Review: HP Tango X, an AirPrint printer that tries to seem like a e-book

While I attempt to live a paperless life, it’s not fairly doable to get away from the stuff completely. For instance, returning packages largely means printing a label (although there are some exceptions now), and there are nonetheless a number of firms that insist on etickets being introduced in paper kind.

But whenever you solely print a handful of pages a month, it doesn’t make sense to have a big printer – nor one that pulls consideration to itself. So I used to be curious to attempt the HP Tango X, a compact AirPrint-compatible printer which does its finest to disguise itself as a e-book when not in use …

Review: HP Tango X, an AirPrint printer that tries to seem like a e-book 1
Review: HP Tango X, an AirPrint printer that tries to seem like a e-book 2


Review: HP Tango X, an AirPrint printer that tries to seem like a e-book 1

Look & really feel

The printer is an off-white plastic rectangle with a darkish gray base. On the highest is a comparatively low-key embossed HP brand, and there’s a light-grey HP Tango X label in smallish letters on the entrance.

The printer measures round 15 inches large by Eight inches deep by three inches excessive.

The e-book disguise

The mixture of pretty minimalist appears and compact measurement signifies that the Tango X is already one thing that may be tucked away someplace fairly discreetly, however since even small white plastic packing containers aren’t significantly engaging, the printer comes with a linen cowl – accessible in a alternative of gray or indigo, which is a fairly beautiful subdued deep blue coloration. This appears virtually like a darkish gray.

The thought is that if, like me, you print so often you’re pleased to attach the printer to energy whenever you really need it, it might simply sit on a bookshelf the remainder of the time and no-one would even understand it was there.

The unhealthy information is that, at 15 inches within the longest dimension, it doesn’t sit upright on most bookshelves. But it does comfortably sit horizontally on our cabinets, and sure, you’d by no means guess what it’s. I wouldn’t say it appears like a e-book, however fairly a classy binder or related. But it undoubtedly ticks the ‘hide your printer away discreetly’ field.

HP Tango X linen cover

Set up

Configuring wi-fi gadgets can generally be extraordinarily fiddly and unreliable, and I generally discover I have to resort to sacrificing a goat as an providing to the Wi-Fi gods. But getting the Tango X up-and-running couldn’t have been simpler.

You want to put in HP Smart software program in your iPhone to configure the printer. Opening the app, the printer was instantly detected and it requested for my Wi-Fi particulars. I entered these, then it used animations to indicate how one can set up the provided black and multi-color ink cartridges.

HP Tango X

You’ll discover that it requested in step three whether or not I wanted assist. This is as a result of I used to be interrupted at this stage, and thought it was nice UI design that it notices a pause and provides further steering.

Once the arrange was performed on my iPhone, it appeared as an accessible printer on all gadgets on the community – iOS and Mac – with none additional steps.

Both software program and {hardware} arrange had been very easy.

In use

As a printer designed for infrequent use, you must open the linen cowl then elevate the lid to insert paper into it. There isn’t any paper catch tray, however the linen cowl cleverly performs this operate supplied there’s sufficient room for it to put flat in entrance of the printer. There undoubtedly isn’t on a typical bookshelf, however as I’m typically printing a single web page, I’m pleased sufficient to catch it myself. If I had been doing a batch of printing, I’d put it on a desk.

The pace is zippy sufficient for a small inkjet: about 10 seconds for a black-and-white print, and round 20 seconds for a coloration one.

As you’d anticipate, it’s slower when printing images, a 5×7 print onto photograph paper taking about two-and-a-half minutes. At 5×7-inches, it prints absolutely borderless. If you’re proud of a border, it is going to go as much as 14×8.5 inches.

Print high quality is extremely spectacular. The compact measurement doesn’t demand any sacrifice within the high quality of output.

The Tango X does declare that it might scan in addition to print, however that’s actually simply utilizing your iPhone digicam to {photograph} paperwork inside the HP Smart app. It does, nonetheless, do computerized cropping when photographing paperwork, and I discovered this works nicely.

Free ink

Like everybody today, HP is attempting to show occasional purchases into subscriptions – on this case, month-to-month subscriptions for ink cartridges although a program generally known as Instant Ink.

The deal is that you simply pay a month-to-month charge, guaranteeing a sure variety of prints monthly. The printer mechanically detects when ink is operating low, and re-orders it for you. The paid plans vary from 50 pages a month for $2.99 to 300 pages for $9.99.

HP Instant Ink

But you’ll discover that there’s additionally a free tier! This solely will get you 15 pages a month, however for somebody like me, that’s lots.

You do want to purchase a brand new printer to qualify, and you may solely sign-up for the free tier should you’ve by no means had a paid one, however should you’re in the identical place as me, the mixture of no-hassle computerized re-ordering and utterly free ink provides is unquestionably interesting. Even if I went over, at $1 per further 10 pages, I’d have to print 46 pages in a month earlier than it price as a lot as the most affordable paid tier, and that’s by no means going to occur.

Pricing and conclusions

The HP Tango X prices $199. You can discover it cheaper with out the duvet, however you then’re shedding a big a part of the explanation for getting it within the first place – the truth that you possibly can have a printer with out having to take a look at one whenever you’re not utilizing it.

There are many cheaper inkjet printers available, from beneath $50. Whether this one is worth it relies on how a lot you hate white (or black) plastic packing containers in your house. I’d say it’s a luxurious merchandise in that you’re paying a big premium for the compact measurement and disguise, however then again it’s not an enormous sum. Whether it’s price will probably be a really private resolution.

But for me, I believe it’s a great choice to have, and the free ink tier might go some option to serving to to justify the value.

The HP Tango X is available with grey or indigo linen covers. It prices $199.

Photo: Shutterstock

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