HP’s Smart Tank Plus 551 Wireless All-in-One (R3,235.00 Inc. VAT) is a bulk-ink multifunction printer that, instead of cartridges, gets its ink from reservoirs you fill from bottles.
Smaller of Two
The Plus 551 is one of two recently released Smart Tank Plus brand AIOs from HP, with the other being the recently reviewed Plus 651, which, among a few other notable features, comes with a 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). The Plus 551, on the other hand, has only a single-sheet flatbed scanner capable of capturing just one page at a time. Neither, however, is capable of printing two-sided pages automatically, which the Canon G6020 can, but the WorkForce ST-2000 EcoTank All-in-One cannot. With the Plus 551 and the ST-2000 you must flip the originals manually.
Walk-up tasks, such as making copies or scanning to a local drive or the cloud, or configuration tasks, are handled by the Plus 551’s rather basic control panel, which is comprised of several buttons and a non-touch seven-segment 2-inch monochrome display.
As with most business-oriented AIOs, this one also comes with a built-in web server from which you can perform most tasks, monitor consumables, configure security and other features, as well as generate usage and other reports, from most any browser, including on your smartphone.
Paper capacity comes from one 100-sheet tray that you pull out from the back of the printer. You can also configure the tray to hold up to 10 No. 10 envelopes or 30 sheets of label media or card stock paper. Its recommended monthly print volume is 1,000 pages, or about 200 pages per month more than the ST-2000, which also holds only 100 sheets of paper.
The G6020, on the other hand, holds up to 350 sheets from two separate sources and has a maximum monthly duty cycle of 5,000 pages. Also, like most HP, Canon, and Epson consumer and small-business grade printers and AIOs nowadays, the Plus 551 accepts voice-activation commands to execute tasks like reviewing alerts and other notifications and printing hands-free from Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant smart home devices. You can also use Apple’s Siri, Windows Cortana, or other voice-activation services via simple IFTTT (if this, then that) scripts available online at IFTTT.com and other readily available sites.