Your Printer Could Be Remotely Disabled By Hp If you Sign For Hp's Instant Ink Program Not all printers cost, or perform, the same By Bob LeVitus
As you may recall, Epson's new approach to ink is five new EcoTank models with huge ink reservoirs that hold enough for up to two years of printing. Hewlett-Packard's new initiative is "Instant Ink," and it charges you not for the ink you use, but by the number of pages you print each month.
This isn't a review of the printers themselves, but for the record, I found their printing and scanning speeds and quality too close to declare a winner.
Neither printer's sheet-feeder was very good; they both had frequent jams and failures. My aging Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 handles bigger stacks of paper all the time and rarely jams or fails. That being said, the Fujitsu is sheet-feed only, while both of the new printers include flatbed scanners (and good ones at that) in addition to sheet-feeders.
The bottom line is that the fewer pages you print each month, the more likely HP's Instant Ink will be more economical. Conversely, the more pages you print each month, the more you'll save by going with an Epson EcoTank.
Had I written this review last year, that would be the end of it. But in January I got a notification from HP that my credit card had expired and my account would be suspended. I had to see what happened, so I didn't update the card and my account was indeed suspended.
Five-year cost of ownership
Here's a quick analysis of my five-year cost of ownership under each plan:
Initial Ink cost Total 5-year cost Model and plan cost per year of ownership
HP Officejet Pro 8620300 pages per month @ $9.99$149.99 $119.88 $749.39
HP Officejet Pro 862050 pages per month @ $2.99$149.99 $35.88 $329.39
Epson WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank0.5 bottles of ink per year @ $28.73 $499.99 $28.73 $643.64
Epson Expression ET-2500 EcoTank0.5 bottles of EcoTank ink @ $28.73$279.99 $28.73 $423.64
Note: The ET-2500 model was not tested and is included for cost comparison only. One other thing: If you exceed your Instant Ink plan's limit, it's $1 for each additional 15 to 25 pages, based on the plan you've selected.
My printer then ceased to function, displaying only the message: "HP Instant Ink problem. Cannot print. Visit http://www.hpinstantink.com for information."