Our Continuing Adventures with HP’s ‘Instant Ink’ Program

Instant Ink LogoWe’ve reported favorably on the HP Instant Ink Program several times since its introduction. While it’s not available worldwide (only in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and France), and only currently available for some select 17 HP Envy and Officejet e-printers and e-All-in-Ones, everybody needs to know about its features and benefits. In fact, we’ve talked about it often enough that we routinely receive messages from existing Instant Ink subscribers with inquiries about “our” Instant Ink program (we wish this was so).

Anyway, knowing what we know about HP Instant Ink, we signed up our Envy 5660 up for the Moderate printing plan in order to see how the program works for ourselves – and save money on ink.

Moderate printing – $4.99 per month

  • 100 pages per month included (that’s 5¢ per page, regardless of color, page coverage, or page size).
  • Each additional set of 20 pages is $1.00 (that’s also 5¢ per page regardless of color, page coverage, or page size).
  • Roll over up to 100 unused pages.

HP Envy 5660. This printer for our personal use works seamlessly with Windows, Android, and the Chrome OS and we really like it, even more so because we don’t have to worry about conserving ink or spending $35+ for ink cartridges.

We already installed the black Instant Ink cartridge a while back and the color Instant Ink cartridge finally needed to be changed yesterday. As we noted when we installed the black Instant Ink cartridge, the color Instant Ink cartridge is substantially longer that the black ship-with ink cartridge.

The shorter ship-with cartridge is on the left. The longer Instant Ink cartridge is on the right.

The shorter ship-with cartridge is on the left. The longer Instant Ink cartridge is on the right. The tri-color Instant Ink cartridge is the same size as the longer black Instant Ink cartridge.

We then put the two depleted ship-with cartridges into the provided pre-paid bag and now just need to put them in the U.S. mail. While we’ve yet to exceed our 100-page per month quota, HP has had to do a little jujitsu with the monthly billing to take into account the credit for our unused pages.

The bottom line is that thus far, and several months into the subscription, we’ve spent very little on ink when you consider that the replacement HP 62XL ink cartridges for the HP Envy 5660 cost $34.99/$39.99 retail (yields 600/415 black/color pages), which results in a cost of 5.8¢ per black page and 15.5¢ per color page, based on an area coverage of just 5 percent per color, which is approximate to a single-spaced letter printed on Letter-/A4-size media. Best of all, we’ve only invested $4.99 thus far for cartridges that hold more ink than retail XL cartridges. In addition to these savings, it’s great not have to worry about what we are printing and how often we’re doing it. That said, $4.99/month is a pittance in return for the peace of mind.

Now the suspense begins. Does HP know that we’ve now used up our initial Instant Ink kit? How long will it take for them to notice? When will HP ship us another supply of Instant Ink?

Stay tuned.


Other Resources