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HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One Printer Review

HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One Printer: A Complete Review

Cameron Cashman
Reading time: 7 minutes
Consumer printers have gotten cheaper and more common over the years, and these days there are two reliable options when it comes to home printers: laser and inkjet. Laser printers utilize a material called toner, which is good for high volume, black-and white print jobs.
As the name implies, inkjet printers utilize ink, which is better at printing high-quality, color material. Consumer Inkjet printers are typically fed ink through cartridges, which can be expensive and will run out quickly when used for high-volume print jobs.
Luckily, there’s a new type of printer that addresses this problem: the ink tank printer.

What are ink tank printers?

what are ink tank printers
Ink tank printers use the same inkjet technology found in most traditional consumer ink printers. Ink is heated and liquefied, then transferred to a nozzle, or print head. The print head sprays the ink onto the paper below, recreating the desired text or image. Traditionally, inkjet printers have utilized disposable cartridges, making them perfect for low-to-mid volume print jobs.
But for frequent printers or high-volume jobs, replacing ink cartridges can quickly become expensive.
That’s why many people are turning to newer ink tank printers to tackle higher volume jobs. Ink tank printers have built-in ink reservoirs that can print hundreds of pages before having to be refilled. Plus, a single refill bottle contains enough ink to last for up to two years, so you’ll be buying them much less frequently than replacement cartridges.
When you do need to purchase refills, you’ll only have to purchase the ink you need: black, cyan, magenta, or yellow.
What’s more, ink tank printers are better for the environment, since ink utilizes small recycleable bottles instead of cartridges.
Aside from this key difference, ink tank printers are comparable to cartridge printers. They offer the same high-quality black and white and color prints, and all-in-one models can copy and scan documents, as well. Plus, they’re just as fast - if not faster - than cartridge-based inkjet printers.

Who benefits from ink tank printers?

who benefits from an ink tank printer
With more people working and learning from home than ever before, a reliable home printer has become an essential tool for a wide variety of users: professionals, students, parents, instructors, and everyone in between. And since ink tank printers are just as versatile as their older, tried-and-true cartridge counterparts, you might be wondering if there’s any one who wouldn’t benefit from an ink tank printer!
The short answer is no - but there are some important things to keep in mind about ink tank printers. They do require a little bit more manual maintenance than cartridge printers: for example, refilling the tanks is a little more involved than simply slotting in a new ink cartridge.
Plus, ink tank printers have to be used frequently or maintained appropriately to prevent the ink from coagulating or the reservoirs from drying out. So, if you’re not printing off hundreds of pages every month, you may be better off with a cartridge printer.
That’s why ink tank printers are better for mid-to-large businesses, libraries, schools, and families who print a lot.
If you’re thinking about picking up a new ink tank printer, you should consider a Smart Tank printer from HP. Our printers are well-known for being versatile and reliable - and the Smart Tank line continues that tradition.

Introducing the HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One Printer

With that in mind, the HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One printer is a great, affordable option for a wide variety of users and print jobs – thanks in large part to its guided setup and accessibility features.

Get printing fast

get printing fast with an hp smart tank printer
First thing’s first: system requirements. Nothing too intense here - just an internet connection, a web browser, and 2GB of storage space. The printer is compatible with Windows 7 through 11, macOS 10-12, Android, and iOS.
If you want to get the printer up and running right out of the box, you should consider downloading the HP Smart App and using the guided setup feature. This presents step-by-step animation instructions so you can quickly and easily get started with your printer. Here, you’ll also be able to connect your printer to your various devices via WiFi.
Once it’s set up, the printer’s smart buttons will illuminate to guide you through the printing process every time, making print jobs easy and painless.

Flexible and feature-packed

A lot has already been said about the quality of prints that inkjet-based printers can produce. To help quantify that, let’s look at the resolutions that the HP Smart Tank 5101 is capable of.
A printer’s resolution is measured in dots per inch, or DPI. DPI measures the level of detail in printed, scanned, or copied images. When printing, DPI refers to the number of dots of ink that the printer can put onto each square inch of paper. When scanning or copying, DPI refers to the number of dots that the scanner or copier can capture per inch.
In all three cases, a higher DPI means more dots of ink, which translates to a higher quality image. So, if you want a high-quality print, scan, or copy, you'll want to choose a printer with a high DPI.
Luckily, that’s not a problem with the Smart Tank 5101. It can print black and white pages with a DPI of up to 1200 x 1200, and color pages up to 4800 x 1200 optimized DPI.
Printing on this machine is fast, too: with a black and white print speed of 12 pages per minute (ppm) and a speed of 5 ppm for color prints, you’ll be cranking out high-quality materials in no time at all.
HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One Printer
Other useful features of the 5101 include enhanced ID copy for accurately scanning and reproducing identification cards, as well as borderless (up to 8.5 x 11 in, 210 x 297 mm) and manual duplex printing.
Like all HP printers, you’ll have full control over a variety of print settings - which can be adjusted via the 1.2-inch LCD display or the HP Smart App. The mobile app is highly recommended, because it helps users access advanced smart features that HP has built into the printer.
HP Smart Advance makes it easier to manage print jobs, track ink and paper usage, and scan and share documents. Users can scan and save documents to the cloud or email them directly from the printer, without having to go through a separate scanning process. HP Smart Advance also includes security features like secure boot and firmware integrity checking to protect against attacks and unauthorized access.
An HP printer with HP Smart Advance features offers a range of benefits that can help users be more productive, efficient, and secure in their printing and document management tasks.

Sleek, heavy duty, and low-maintenance

The HP Smart Tank 5101 comes in a sleek, simple chassis that weighs about 11 lbs with dimensions of about 17 x 14 x 6 inches. It is heavy-duty enough to be sturdy and rugged, but small enough that it should fit on a small-to-medium sized table in most spaces.
It includes a 100-page input tray, a 30-page output tray, and is compatible with a variety of media types - including plain, matte, and glossy papers, envelopes, and other specialty inkjet papers. The recommended media weight for this printer is 20 lbs, and it supports up to 110-pound cardstock.
When it comes to maintenance, there isn’t a whole lot to worry about thanks to HP ink sensors, self-healing WiFi, and automatic on/off function, which ensures the printer isn’t running when you aren’t using it. When it comes time to refill your ink tanks, you won’t have to worry about spills thanks to HP’s hassle-free bottles and refill system.
Finally, HP includes bottles of ink with the printer that will last up to two years, so you won’t have to worry about getting ink refills for a while!


Overall, the HP Smart Tank 5101 All-in-One printer continues HP’s long-standing reputation for high-quality, reliable home printers. If you’re ready to upgrade from a traditional cartridge printer to an ink tank printer, you won’t go wrong with the HP Smart Tank 5101.

About the Author

Cameron Cashman is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Cameron is based in New England and has experience writing for a variety of industries, including technology, gaming, finance, HR, and recruiting.

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