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HP Tango: Is the world’s first smart home printer really that smart?

The printing giant's latest gadget is 'more connected than ever', but you could save yourself some money if you shop around

HP has created the ‘world’s first smart home printer’, an internet-enabled printer that’s controlled entirely by your voice or via your smartphone.

The HP Tango printer is due for release by the end of the month at £129, or you can buy it with a cover for £179 exclusively from Dixons. But if you’re shopping for a new printer, does this HP offer any features that truly set it apart from similarly-priced alternatives?

Below, we’ve rounded up some Tango tricks that HP hopes will convince you to reach for your wallet.

Best Buy printers – Speedy, high quality printers for every budget

HP Tango – key features

Voice-activated printing

We wouldn’t call voice-command support on a printer a must-have, but it’s a handy bonus if you want to get things done quickly.

The HP Tango can communicate with an Amazon Echo smart hub or a device running on Google Assistant  – that means you can line up a printing job without having to press any buttons on the Tango. If you own an Alexa-enabled device, you’ll need to download the free HP Printer Skill. Google Assistant users can say ‘Hey Google, talk to my HP printer’ to link to the HP Printer Assistant app.

Scan documents with your smartphone

If you’ve got a mobile with a capable camera,  you can point the rear snapper at a physical document to create a virtual copy. HP says that its intelligent scanning tool will automatically enhance your image to make sure that the text on the paper is clear.

Most big-name printer brands have their own free smartphone apps for iOS and Android, including:

  • Brother – Brother iPrint&Scan
  • Canon – Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY
  • HP – HP Smart (Printer Remote)
  • Samsung – Samsung Mobile Print

Automatic ink orders

The Tango has HP’s Instant Ink helper tucked inside, so when the printer detects low ink levels it can order replacement cartridges automatically. In fact, the printer should be clever enough to order replacements before the ink completely runs out.

Signing up to an Instant Ink plan means you’ll get ink delivered straight to your door. HP also sends over a prepaid envelope to help you recycle old cartridges. If you want to give the service a try, there are a couple of different pricing plans to choose from. Here’s an overview:

To take a look at the full range of HP Printers with Instant Ink, see our HP Instant Ink printer reviews.

Budget-priced printers in the Which? test lab

At £129, the new HP Tango might tempt buyers on a budget, but we’ve tested alternatives from Brother, Canon, Epson, HP and Samsung that are even cheaper.

HP’s latest printer has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, but not all of them are unique. For example, there’s no shortage of models that offer wireless printing, and the Tango isn’t the only HP model to support the brand’s Instant Ink service.

A cheap printer can prove a perfect fit if you don’t print regularly, but without reading our expert reviews you run the risk of buying a printer that drains ink cartridges faster than you’d like.

To see which cheap printers we recommend, head over to our guide on the top five best cheap printers to run for 2018.

The most reliable printer brands

Every year, we ask more than 10,000 Which? members to tell us in our unique reliability survey whether they are happy, or have experienced problems, with their computing products.

The results of our latest printers reliability survey will help you choose a brand that will last. We’ve quizzed Which? members to uncover the most common faults affecting printers. In fact, around a tenth (11%) of respondents reported issues with their printer’s ink jets or print heads not working.

To see which printer brands score top marks for reliability, head over to our guide on the most reliable printer brands.

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