We’ve already had printing as a service, but now Hewlett Packard Co. is bringing ink as a service to Canada with its HP Instant Ink offering, now available as an option on six newly launched printers.

Think of it as an ink subscription service. A business or home user chooses from three plans based on their printing frequency – occasional, moderate or frequent – and pays a set monthly fee from $3.99 to $10.99.

The printer communicates directly with HP and new ink is delivered before you run out. HP says it can save businesses up to 50 per cent on their consumables costs. Much like a cell phone package, unused pages can be rolled over to the next month and there’s a per page charge for pages printed over plan. The subscription can be cancelled without penalty at any time.

“Customers want printing to be affordable, convenient and meaningful,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice-president, imaging and printing with HP. “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.”

Of course, unlike a pure printing as a service solution, under this model you still need to buy a printer. And HP has several new Envy, OfficeJet and DeskJet models it has launched that are all compatible with its new Instant Ink service.

  • HP Envy 4520 All-in-One Printer: A compact model designed for connected households, it’s optimized to print from smartphones or tablets and product lab-quality photos. It’s priced at $99 with availability in September.
  • HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Printer: Allows users to easily print from a smartphone or tablet with or without a router or local wireless network, and scan, copy, and access web content directly from the color touchscreen. It’s priced at $129 with availability in September.
  • HP OfficeJet 4650 All-in-One: Designed for home offices, it includes HP’s mobile out-of-box experience and includes a new auto deploy output paper tray and a touch-enabled display. It starts at $99 with availability in September.
  • HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One: A wireless printer designed for everyday document printing, it’s also enabled for mobile printing and includes multipage faxing, scanning, and copying. It starts at $79 with availability in September.
  • HP OfficeJet 5741: This model comes with two years of HP Instant Ink, and offers wireless printing along with print, fax, scan and copy features. Its priced at $199 with availability expected in October.
  • HP OfficeJet 5743: Comes with one year of Instant Ink, and features wireless printing as well as fax, scan and copy features. Its priced at $299 with availability expected in October.
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