As a modern, busy family we have always had a printer installed at home. I frequently print off recipes, colouring pages for Olly, train tickets and other important documents and my hubby has always found it useful to print off work documents and the like when working from home. Last November, Olly and I were invited down to London for the HP Instant Ink event where we learned all about their subscription service which cleverly communicates with your printer and sends you printer refills through the post before you even run out.
At the event I met Thom Brown who is an official HP Inkologist, had flown all the way from the USA to talk to us about how the service worked and how HP were listening to customers worldwide combating problems that households just like mine face when they print and use their printers at home. We’ve all had the misfortune of trying to print off a document and then getting half way through the print job to realise that the ink is extremely low and there’s not going to be enough in the cartridge to finish the job.
Over the last few months we have been working on a project where HP asked us to review their wireless e-all-in-one inkjet printer, HP Envy 5540 and compare it against one of their competitor’s models, the Epson EcoTank L355. We were sent both models to use simultaneously in order to provide a full comparative review.
HP ENVY 5540 All-in-One Printer: Wireless e-all-in-one printer that can print, scan, copy with lab quality borderless photo printing from your smartphone, tablet and pc. Uses original HP ink and can utilise the HP Instant Ink service which is where the ink cartridges are ordered by your printer over wi-fi and delivered to your door. Our printer came with a 3 month free trial for Instant Ink with the option to upgrade our subscription at the end. The initial cost of the HP Envy is £69 which is much cheaper than I imagined it to be.
HP Instant Ink – The ink cartridges and delivery costs are included in the monthly plan price, there’s no annual fee and you can change or cancel the plans online at anytime without any financial penalties.
Epson EcoTank L355: Wireless all-in-one printer that can print, scan and copy which a high-capacity integrated ink tank system which includes two years’ worth of ink for cost-effective printing. The Epson EcoTank has an rrp of £249.99 which personally I think is rather a lot to pay upfront for a printer and two years’ worth of ink.
For the comparative review, we set up the printers side by side on the dining room table. We wanted to make sure we were giving both printers the same treatment using the same paper, the same wi-fi network and printing the same jobs!
Both printers were relatively easy to unbox, assemble the parts together and prepare for the ink cartridges. The obvious differences were the way that the ink was stored within the printer ready for printing. The HP Envy had two ink cartridges to install which was simple and easy to do. The Epson EcoTank has 4 colour ink tanks which the user has to fill individually. This is quite a tricky and messy thing to do and it’s best to cover everything just in case you spill any ink. The printer comes with two years’ worth of ink, which is actually quite a lot!
I encountered problems with setting both of the printers up on our wi-fi network despite reading the Quick Start Guides and had to enlist the help of my techy hubby to do the job for me! Turns out that the printers aren’t too keen on wi-fi networks that have passwords attached to them but after about half an hour of installing drivers and connecting to the wi-fi a few hundred times, we were connected and the printers were ready to go!
Ridiculously, I was able to connect my iPhone to both printers much easily and quicker than my laptop which I was rather excited about!
Ready and raring to review
With the printers both set up, paper loaded and apps installed on both my laptop and iPhone I was ready to get reviewing the printers. I wanted to print off our usual print jobs; train tickets, invoices and blog admin stuff as well as taking advantage of printing off full colour photographs direct from my phone. How exciting!
To find out how we got on with the comparative review, check back on Thursday for the full in depth review.
Disclaimer: We were sent both products for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own and this forms an honest and reliable review.