HP will no longer sell printers that require online connection

HP, lately famed for selling scanners that run out of ink and whose CEO described its own customers as a "bad investment," is giving up on one contemptuous product line: the e-series printers that won't print if they don't have an internet connection.

Per a report from DruckerChannel, HP has finally been forced to discontinue its cheaper e-series LaserJet printers due to customers experiencing problems with their online-only and always tied to HP+ subscription requirements. Among other things, HP+ requires a permanent Internet connection, and customers only use HP-original ink and toners, not allowing for third-party alternatives to be used at all. There are benefits to HP+, including cloud printing and an extra year's warranty, but the forced online requirement for a cheaper printer left a bad taste in the mouths of many consumers.

… existing HP e-series LaserJet printer models in the wild will still function exactly as they did when they were purchased. No software updates are forthcoming to unlock the true potential of the hardware, so existing customers will have to deal with it and HP+ until they can replace their printers entirely. At least they'll still get HP+ benefits, but after such backlash, it'd be nice if HP acknowledged its mistake enough to remove some of the restrictions on e-series printer users.

The ink subscriptions are on the chopping board, too.

The HP representative also disclosed that "HP will stop marketing the Instant Ink toner subscription service later this year. The service will no longer be available to new customers. This will not affect existing Instant Ink toner subscribers, only those new to the service."

"Machines that print onto paper" are a fading business: everyone knows that you can buy a ~$100 Brother Whatever and you're good for another 5 years. Hence the ink fracking shenanigans, lock-in schemes, clear-eyed hatred of own customers, etc.

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