Real Review: Are Printer Ink Subscriptions Worth It? - The M Word

Real Review: Are Printer Ink Subscriptions Worth It?

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I like to think I’m fairly tech savvy, but when it comes to printers, I’ve clearly been living under a pile of nappies and wet wipes for too long, as these handy machines have come on in enormous leaps and bounds recently.

If you’re anything like me, then printers can often be something that causes a great deal of annoyance and stress. If it’s not paper jams, it’s all the wires. Add to that the ink running out at the wrong time or not being aligned properly or just the length of time and huge noise it takes to print anything of a high quality like photos. Which is probably why I have a barrage of baby photos on my devices that I haven’t yet printed out, because my old printer is a relic from the Stone Age and dashing out to a photo kiosk is a demand on my time I just can’t factor in these days.

Enter the HP Envy Smart Printer 5030

On paper, it seems like my perfect printer match. Sleek, lightweight, easy to use, offering wireless printing from any of my devices and the cherry on the cake? The HP Instant Ink Subscription service which delivers replacement ink to your door before you run out, meaning you’ll never be caught out again!

Could it be this the one? I set out to put it to the test!


  1. I won’t lie, I hate setting up new techie devices. Why? Invariably something tends to go wrong and it becomes akin to the seventh level of hell. This however was refreshingly simple… I was almost afraid to say that out loud in case I jinxed it! After I plugged it in and turned it on, I downloaded the HP Smart App for my phone and followed the instructions on the screen. There are even videos to show you what to do in case you get stuck. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you load the ink cartridges and there’s literally one quick page to be printed and scanned and that’s it! If you want to install the printer on your laptop or computer, go to  and follow the instructions.


  1. I was up and running in about 15 minutes. But the genius of the printer lies in its handy Ink Subscription Service which cleverly senses when you’re low on ink and delivers more to your door. In essence you’ll never run out of ink again. During the set up, you can choose which subscription you’d like, depending on how much printing you do.


  1. There’s a range of options including a free package if you only do very occasional printing. You’ll need to input your credit card details, as with most subscription services, but you are not charged until you put the new ink cartridges into the machine, plus you can cancel or adjust your plan at any time by logging into your HP account. Do keep in mind you’ll need to keep you machine plugged in and connected to the Wi-Fi for it to keep stock of your ink levels.


  1. What better way to put the printer and the ink to the test than by creating a fun HP Mini Big Book  for the little dude. Thankfully the hardest part of creating the book was selecting a picture! I’ve just so many digital images of him on my devices, which only goes to illustrate how badly I need a hassle free printer that can quickly and easily produce photos at home.


  1. To create the book, you simply go to the Mini Big Books website  and select a theme. There are plenty to choose from and each story has a very cute moral to it. You need to then upload your images and follow the simple instructions on the screen.


  1. I put the book together from my phone which was very easy. I must confess I’ve never printed wirelessly from my phone before and it was a cinch, so much so, that I’ll be printing every baby photo of the little dude… I think I’m going to need more walls to hang them on! I used regular A4 paper, but for a better finish I’d suggest you get some good quality glossy paper. The result is really rich, full colour and only took a few seconds to print.


  1. Finally you’ve got to work some fold and cut magic to bring the book to life. Channel your inner Mary Fitzgerald from RTE’s classic 90s kids show Make and Do and you’ve got it!


The Verdict  

HP Envy 5030 Printer – The printer itself is incredibly fast, it doesn’t take up a lot of space and the Wi-Fi printing from your phone or tablet means you actually can print off your snaps instantly. 5 *****

HP Ink Subscription Service – A real revelation and if we can get beauty boxes, clothes and even period boxes delivered to our door, why not ink? A resounding yes from me! 5 *****

HP Mini Big Books – These are super cute and a fun activity to do either for or with your little ones. I would like to see some more varieties in the books on offer however and the assembly was a little bit tricky, but overall well worth doing. 3 ***



Brought to you by HP

I received a HP Envy Printer to review as part of this post, however all opinions are my own and based on my experience of using the products and services outlined.

HP Instant Ink subscription service will benefit any busy parents and works with the latest HP printers, available at Harvey Norman, Curry/PC World and Power City. Find out more about the HP Instant Ink subscription service here



Niamh O'Reilly
Niamh O'Reilly
A full time feature and copy writer, Niamh is a dog-mad, shoe-obsessed, movie-buff, with a curious penchant for politics. Up until her son arrived in December 2016, she’d never changed a nappy, made a bottle or even held a baby for more than 5 minutes without it unleashing what she refers to as ‘the death roar’. Completely unprepared for this momentous change in her life, she’s now trying to navigate the brand new world of motherhood with honesty, grace, love and humour. You can also catch her writing about her journey over at