not waste your time enrolling!


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