When HP contacted me earlier this summer and asked if I'd like to test their Instant Ink service, my interest was piqued when they requested that I perform a splash test in the kitchen as a part of my review - you can read how I got on with that below! HP also offered me the HP ENVY 5540 printer to test the service with, and it couldn't have come at a better time as my (very) old HP printer was barely hanging on for dear life and I was in urgent need of a new one.
I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that the main reason our poor old printer was in a sad state was because of a bad experience with cheap (non HP) ink cartridges which blocked and damaged the print-heads, so I'd already resolved to buy only proper HP cartridges in the future when I finally got around to buying a new printer. If there is one thing I've learnt in life, it's that quality is definitely worth paying for when you can afford it, but with Instant Ink the cost is much lower than you might expect - a 12 month printing plan costs up to 70% less than buying standard ink-jet cartridges!
The printer arrived to much excitement from my boys and we soon got it set up and ready to go. It was really easy to set up with clear instructions every step of the way, and setting up the Instant Ink service only took a few minutes too. Soon after setting up Instant Ink we received a set of smart cartridges to pop in the printer. The smart cartridges keep track of the number of pages you have printed, reordering ink to be delivered to your door before you run out of ink, how awesome is that?! In the past I have definitely run out of ink at exactly the wrong time, usually when I have delivery notes to print out for the shop, or a school form that had to be in yesterday, so I'm very impressed that HP have come up with such a clever use of modern technology to stop that ever happening again!
Another fantastic feature of the new printer is the ability to schedule printouts. HP customers receive free access to a great service called HP Printables, which supplies activity print-outs to entertain the whole family, from colouring pages to origami, recipes to healthy menu plans. Printouts can be chosen in advance and scheduled to print out at a time of your choice, with new content available to be printed every day if wanted. This has been brilliant over the summer holidays, my boys love it when the printer mysteriously starts printing all by itself, especially when it's printing a fun activity for them! I've been particularly impressed with the quality of the printouts - we've printed several Origami pages which are full colour and the colours weren't affected at all by our paper folding. We also tested the colouring pages with felt tips and they didn't smudge at all.
My main priority though was to test the quality of the printouts in the kitchen. As I mentioned earlier, kitchens can be a rather hazardous environment to home printed recipes, so I was a bit sceptical about how well any newly printed recipes would hold up to drips and spills. I decided to print out a recipe from the BBC Good Food website (one of my favourite recipe resources) and put it to the test.
I've got to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by the results. As you can see below, we 'accidentally' spilled several different substances on the recipe whilst cooking, and whilst they did stain and discolour the page a little, the printed text didn't smudge at all but remained completely legible! On this fact alone, I'm completely sold, it will be HP all the way from now on!
Over the course of our testing we printed off several recipes and had a lot of fun in the kitchen together this summer. A highlight was making our own sushi for the first time - we were very pleased with the results and my 8 year old was SO proud of his efforts! We took tips from a simple kids sushi recipe that we printed out from the BBC Good Food website but made it our own with a rainbow vegetable filling, yum! You can find our rainbow vegetable sushi recipe here.
Overall I have been really impressed with both our new HP Envy 5540 printer and the Instant Ink service. The print quality is far better than I've experienced before and I was amazed to see how well it held up to our kitchen spill test.
The Instant Ink service makes owning a home printer extra easy, and it's so great to have a more affordable way to use proper HP cartridges in the printer. It's also a nice eco friendly option - the program provides prepaid envelopes to return used cartridges which can lower the cartridge's carbon footprint by an estimated 70%! We've really enjoyed testing the printer and all the great new features it has and look forward to lots more happy printing in the future - we'll be sticking to the Instant Ink plan from now on.
The HP Instant Ink service is available on three monthly price plans - £1.99 per month for 50 pages, £3.49 per month for 100 pages and £7.99 per month for 300 pages (a typical home user prints an average of approx. 43 pages per month). Any unused pages can be rolled over into the next month and you can easily modify your plan at any time.
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by HP. I was compensated for my time spent testing the printer and Instant Ink service however all opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can find out more about HP Instant Ink over on their website.