Cheap inkjet ink to your door

May 27, 2021
HP's Instant Ink is an automatic replacement delivery

HP is offering an innovative and eco-conscious new service to owners of their recent inkjet printers, reports PAT PILCHER.

HP’s Instant Ink is an automatic ink replacement delivery

Inkjet printers have been a game-changer since they hit the market back in the ’90s. From photo printing to iron-on t-shirt transfers and sharp looking documents, they’re a definite step up from the clunky and noisy dot matrix printers of the past.

Until now, there’s been a big gotcha with inkjets, though. Their ink. It costs an absolute bomb. Per millilitre, inkjet ink can cost more than the same volume of Chanel No.5 or 50-year-old barrel-aged whiskey. The other gotcha, according to Paul Gracey, director of HP’s Printing Systems, comes from the large number of people working from home.


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“Our home and office needs are continuing to change as we embrace hybrid working and learning, and this is seeing a surge in the demand for printing at home.”

Feeling the pain of many an inkjet printer user, HP has launched Instant Ink, an ink subscription service. It’s a clever idea. When instant ink compatible inkjet printers detect that their ink levels are running low, they notify HP, who send replacement ink cartridges that are delivered right to your door before your printer runs out of ink. According to HP, Instant Ink subscribers can also save a whopping 50 per cent on ink costs with an Instant Ink subscription.

Your compatible HP printer will order the ink replacements for you

The sheer convenience of having a courier drop a small box of ink cartridges off at my front door cannot be overstated. Never again having to go through the hassle of visiting an office supply store and trying to remember what kind of printer I have is brilliant. The subscription programme is also a win for anyone with an environmental conscience. HP operates a recycling program that lets Instant Ink subscribers return spent cartridges, keeping plastic out of the landfill and into a recycling ecosystem where it can be reused.

The Instant Ink service comes with a flexible pricing model based on the number of pages a user typically prints. Subscribers also get the option of high-volume cartridges. Because these last longer, they conveniently allow subscribers to go longer between having to replace ink.

Because Instant Ink requires the printer to communicate its ink cartridge status back to HP, the Instant Ink programme is only available on selected printer models. To check if your HP printer can be set up for an Instant Ink subscription, visit

Instant Ink is much cheaper than going to the shop

Anyone who buys a new HP printer gets free two-month Instant Ink trial or you can visit and sign up your existing HP printer. As there is no contractual lock-in, subscribers can change their Instant Ink subscription whenever they choose.

So, how well does it work? It’s early days so far, but during extensive testing of HP’s OfficeJet Pro Premier 9019, I used an unholy amount of ink. The day after my test prints, I received a text notification from DHL that my Instant Ink cartridges were on their way. They arrived the following day in a nifty recyclable cardboard box that I could also use to return the 9019’s spent cartridges when they finally ran out.

If my initial experience and the sheer convenience is anything to go by, HP could have a sure-fire hit on their hands with instant ink.


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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