January 28

What Is HP Instant Ink and Is It Worth It?


If you are a domestic user, or you only do low-volume printing, the chances that you use an inkjet printer is really high. These inkjet printers require ink which is often costly. This is because quality ink from popular brands requires high reliability and quality raw materials.

Introduced in 2013, the idea of HP instant ink probably sounds like a nice way to cut ink-cost, but is it really worth it? Read till the end, to find out everything you need to know about the HP instant ink,  its terms, and condition, and if it is really worth it. 

What Is HP Instant Ink? 

The HP Instant Ink program is a subscription program where customers subscribe to a certain HP ink plan based on the number of pages they print in a month. Imagine your Netflix subscription is based on the number of movies you download in a month. That’s the HP Instant Ink program. If you don’t print, the number of pages you have won’t reduce. Nevertheless, the HP Instant Ink program, like any other program is subject to terms and conditions which will also be discussed in this post. 

Why Was Hp Instant Ink Introduced? 

Though nothing was officially stated, we can guess. We live in a digital world where emails are gradually replacing good old letters. What’s the implication? People print less, and the patronage of  HP’s relatively costly printer ink has been reducing. The HP Instant Ink program is probably a genius step taken by the management to slow down the fall of the HP Ink in the market. This is because the program is presented to the customer as an affordable, and convenient long-term way of getting ink. Let’s examine  HP’s genius ink marketing strategy.

  • Affordability:

Ink purchase is one of the greatest nightmares of printer users because the ink is costly. With HP’s low-cost ink subscription packages, customers will be excited that they can get HP’s high-quality ink for a price that is affordable. For people who do low-volume printing, it is a great improvement over the normally high price of HP printer ink.

  • Convenience:

HP took advantage of the fact that the average consumer would rather place his feet on his coffee table while purchasing than go out to make the purchase. HP took a cue from online shopping and made their printer ink available to the consumer at the click of a button. The convenience keeps the consumer coming for more. 

  • The long-term effect:

HP printer buyers are cajoled into getting the HP Instant Ink subscription. Once a customer gets his first subscription, subsequent ones will not be a problem. Gradually, the subscription becomes part of the customer’s life, and HP can be assured that they have gotten a long-term customer. This is because an HP Instant Ink subscription fits into the budget smoothly. 

Including the cost of the HP Instant Ink subscription in your budget is as easy as adding a water-bill or Netflix subscription. It makes planning very easy. 

How Does The HP Instant Ink Work? 

The HP Instant Ink program is a smart one. It is greatly dependent on technology, as it needs to keep track of subscriptions. The volume of ink you have left in your cartridge, the number of pages you have printed, and the number of pages you have left are monitored in real-time. This is done through a number of regulatory systems that have been put in place by HP. The HP Instant Ink system works through the existence of some features, and specially designed systems. We are going to be looking at the different systems of regulation that HP combines to achieve the effective running of its Instant Ink system.

  • Ink regulation:

One of the most important things that require regulation in the HP Instant Ink program is the ink. The ink is delivered in large cartridges which obviously, the customer cannot use in a month. The purpose of the large cartridge is to ensure that new ink cartridges will not be delivered at the end of each month.

 Now, you’re probably thinking, “Since the ink is so much, why can’t we just use everything?” 

You can’t use all the ink because HP had the foresight to deliver the ink in smart ink cartridges. These cartridges can automatically shut-off ink supply at any point in time. When you have a subscription, you can use the ink, and the moment you have reached your printing limit, or no longer have a subscription, you won’t have access to the ink anymore. 

  • Page regulation:

How will HP know the number of pages I have printed? Indeed, HP doesn’t have eyes everywhere, but thankfully, we are in the digital age. For you to be able to use the HP Instant Ink, your printer must be connected to the internet. It is this internet connection that helps to keep track of the number of pages you have printed. This information is updated on the HP Instant Ink online portal, where the number of pages printed, and other information is recorded. 

Even when you print while you are not connected to the internet, the printer will keep track of the number of pages you printed. It will then update the information on the online portal the moment the printer is connected to the internet. 

  • Cartridge replacement regulation:

After getting your first cartridge, you don’t have to call or send an email to get a replacement. Your smart ink cartridge takes note of the amount of ink left. When ink volume begins to reduce, it automatically requests a cartridge replacement for you. Your cartridge replacement arrives in about 10days after the order was made. If you cancel your subscription along the line, the ink cartridge will shut off ink supply, and you will be expected to return the ink cartridge. 

What Are The Subscription Plans For Hp Instant Ink?

HP Instant Ink program has 5 different subscription plans based on the number of pages the customer prints in a month. When you subscribe to an Instant Ink program, your subscription covers the cost of the ink, shipping, and recycling. HP’s 5 instant ink subscription plans are:

  • Light Printing Plan ($0.99):

Subscription to the HP Instant Ink occasional printing plan costs 0.99 United States dollars. The plan allows the customer to print 15 pages in a month, with a total rollover of 45 unused pages. If the customer has cause to exceed the number of pages, he can get 10 additional pages for $1. This plan is suitable for domestic use, where the only thing you ever print is a school assignment once in a while. 

  • Occasional Printing Plan ($2.99):

The Occasional Printing plan costs 2.99 United States dollars. An Occasional Printing Plan subscriber has access to 50pages of the printed document, and he can roll over a maximum of 150pages. If he exceeds his page limit and needs more, he can get 10 additional pages at $10. This plan is suitable for small offices where the volume of printed documents is very low. 

  • Moderate Printing Plan ($4.99):

The moderate Printing Plan costs $4.99. It enables the subscriber to print 100 pages, and rollover a maximum of 300 pages. Each subscriber can get additional 10 pages for $10. This plan is nice for large offices. 

  • Frequent Printing Plan ($11.99): 

The HP Frequent Printing Ink Subscription Plan costs 11.99 dollars. It gives the subscriber access to print 300 pages and the opportunity to rollover 900 unused pages. The subscriber can also buy additional 10 pages for $1. This plan is suitable for small businesses. 

The Business Printing Plan costs $24.99. It allows subscribers to print 700 pages in a month. Subscribers also have the opportunity to roll over a maximum of 2100 unused pages. Additional 10 pages can be gotten for $1 after the printing limit has been reached. This plan is nice for medium-sized businesses, and schools. 

Who Can Subscribe To The HP Instant Ink Program? 

Anyone can subscribe to the HP Instant Ink Program. However, some things are needed before you can subscribe. Some of these things are in relation to the working and regulatory mechanisms put in place by HP for the success of the program. The requirements include: 

  • Decent internet connection:

 This is required for remote monitoring of your subscription plan. It is needed for HP to be able to monitor the number of pages you have printed, and the volume of ink left in your ink cartridge. 

  • Instant Ink eligible printer: 

Instant Ink cartridge won’t work if your printer isn’t instant ink eligible. Usually, HP Instant Ink eligible printers have “Instant Ink ready,” written on them. Even if it is not written on your printer, you can still find out if your printer is eligible. 

  • Working email address: 

You need an email address to create an account and subscribe. Although you wouldn’t be needing your email address much after subscribing, you are advised to check your mails regularly, as it will be the major means of correspondence between you and HP. Important changes in terms and conditions are usually announced through the mail. 

  • Debit or Credit card:

Your card details are necessary for billing. Ensure that whichever card you intend to use can be used for online transactions. 

Which Printers Are Eligible For The Hp Instant Ink Program? 

 It is important to know if your printer is compatible with instant ink. This is because you can’t use your Instant Ink if your printer isn’t compatible. Although most modern HP inkjet printers are compatible, you still need to confirm the compatibility of your printer from the list below. 

  • HP OfficeJet 3830 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 4630 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 4650 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 5210 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 5250 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 5260 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 5740 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 6810 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 6820 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 6950 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 6960 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 8010 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 8020 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 8040 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 8702 Series
  • HP OfficeJet 9010 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6950 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8020 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8030 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8630 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 9020 Series
  • HP OfficeJet Pro Premier
  • HP AMP
  • HP DeskJet 2620 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2630 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2640 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2650 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2680 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2730 Series
  • HP DeskJet 2750 Series
  • HP DeskJet 3630 Series
  • HP DeskJet 3720 Series
  • HP DeskJet 3750 Series
  • HP DeskJet Plus 4130 Series
  • HP DeskJet Plus 4140 Series
  • HP DeskJet Plus 4150 Series
  • HP ENVY 4500 Series
  • HP ENVY 4510 Series
  • HP ENVY 4520 Series
  • HP ENVY 5010 Series
  • HP ENVY 5020 Series
  • HP ENVY 5030 Series
  • HP ENVY 5050 Series
  • HP ENVY 5070 Series
  • HP ENVY 5260 Series
  • HP ENVY 5530 Series
  • HP ENVY 5540 Series
  • HP ENVY 5640 Series
  • HP ENVY 5660 Series
  • HP ENVY 6050 Series
  • HP ENVY 7640 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 6220 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 6250 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 7120 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 7150 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 7160 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 7850 Series
  • HP ENVY Photo 7860 Series
  • HP ENVY Pro 6450 Series
  • HP ENVY Pro 6470 Series

What Are The Important Terms And Conditions Of Hp Instant Ink, And How Do They Affect You? 

The HP Instant Ink Program comes with terms and conditions. As an individual who might not be able to go through the long terms and conditions, this is what the terms of the arrangement between you and HP mean in a nutshell. 

  • Remote monitoring:

When you subscribe to HP Instant Ink Program, you agree to give HP unrestricted access to whatever you use your printer to print. This permission is majorly to track the number of pages you print, and the amount of ink left in your cartridge. Anyway, HP still has access to the number, and forms of printing you do (Pictures, pdf, word, etc.)

  • Information sharing:

When you subscribe, HP has the right to share your mailing information, address, and contact details with your printer retailer. Although this information sharing is pretty harmless, it is good to know what you are getting into. 

  • You cannot use your printer for public or commercial purpose:

When you subscribe to any of the Instant Ink plans, you agree that you will not use the ink for commercial purposes. You cannot use the HP Instant Ink if you are running a printing business. You are also not permitted to use the HP Instant Ink if you work for the government, or hold any public office. So if you are on an Instant Ink subscription, don’t think of taking your printer to the office if you work for the government. 

  • HP can modify arrangements at any time:

HP reserves the right to change its terms and conditions, and modify its arrangements at any time. Information on terms change is usually sent to the email of the subscriber. If the term change is in relation to billing, however, it will not reflect until the beginning of the next billing cycle. HP gives subscribers the opportunity to accept or reject changes in their terms. If the subscriber rejects, his subscription is terminated, and he will no longer be able to use the HP Instant Ink after his subscription ends.

  • No Warranty:

When you subscribe to HP Instant Ink Program, you have no warranty. Whether the quality of the ink meets your expectations or not, do not expect a replacement or refund. HP will however see to it that broken or damaged cartridges are fixed. 

  • Maximum of 10 printers :

Maybe it is to prevent commercial use, but HP has a term that summarily states that you can subscribe for a maximum of 10 printers. The billing cycle of each printer will be calculated separately, and each of the printers will be billed individually. Consequently, an individual is entitled to only one HP Instant Ink account. 

  • HP can disable without informing you:

Unfortunately, HP retains the right to disable your Ink cartridge, and end your subscription without informing you. This can be done abruptly, in the middle of your billing cycle regardless of the subscription plan you are on, and the number of pages you have left. HP can at its discretion disable your cartridge if they believe you are doing some things which are not within the terms and conditions, or if they simply feel the need to disable it. 

Is  HP Instant Ink Worth It? 

To many, the HP Instant Ink might be worth it, but to others, it might not be. This is because a lot of factors come into play when you get a subscription. The exact number of pages you print, how often you print, and the amount of text you print play a great role in calculating the economic gain you will derive as a  subscriber. You might want to check the list of factors below to see if the Instant Ink subscription plan is tailored to provide economic gain for your organization or not. 

Factors that determine if the HP Instant Ink subscription Worth it. 

  • What you print:

The HP Instant Ink subscription is determined by the number of pages and is not affected by the type of page you print. Whether the printing requires a lot of colour, or it is just black and white, you pay the same price. Consequently, the HP Instant Ink Program is definitely going to guarantee more economic gain for those whose printing needs require a lot of colour than those who print plain black and white. 

  • How often you print:

Although often under-estimated, this is a very important factor in determining the economic gain from HP Instant Ink. This is because a relatively wide gap exists between each subscription plan. In a situation where the subscriber’s printing needs exceed a subscription plan but doesn’t utilize the next subscription plan well, it might lead to waste. 

For instance, Light  Printing Plan allows 15 pages and the subscription plan immediately after it allows 50 pages. If a subscriber needs 30 pages in a month, he is left with the choice of subscribing to a plan that is way too much or buying additional 20 pages for $2. For this type of subscriber, it is not worth it. 

  • How much text you print:

With the HP Instant Ink Program, it is not about how well, but how much. Whether you print a page full of text, or you print a page that you write only one alphabet on, it still counts as a page. Those error pages, the pages that were wrongly edited, and the very short text all count as part of your monthly printing volume. So for you to know if the HP Instant Ink Program is worth it for you, you need to consider the volume of text you print. It probably won’t be worth it if you print short pieces. 

Bottom Line 

The HP Instant Ink Program is a great initiative, but it comes with its pros and cons. The manufacturer wants to make a profit, and the customers also want to derive the best quality at the least price. Each stakeholder should analyze the pros and cons as it affects him. 

The overall worth of the HP Instant Ink Program, even with the pros and cons is based on the individual customer and his needs. To some, the plan is an amazing opportunity, while to others, it is simply not worth the stress, formality, and financial investment. 

But we have to take a stance and we think if you can afford it, you should subscribe to the HP Instant Ink program to efficiently manage your ink expenses.


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