Checking HP printer cartridge’s ink level and a solution to low ink usage

There is a good post on Guardian on how the HP ink cartridge has reduced in size over the last 5 years. The main reason is their printers market share was diminishing, and they have to make cheap printers to stay in the game while recouping the cost on the ink cartridges. This has seen an increase in the printers sale as well as the increase in people buying more ink cartridges.

So, how to check your HP printer cartridge’s ink levels, before you decide to buy a new one? and let’s take a look at the solution that consumes less ink than it usually does.

Checking ink levels

  1. Click on Start button on your taskbar, then click Control Panel. On Windows 8, go to the Charms bar, click on the search icon, and search “control panel”, and click on it to open.
  2. Double-click on the Printer and Faxes.
  3. Right click on the Printer and Faxes and click on Preferences.
  4. Click the Services tab and click on Service this Device.
  5. Now the printer Toolbox window opens, click on the Estimated Ink Level tab, (image below) This is where you see the ink levels. A full ink has the cartridge box full and goes down, as the ink levels reduces. This is only an estimated value and the actual ink levels may vary, but not much of a difference,

ink cartridge estimated ink level

Now to the solution that consumes less ink to print than the usual consumption,

The solution: A printing driver attachment solution that consumes less ink and saves you money

adobe leanprintThe solution is Adobe LeanPrint. It is a software that replaces the default printer driver path with its printer, but only works on selected application at the moment. It works on Windows (all version) and on most of browsers such as Chrome, Firefox…. You can download the trial version here. Or, you can get the full version for $20 here.

It’s 27.4 MB download and you can start free trial immediately after downloading and installing it.

View “Getting started” videos once the installation is completed. The cost savings section is particularly useful. This is the feature that can be accessed via the start menu or from the Leanprint print window. This shows you how much you saved on papers or toners over the time you used Leanprint.


On the graph above, on the Y-axis, is the paper or toner usage count, and on the X-axis are the months using Leanprint. The black bar is the amount of papers you wanted to print with Leanprint, or its the input count. Green bar is the amount of papers printed. The green bar is always shorter than the black bar, the difference is the papers saved using Leanprint. You can toggle between paper and toner on the Y-axis, and select among daily. monthly or yearly on the X-axis. You can also see how much of toner usage you have saved, which means more ink available and less often rushing to the cartridge store to buy a new one.

You can see the savings for daily or monthly on the top of each bars on the graph. The savings, as you can see, is both in toner and paper.

Next is, printing options. There are 2 printing options. One is Toner Saver and other is Super Saver. Toner saver, as the name goes by, saves Toner usage. On the other hand, Super saver, saves you both paper and toner.

leanprint printing options

Toner saver mode, doesn’t change the page layout, while Super saver optimizes the layout for saving paper as well. It does this by converting the original paper layout into a multi-column newspaper like layout without altering the content. So a 10 page would become 4 or less.

As you can see from the image above, it uses the printer you have, leanprint only acts as a middleman that achieves this super saving of toner and paper.

Since it integrates with the default printer by replacing it, it works on Microsoft office and browsers or any application that integrates with adobe leanprint.

[via HP Support and DigitalInspiration]

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