Inexpensive ink printers with refillable ink tanks are becoming more and more popular with frequent printers and families with school children. Despite being at least twice as expensive as cartridge models, the inclusion of a large amount of ink, which is usually enough for 6000 color pages or more, and original ink for refilling available for 10 to 20 euros per bottle make them a cost-effective option.
Canon and Epson offer the largest selection of ink tank printers, but HP has also introduced the Smart Tank 5100 series for home users. The HP Smart Tank 5105, available at a street price starting at 200 euros, is a bargain for an ink tank printer with a flatbed scanner and copier function.
However, HP has cut corners in every corner of the equipment of the 5105. While it is inexpensive, the thin plastic case does not make a very durable impression, and the simple printing unit only accepts a small amount of paper from the back.
The glass surface of the scanner is lower than the edge of the housing, making it difficult to remove originals. Setting up the printer requires a lot of patience, and the black ink supplied is sufficient for a good two tank fillings, while the inks for cyan, magenta, and yellow only last for one filling.
Moreover, the lack of coded filler necks makes it difficult to ensure that the color ends up in the right tank. Instead of menu-driven operation on the device, the buyer only gets a few standard functions via cheap membrane keys and an unlit LC display with segment displays and fixed symbols.
Despite the drawbacks, filling up the ink tanks worked without a mess, and the HP Smart Tank 5105 can be a good option for those on a budget. When setting up the printer, users should exercise patience and diligence to avoid filling the wrong tanks. The device can be a good choice for a home setting or for small businesses with infrequent printing needs.