As a parent that works from home you can often find me running between the laptop and printer - my different roles mean I'm usually helping with homework, sorting documents to send to clients, searching for family recipes or just discovering fun activities to complete on rainy days. Purchasing new cartridges always seems to cost a small fortune, especially as they seem to need replacing quite regularly, so I was therefore really keen to put the new HP ENVY 5540 to the test and discover just how much money we could save with their Instant Ink replacement service.
The printer itself is very easy to set up, to the extent that you probably won't really even require the manual supplied as it is that straight forward. It's literally just a case of removing all of the packaging, plugging it in, adding the ink cartridges into the internal slots and connecting it up to your network. My laptop doesn't have a disc drive so I downloaded the software to install it from the HP website, did the test prints and I was soon ready to go.
There is a control panel on the printer which is really simple to navigate and from that you can connect the laptop to your WiFi for wireless printing, check your ink levels, scan, and set up Printables. The latter was not something I had ever heard of before but the idea is a great one as you can arrange for your printer to automatically print puzzles, crosswords, Disney colouring sheets etc throughout the week. This is perfect for after school entertainment or for those early mornings at the weekend when you just want to hide away under the duvet for a few extra minutes as the children can keep themselves busy! Something other mums and dads can appreciate I'm sure.
In terms of print quality I was very impressed. There are three different modes you can try; draft, normal and best, for the various pieces you are printing. Draft is ideal for the things that you need but won't keep like notes, check-lists and maps. Normal is suitable for general work and best is perfect for photos. Printing seemed to be really fast regardless of the mode yet everything I printed, which included recipes and a tape measure for my new watch, came out very clear. It was lovely being able to print my holiday photos off immediately and pop them onto the fridge too.
I completed a few additional tests on my photos and there didn't appear to be any smudging or running of ink which I was really pleased with. I also deliberately spilt water on one (as the Mini Mes are more than likely to do this at some point) and this didn't seem to make any difference either, the picture remained exactly the same and the HP glossy paper we were provided with was superb.
|For a comparison head over to the post here and here to see the original photos.|
I really like the design of the printer. It is black and sleek in appearance and fits in well with my other office equipment. It's great for family use as well as for small businesses and being wireless you can place it wherever you like without needing it right next to your computer and there won't be lots of messy cables in sight. You can also print directly from your mobile phone or tablet which is fast and really convenient. There have been a few occasions when I've received emails with attachments, like tickets, I've needed to print and instead of taking time to log in on my laptop I can just send the documents straight to the printer from my handset!
The thing I was most impressed by is the HP Instant Ink. Amazing technology within the printer means that it knows when it is running low, it will alert HP and replacements can be ordered before you run out. No longer will you need to make a mad dash to the shops mid print for new cartridges or shake them around to get the last drop out. We've all been there, right?
What's more is that the plans are incredibly good value for money and if you're a frequent printer you could save as much as £516 a year. Personally, I print around 50 pages a month, possibly a little more, so for just £1.99-£3.49 (which includes delivery) I can have my printer topped up continuously. There are different price plans available to suit every budget and there is no contract so you're free to cancel whenever you wish. The plans are based on the pages you print rather than the cartridges you us and you can increase or decrease your choice as required. It's incredibly flexible and hassle free.
As the ink arrives in the post with a free post envelope you can also return your old cartridges for recycling and do your bit for the environment in the process.
Never again will I need to worry about running out of ink!
I will continue to use this printer and the Instant Ink service as I feel it is far more cost effective for my family than the methods I was using previously. HP currently have £20 off this specific printer so it's currently just £59.99 on their website and I would highly recommend purchasing one.
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*I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post*