Over the last month, we have been taking part in the Mumsnet Instant Ink test, along with nine other bloggers, to try out this HP Envy 5540 printer for a month. As many of you will know, having a printer at home can allow you to get many things done. From printing money saving vouchers to photos and from printing copies of legal documents to children’s school work, we definitely can’t live without it in this household!
If you don’t already have a printer, you might be wondering what the costs of buying replacement ink cartridges are, but even if you do already have a printer, you might be curious how this HP Envy stacks up against yours. In fact HP have a really neat solution called HP Instant Ink which is a replacement service where the printer will know when it’s low on ink and will ship you new cartridges before you run out. You select your monthly price plan which includes the ink cartridges and delivery costs for as little as £1.99 per month and they take care of the rest.
During these four weeks of testing, we were given a list of tasks to test it out. The first week was to set up this printer. I am familiar with HP printers as we are still using an eight year old HP printer and the general way you use it hasn’t changed. But this new modern printer is much more eco-friendly and of course has better quality print.
This printer is easily to set up and to install the ink cartridges. Simply remove the protective strip from the ink cartridges and insert into the printer. Then fill the paper tray with paper. Once you turn it on, it will prompt you to select the options. As this is a touch screen printer, it is easy to select and to connect to Wi-Fi. Following through the steps, within minutes, the printer is all set up and the next step is to link it to my tablets and computer.
The printer app on my tablet was simple to set up. It linked up quickly and I was able to print remotely. Using the app to print my documents and photos is so easy now, I am very impressed!
Linking it with my laptop was also simple, I didn’t use the CD to install the software as I downloaded the files directly from the website. It didn’t take me long to get it registered and link. Now I can scan a document and send it to my laptop! I love this function. On my old printer, I used to scan my documents on to a memory stick that I would plug into the printer and then have to transfer it over.
For the second week, we were asked to test out the quality. There are three options to print: Draft, Normal and Best (ideal for photos). I find that draft quality is good enough for most of my stuff. The print quality is good and it is faster and uses less ink. The text on the document is clear and sharp. Then the normal quality is great too. I can’t fault it. Again, the print is sharp and clear. It is quick at printing and dries within seconds. I was able to print on both sides of the page. As for the best quality, the prints on the photo paper are okay. They are not as good as what you would get from a shop but it is still acceptable for display or to use in school homework etc. The overall colours seems slightly lighter than your usual prints from a photo shop.
We were also asked to do a dry smudge test, wet smudge test, water test and fade test. For the dry smudge test, after the printed photo came out, I immediately smeared my fingers over it and the ink didn’t smudge. For the wet tests, I let the photo dry out for at least 4 hours before performing the test otherwise it would cause the ink to run. For the wet smudge test, I used a damp piece of tissue paper and swiped over the photo image and again the ink didn’t smudge. I am very impressed with it. Then for the water test, I dropped a few drops of water onto the photo paper and again the ink didn’t run or smudge. This is great to know that precious photos will not be ruined if it should accidentally happen. As for the fade test, I was not able to carry it out properly. We had quite bad weather during April so we didn’t have enough sunlight to see any difference.
In our third week of test, we looked into the printer design including functionality, mobile management, checking ink gauges and cost savings. The ink gauges are easy to check by clicking on the water icon. It will show you the ink gauges on the bar chart. As I mentioned earlier, printing remotely via the app or computer is a doddle. The wireless printing function is fantastic!
Two weeks ago, I had to turn the printer off to move it into my office. I didn’t reconnect it for days, but I’m happy to report that it didn’t lose any details. I was worried that I would have to go through the setup again, but my worries were unfounded.
A nice extra feature includes being able to print out from their list of printables like crossword puzzles, colouring sheets, origami and many more! Or I can log into my HP account via the website to select the printables to print these whenever I want.
To sum up our four weeks of testing, I have really enjoyed using the printer and it provides many conveniences over my old printer that it is well worth the upgrade. Being able to print wirelessly is my favourite feature especially as I can print it via my iPad or laptop in this way.
As for scanning via the printer, it can only send the image onto my laptop and not on to my iPad. It connects to my laptop quickly and I can instantly receive the image and upload onto my favourite social networks. Overall I enjoy the wireless printing and also the cheap monthly plan which helps me to save money.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I will receive a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.