How to choose a printer with a CISS: HP DeskJet GT 5820 test drive

Epson and Canon were among the first to introduce the technology, and more recently, HP also entered the race for the market. So we took the HP DeskJet GT 5820 as a touchstone. And here it’s worth mentioning an important point: CISS is not a separate type of printer, but the technology used in the inkjet circuit and noticeably modifying it.

Educational program

CISS stands for Continuous Ink Supply System. This is a device for economical printing, which allows you to organize a constant flow of ink from external containers (usually called donors) through special loops to the internal cartridges, and from cartridges to the print head. Donors are not just cans or bottles. Their design includes special elements of the “Marriott vessel” - a classic physical device, a hydraulic stabilizer for the fluid flow rate. Due to the maintenance of constant pressure at the level of ink intake, the uniformity of their supply to the CISS is ensured. In the upper part of the donor there are two holes - one for filling ink, the other - an air channel with a membrane for air intake when reducing the amount of ink. Usually it is covered by an air filter during operation. This is to prevent the ingress of dust, which can clog the nozzles of the print head.

The main advantage of the CISS is the absence of the need for frequent refueling of the printer (donors have a volume of 25 ml to several liters). That is why, for the first time, CISS appeared on large-format plotters with high ink consumption (the continuous feed system was first used in 1993–94 in EnCad's NovaJet plotters), and now they are most often installed in printers designed for printing photographs. The advantages of CISS include saving on consumables, since you get the opportunity to refill different colors of ink in accordance with their actual consumption, while changing a standard cartridge is necessary when one of the colors is used up.

It should be noted that earlier the installation of CISS in home printers was exclusively for enthusiasts. It was more profitable for printer manufacturers to sell cartridges, and they were in no hurry to introduce a new, more economical technology into their devices, but to assemble the CISS with their own hands, you see, not everyone can do it. However, despite the complexity of the assembly, soon there were many third companies designing a continuous ink supply system. And soon, all major manufacturers noticed that cartridge sales fell - the consumer clearly understood that having bought such a system once, it would pay off soon. Major players in the printing market drew attention to this, and acted very wisely - they began to produce their devices with the already built-in CISS. As a result, everyone won - manufacturers received their share of the profit, while the consumer received a stably working system with warranty service. The HP DeskJet GT 5820 MFP fell into my hands, which I will talk about in today's review.


Let's start with packaging and picking. Since I do not have a car, the printer had to be delivered home on its own, by subway. And immediately the good news is that it is light. The road home with a box in my hands did not cause me any superhuman efforts. The packaging of the printer itself is made in such a way that it can survive the rush hour in the subway. However, do not, nevertheless, swing it in all directions, punching your way onto the escalator - the printer is a pretty fragile thing.

The package includes: ink, printheads, two cables (power and USB), a package of documents for the printer and a driver disk. Unpacking the device did not cause any problems, it is intuitively clear which places you need to pull in order to remove all unnecessary packaging details.


The printer looks stylish, there are no provocative and annoying details. The compact plastic case has smoothed corners; all designs supporting paper in and out are tucked away inside the printer, saving desk space. The scanner lid is easy to open, special recesses make it easy to pick it up with your fingers. To the left of the cover are the display and printer control buttons. The digger is mechanical, easy to press. The build quality is not satisfactory, as is the quality of the plastic itself. If the manufacturer had also removed the ink refill unit somewhere inward and made it retractable, then the design of the device could be called close to perfection.


After eliminating all foreign objects, two main things had to be done - to refill ink tanks and install printheads. Here instructions come to our aid (yes, this is exactly the moment when you need to save it, and not immediately throw it away). The instruction is written clearly, with pictures, so the installation of difficulties did not cause.

The process of refilling ink is very simple, and in order to shed even a drop by, you need to really, really try. I even entrusted the remaining two containers with ink to refuel my wife, which she was glad as a child. The author’s wife is a former employee of Popular Mechanics, so no sexism, all the professionals here! - approx. ed.

The walls of the containers are transparent, so you will always know when you need to part with the money to buy new ink. All tanks for containers are hermetically sealed, so you can move the printer without any danger to paint the floor red. Well, or yellow. So, the ink is full, the printheads are ready for battle, the printer is connected to my PC via USB and ready to go! I will not describe the process of installing and configuring drivers and applications for printing - the usual “Next - further - further”.


Having printed a couple of photos, I was convinced that the claimed 1200 x 1200 dpi are really “honest”. Photos look bright, fresh.

Let's make some calculations. With an average price per bottle of paint at 700 rubles and the cost of printing photographs of this quality in studios from 50 rubles apiece, printing at home is more profitable and faster. And if you print documents rather than photos more often, then the question of consumables will not bother you for a long time - according to the manufacturer, ink will last from 5, 000 to 8, 000 pages, which is a very good result. Photos of black and white images were printed much longer than their color counterparts. Which, however, did not affect the quality. | slideshow-41932 // hp ciss | Printing on plain paper is no different from printing on photo paper, all the same good quality. | slideshow-41942 // hp ciss 1 | Printing documents on inkjet printers has never been famous for speed, unlike their "laser" counterparts. However, if you do not need to horrify typing a thesis in the morning before its defense, then the speed of 6-7 pages per minute, I think, will satisfy you. The printing of documents is clear, of excellent quality.

What is the result?

In general, the impressions of the quality of the photos and the printing process itself remained positive, the printer prints pretty quickly for devices of its class (in the case of a photo, everything depends on quality and saturation) and you do not need to put on ear plugs during the process - printing is not noisy. By the way, you can even print at night, for this there is a special function "Silent mode" in the application for printing. Of course, do not expect absolute silence from the printer in this mode, but it’s quite possible to fall asleep under printing, I tried.

The only thing that bothered me was that after installing the printer and successfully printing a couple of test pages, it began to squeak. Very quiet but squeak. But while I googled what was the reason, my photo booth calmed down. I didn’t find a break in the instructions on this score - there was a question for the manufacturer. Yes, of course, this printer bears the proud name of the MFP, and, as you might guess, it has the functions of a scanner and a copier. And all this even works flawlessly, as it should work. For example, here's a scan of photos taken with Polaroid, and pages from a glossy magazine:

As you can see, the result is acceptable even in the case of gloss.

But, in my opinion, first of all, this device can be called a “home photo studio”, rather than a multifunctional device, which we used to see in offices. With this quality of printing and cost, you can open your own small photo studio for friends at your leisure, with preference, courtesans and the HP DeskJet 5820.

The printer is equipped with a wireless module that allows you to print photos and documents directly from the screen of your smartphone. To do this, simply install the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app on your smartphone and either connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network or use the Wi-Fi Direct function on the printer control panel.


If you need to print photos at home and you know firsthand the phrase “cost optimization” - this gadget should definitely get into your field of vision. After all, just a couple of years ago, printing photos at home was considered a very expensive enterprise. But the world does not stand still, printers like our today's hero appear, combining simple solutions that work “out of the box” with cost-effective and high-quality printing. The only drawbacks of this device are that printing saturated, bright and black-and-white photos is rather not fast, and there is a lack of information about possible problems in the printer and how to solve them (as I had with the “peep” that went through yourself). Of course, the disadvantages include the high cost of post-warranty repairs, but alas, this is a standard situation for all vendors. Otherwise, if you print several hundred photos a month, then the HP DeskJet 5820 would be a good choice.


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