Hewlett-Packard is attacking “ink anxiety” among consumers today with the launch of a bunch of new “instant ink” printers — and by slashing ink costs by 50 percent.

With these product launches, HP seems to be attacking its own wonderful business model of selling low-cost printers and high-cost ink. The new printers use a replacement ink service dubbed Instant Ink, which ships you ink when you’re running out for a fee as low as $3 a month, or almost half the cost of a Starbucks mocha.

The Palo Alto-based printer giant announced today that its data shows that its service can cut printing costs up to 50 percent, and can eliminate the fear of running out of ink at the worst time. HP’s printers are wirelessly connected to the Internet, and the smart cartridges in the printer can reorder ink before they run out. HP ships the ink directly to the customer. You can send the empty cartridges back in a prepaid envelope for recycling.

The Instant Ink program is one of the fastest-growing web-based paid services, adding more than one new customer every minute of every day.

“Customers want printing to be affordable, convenient and meaningful,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president at HP imaging and printing, in a statement. “With HP Instant Ink, customers can enjoy low cost of ownership and print what matters most to them without the worry of running out of ink or spending too much.”

According to market researcher InfoTrends, the typical home user prints 43 pages per month on average. With HP Instant Ink, this level of printing will cost only $3 per month. HP has different plans for different levels of usage.

HP’s new Instant Ink-ready printers being announced today include the HP ENVY 4520 All-in-One Printer. Designed for the connected household, this is a space-saving printer that features printing from a smartphone or tablet and lab-quality photos, creative projects, hobbies and business documents. It will sell for $100, starting this month.

Another new machine is the HP ENVY 5540 All-in-One Printer. It is an affordable printer with a quick, five-minute mobile installation process so users can print from a smartphone or tablet with or without a router or local wireless network. Users can also scan, copy, and access web content directly from the color touchscreen. It will sell for $130, starting this month.

HP is also launching a series of new OfficeJet printers, ranging in price from $80 to $300.

HP Envy 4520 all-in-one printer.

Above: HP Envy 4520 all-in-one printer.

Image Credit: HP




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