Newsletter - December 2019

Ho-ho-hello and welcome to this month’s newsletter.

It’s Black Friday weekend, although you could be mistaken thinking it’s Black Friday month because it appears to have started several weeks ago on the web and in the shops! Tomorrow is cyber Monday, so you still have a chance of picking something up in these pre-Christmas sales.

This month I thought it might be interesting to spend a little time talking about printers and printing. I haven’t discussed this topic in a newsletter for a very long time and things have changed quite a bit over the years. Most people would typically choose an inkjet printer for home use because they are not expensive and the print quality is generally very good. The common complaint about inkjet printers is that replacement ink cartridges cost a fortune (same price as a new printer) and the ink has a habit of drying up and clogging the print head if you don’t use the printer regularly. You could go down the cheap compatible cartridge route to save money, but it is a fact that you always get the best print quality using the manufacturers cartridges and ink. It is also a fact that the manufacturers actively try to block you from using compatible cartridges by automatically installing updates to your printer, whose sole purpose is to enhance detection of compatible cartridges and stop you from using them. The reason for this is simple. They can’t actually make the €50 printer you just bought (which included a set of ink cartridges) for €50, so they are in reality making a loss on every printer they sell. Therefore, they make their money back by selling you their ink cartridges, and they absolutely don’t want you to be able to use someone else's cheap ink cartridges!

All the printer manufacturers are playing the same game so printers are remarkably cheap these days. New printers are also very sophisticated and can print and scan from computers, tablets and smartphones very easily with apps. A popular printer right now is the HP Envy 5010 which has been selling for €40-ish over the Black Friday sales in Media Markt, Carrefour etc. I have installed quite a few of them for customers over the last couple of months and they are a great little printer for the money. What is perhaps of more interest is that this printer is compatible with something called HP Instant Ink which claims it can save you up to 70% on ink costs using original HP print cartridges. You may even have seen the adverts on TV for this service. Now, let me make this completely clear, HP Instant Ink is not a cheap way of buying HP original cartridges for your printer. It is a service that allows you to print a certain number of pages each month (depending on which plan you choose) and you will never have to buy ink cartridges again. You will automatically get sent new HP Instant Ink cartridges for your printer by post whenever your printer gets low on ink, and you just send the old ones back in a pre-paid packet for recycling. You can change your plan month by month to increase or decrease the number of prints whenever you want, or indeed cancel your instant ink plan at any time. If you cancel your plan, you should understand that your instant ink cartridges will magically stop working at the end of the current billing month.

Why am I telling you about this? I know that a lot of people only print a few pages a month, if that, and there is a free plan for people who print less than 15 pages a month, and it won’t cost you a penny. You will always have original HP cartridges and ink for your HP printer and never have to spend any money on ink. You can read more about the instant ink service here > UK and Spain. Instant ink is available for many different model HP printers, not just the Envy 5010, so you may actually already own an HP printer that you can enrol with the instant ink service. It’s also available in many other countries, so just check the HP website in your country for details. Of course this service is completely optional, you don’t need to sign up for it when you buy an supported HP printer, but for some people it will be the perfect solution. So, if your current printer is on the blink, slow, noisy, paper constantly jamming, or just needs a new set of ink cartridges, it might be worth considering getting a new HP printer with instant ink to replace it.

To round this off it is worth mentioning that all the other major printer manufacturers offer some sort of ink replacement service for their printers (just in case for some reason you hate HP and will never buy one of their printers). They all differ from the HP Instant Ink service in as much as you actually buy new manufacturer ink cartridges (which you then own) when your printer is running low on ink. Canon offers it’s Easy Ink delivery service, Epson offers it’s ReadyInk service, and Amazon offers it’s Dash replenishment service for many different manufacturer printer ink cartridges.

Well, it’s that time of year again, so I would like to wish you seasons greetings and thank you for your custom this year. I hope you have a very happy Christmas, and if you are travelling over the holidays I wish you safe travels. Don’t forget that if you picked up a Black Friday computer, or Santa brings you a new one for Christmas, I will be very happy to help you set it up and transfer all your pictures and documents and stuff from your old computer.

I hope you have a great month.

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Neal Walker Computer Services

Computer, laptop and tablet repairs - Alicante - Spain

Neal Walker Computer Services     

Tel : 663713811