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Ink Tank Printers: Why They’re a Great Business Investment

Ink Tank Printers: Why They’re a Great Business Investment

Linsey Knerl
Reading time: 7 minutes
As a business owner, chances are you’ve tried many ways to save on ink, from decreasing the quality of print jobs to buying knock-off ink cartridges. Unfortunately, these short-term savings methods can cost more in the long run, since ugly prints can make your business appear unprofessional, and counterfeit ink products may damage your printer.
Thankfully, there’s a new option for printing that won’t force you to choose between quality, quantity, or affordability. And you can find it with the HP ink tank printer.

What is an ink tank printer?

Ink tank printers, from a printing standpoint, work in almost the same way as your standard cartridge printers. Where they differ is in how you refill the ink. Instead of replacing a single color or tri-color ink cartridge with a new one every time your ink levels get too low for a quality print, you simply refill the ink compartment (known as an "ink tank" or “ink well”) with the color that’s low.
You can even refill the ink in advance of running low, so large print jobs won’t be interrupted by streaky or off-color prints mid-job. There’s less waste as well, since you won’t have to purchase new cartridges or recycle your empties.
The HP Smart Tank printers are ink well printers that you can easily refill with the four included bottles of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). Each of these bottles can print thousands of pages. Wondering if the ink tank printers dry up? The ink tanks seal after you fill them, and the refills store easily and can be resealed. The relatively mess-free bottles dispense ink quickly, too, so they help you get back to printing within minutes.
The HP Smart Tank printers differ from the HP Neverstop printers in that they use liquid ink (or inkjet technology) and not toner. While the HP Neverstop laser printer tank is also refilled easily by the consumer - it’s actually technically a cartridgeless printer - toner printing uses a completely different type of technology, so make sure you do your research before shopping to determine which one is right for your needs.

Benefits of a refillable printer

If you’ve used a standard HP cartridge printer before, you know that cartridges are easy to replace. Why would you want to upgrade to a refillable printer like the HP Smart Tank? Here are a few of the numerous benefits:
  • Easy to use: You don’t have to keep extra cartridges lying around for when you need them or run to the store to find an exact cartridge match. You’ll no longer be surprised by sudden ink outages, either.
  • Good for the environment: Since you won’t be replacing the entire cartridge and will instead rely on larger ink bottles, there are fewer plastic products to buy, consume, and recycle. With no “empties” to toss, you keep plastic out of the landfill.
  • Cost-effective: Ink can be more affordable compared to cartridges, and you save money and time spent driving to the store or having cartridges shipped. Per page, it’s a solid business option for bulk printing. Each printer includes enough ink to print up to 6,000 black or 8,000 color pages, so you can spend your work time doing something more valuable than dealing with cartridges in your continuous ink printer.
  • Warranty friendly: Since you’ll be using Original HP ink refills, you have the guarantee that your prints will come out crisp. Compare this to using off-brand ink methods or generic options, which can ruin your printer or void your warranty.
  • High quality: Since HP Ink Tank printers are business-class printers, you can expect professional-quality prints in both black-and-white and color. Even after thousands of prints, you can feel confident that your print jobs properly represent your company. With better quality control than many printers and full HP support, you can spend less time troubleshooting or dealing with jams or ink bleeds.

Best ink tank printer for your business

HP offers two Smart Tank Plus models designed to take your business printing up a notch. Here’s a quick rundown on them; some of the best tank printers on the market today.

HP Smart Tank Plus 551 Wireless All-in-One printer

HP Smart Tank Plus 551 Wireless All-in-One printer
For those looking for a quick way to start producing quality prints, the HP Smart Tank Plus 551 is a solid pick. It offers multi-functional print, scan, and copy capabilities, all connected through wireless networks. Setup is a breeze thanks to the intuitive software and included ink supplies, which deliver up to 2 years of printing right out of the box.
This printer uses a flat-bed scanner for copying and scans with a resolution of 600 dpi, and you’ll get up to 11 pages per minute (ppm) with black printing and up to 5 ppm with color. The HP Smart app compatibility lets you scan items with your smartphone’s camera or use email to send print jobs directly to your printer, with no computer needed. The sleek design ensures this printer fits right in, whether you use it at home or in the office.
Additional features:
  • Dual-band WiFi gives you a choice between 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz frequencies
  • iPhone and Android-compatible app lets you scan and share to Dropbox, Google Drive, or your choice of email provider
  • 100-page input tray gives you plenty of time between paper refills
  • 1-inch LCD display offers quick-touch icon controls
  • Notifications to your phone let you know when your print, scan, or copy jobs are ready
  • Bluetooth technology helps get you printing within minutes
This printer is budget-friendly and offers years of affordable prints via the reclosable ink refill bottles. For someone just getting into the refillable printer market, this provides an easy transition.

HP Smart Tank Plus 651 Wireless All-in-One printer

HP Smart Tank Plus 651 Wireless All-in-One printer
If you’re looking for additional features like faxing, the HP Smart Tank Plus 651 may be a better fit for your routine. This printer gives you all of the perks of the HP Smart Tank 551 but adds a few key perks.
This printer’s 2.2-inch mono touch screen is bigger, so you can easily tap your way through more demanding print jobs. Of course, it is also compatible with the HP Smart App, so you can do all of your printing from your phone, if you wish. This refillable printer has the same capacity with up to 6,000 black-and-white prints and 8,000 color prints per starting ink kit as well.
Like the HP Smart Tank Plus 551 model, it boasts a minimalist design with a white and light basalt color scheme that blends into just about any office space. It’s also durable enough for business applications.
One other clever aesthetic feature of the printer is the ink supply “windows.” These see-through spots in the printer body let you see at a glance which ink is running low. You can also set up your mobile device to notify you of low ink via the HP Smart App or check on ink status with your HP printing software.
Additional features:
  • 35-page automatic document feeder makes hands-off printing of larger jobs easier
  • The first page is ready in as little as 14 seconds
  • Supports borderless printing and a variety of paper tapes, including envelopes and glossy brochures
  • Send full-color faxes at a rate of up to one page every 4 seconds, with 300 dpi resolution
  • Create up to 99 copies of any document at a time
  • Up to 1200 dpi for scanning and printing
This printer is poised to offer years of reliable printing for a variety of jobs. Consider it your partner in eye-popping prints and business documents that easily rival the print shops. With the value that the refillable ink bottles provide, you’ll realize savings over time and get access to HP support to help you with any questions you have along the way.

Ink tank vs cartridge printer, which is for you?

If you’ve never used a cartridge-free printer before, the idea may seem unusual. You may be accustomed to switching out ink cartridges, but your future may be in an ink tank printer. How can you know as you compare a refillable ink tank vs ink cartridge printers? Answering “yes” to any of these questions could be a sign that it’s time to make the switch.
  • Does my business or department print hundreds of pages a month, and need the same high quality from the first print to the last print?
  • Am I looking for an excellent return on my printer investment?
  • Do I find ink cartridge purchasing and disposal cumbersome?
  • Am I interested in an environmentally friendly alternative to cartridge waste?
HP Ink Tank printers provide incredible value with full control over your printing needs. They are ideal for those who want a vibrant option for professional prints with many of the popular features of other HP business printers. Also, the longer you use your HP Ink Tank printer, the more it pays you back.

About the Author

Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

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