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Epson ReadyPrint Go vs HP Instant Ink: are these printer ink services worth it?

Find out the difference between Epson and HP's ink subscription services, and if either are worth signing up to

Epson ReadyPrint Go vs HP Instant Ink: are these printer ink services worth it?

In addition to Epson’s subscription-free printer ink service, ReadyPrint Go, it has just launched a new subscription model called ReadyPrint Flex.

Epson claims that ReadyPrint Flex will save you up to 70% on print costs, and ink will automatically be delivered straight to your door when you’re running low. What’s more, Epson is offering the service free of charge for an initial three-month launch period, until 31 July 2020.

We explore how it compares with HP’s equivalent Instant Ink service, along with cheaper third-party cartridges, to help you decide whether they’re worth signing up to and whether they should sway your decision when choosing a printer brand.

Want to compare printers? Check out HP and Epson Best Buy printers

What are printer ink subscription services?

Printer ink subscriptions are services that you can sign up to, if you’ve got a specific printer, for a monthly fee, and are designed to make sure you never run out of ink.
You’ll be able to choose a scheme that suits you, depending on the amount of pages you print per month. You’ll get new cartridges sent to you whenever you need a top-up. Be cautious though: if you go over your limit, you may incur extra costs, which can add up – more on that below.

Epson ReadyPrint Flex vs HP Instant Ink

Epson ReadyPrint Flex

  • Three subscription models: £1.29 for 30 pages, £1.99 for 50 pages or £3.49 for 100 pages.
  • Extra pages are charged at 10p.
  • Swap between plans at any time, even during the payment cycle.
  • Unused pages can be rolled over for two months.
  • Printers on ReadyPrint Flex monitor ink levels, and a new cartridge is posted to you when ink runs low.
  • You can cancel at any time.

Read our Epson printer reviews to see if there’s a model for you.

HP Instant Ink

  • Five subscription models: free for up to 15 pages per month, £1.99 per month for 50 pages, £3.49 per month for 100 pages, £7.99 per month for 300 pages, £17.99 per month for 700 pages.
  • Over-limit prints are from £1 for 10 pages (10p per page) to £1 for 20 pages (5p per page), depending on your plan.
  • You can change your subscription model, but not to the free plan.
  • You can roll over unused pages, but only up to a maximum of your monthly limit and not on the free plan.
  • The printer automatically alerts HP that you’re running low, and a new cartridge is posted to you.
  • You can cancel at any time.

See a round-up of the HP Instant Ink-compatible printers we’ve reviewed.

Is there a cheaper way to buy printer inks?

Instead of buying original inks that are made by the manufacturer of your printer and are often extremely expensive, there are third-party inks on the market which can save you a lot in ink costs.

Many people have concerns about third-party ink, whether that’s worrying they will leak and ruin their printer, won’t be compatible or will have poor ink quality.

However, every year we send out a survey to find out which third-party inks are best. We also run a lab test alongside this, where we find out how they compare with original inks when it comes to print quality.

Read our guide to the best cheap ink cartridges to see which ones you can buy with confidence.

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