HP Rolls Out Free Ink with New Free Printing Plan

What’s the dream of many users? Free ink and free printing, of course. And HP Inc. may just be making that dream come true, as, about a month ago, it rolled out its new  Free Printing Plan, under which users can print 15 pages per month at no cost (paper not included) for the life of an eligible HP inkjet printer of All-in-One (see below for eligible models).

Under the plan, additional printed pages are excluded and are charged to the customer’s credit/debit card at the end of the month at a rate of $1 per each additional set of 10 pages. Unused pages can’t be rolled over. Users can also upgrade to an HP Instant Ink plan starting at $2.99 per month. They may also change or cancel the plan at any time.

How the HP Instant Ink Program Works

When your Internet-connected HP printer is running low on ink, it automatically lets HP know to send more ink cartridges. HP then sends new ink cartridges to you before you run out. There are four monthly subscription plans to choose from, each based on how much you print each month, and users can cancel at any time. There’s no annual fee, and users can send depleted ink cartridges back to HP for free cartridge recycling.

HP Instant Inks plans and pricing.

HP printers and All-in-Ones eligible for Instant Ink consist of the following models, all of which must be connected to the Internet so that HP can monitor ink levels:

HP AMP
HP DeskJet 2600 Series
HP DeskJet 3630 Series
HP DeskJet 3720 Series
HP DeskJet 3750 Series
HP ENVY 4500 Series
HP ENVY 4520 Series
HP ENVY 5530 Series
HP ENVY 5540 Series
HP ENVY 5640 Series
HP ENVY 5660 Series
HP ENVY 7640 Series
HP ENVY Photo 6250 Series
HP ENVY Photo 7150 Series
HP ENVY Photo 7160 Series
HP ENVY Photo 7850 Series
HP ENVY Photo 7860 Series
HP OfficeJet 3830 Series
HP OfficeJet 4630 Series
HP OfficeJet 4650 Series
HP OfficeJet 5740 Series
HP OfficeJet 6810 Series
HP OfficeJet 6820 Series
HP OfficeJet 8040 Series
HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 Series
HP OfficeJet Pro 6960 Series
HP OfficeJet Pro 6970 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

For more information on the Instant Ink program and/or to enroll, visit HP here.

Our Take

What’s not to like about free? For home and very small office users printing just about 15 pages a month – and just a buck for any additional 10 pages – this seems like a slam-dunk, especially considering that it applies regardless of page coverage – as both a double-spaced text document with light coverage and a printed color photograph are both considered one page.

Obviously the free ink is for HP inkjet models used at home by consumers or in very small offices. However, we could easily see these models as suitable for anyone in the office who has a light print volume; our testing has shown maintenance of HP inkjet printers is simple enough for virtually anyone – just basically pop-in and pop-out ink cartridges – so virtually no IT help is required. All-in-One models also provide the copy, scan, and fax typically needed in offices.

Our next question – how far might HP conceivably take this? Might we eventually see free ink or toner applied to higher-volume HP PageWides and LaserJets down the road? Might other vendors (particularly Epson) follow suit? Stay tuned.

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