A few tips for buying a wireless mobile printer

When you’re looking to buy a portable printer with wireless capabilities there are a few things you need to be aware of, or you could end up substantially out of pocket.  Find out more below.

To start with when you’re looking on websites such as Amazon (which I recommend by the way) some of the information sales’ pages can be a little misleading.  Just remember as a rule of thumb that the chances are (95) that your device will arrive very much stationary and very much wired.  These are not designed to arrive the full package as you might have thought, and although the sales pages are very good at pointing out what they can do, just remember that isn’t how they arrive.

The first thing people who’ve rushed into a purchase miss is the battery which is obviously critical in terms of mobility.  Almost all the printers (apart from one early design by Canon) need the batteries to be purchased separately.  They’re almost all high power lithium-ion batteries but you will find some cheaper nickel-metal ones occasionally, but they’re not as good so try and avoid them.  These will cost from 90-120 dollars so they’re around half the price of the printer in general (most companies sell their printers at a loss and recoup the profits on extras) so they’re not something to be ignored.

The second important thing is to make sure your wireless portable printer is actually wire free, which means either arriving with the ability to connect to wireless access points (WiFi), or the ability to use Bluetooth.

Both of these almost certainly won’t come with the printer – definitely not the Bluetooth, but occasionally the WiFi will be inclusive within the cost of the device.  These are very expensive costing around 40-70 dollars, and they’re also device specific which means you can’t use an old one or mix and match.  If you’re low on funds then I’d recommend taking a look on Ebay because people tend to put them up for low prices seeing as they’re useless for doing anything else – and their popularity decreases as the printer gets older and older.

When all of these extras are added together you’re looking at around 400 dollars, 200 for the printer and 200 for the batteries and wireless capabilities.  Generally people are aghast at the figures for the peripheral items, but as I said before printing companies (all of them) make a loss on their printers while generally making money from ink cartridges – as well as all the other necessities required in this specific instance.

If you’re looking to buy a second hand device I’d personally recommend against it unless you’re buying from a seller who has a seriously large amount of good ratings.  Whether we’re talking Ebay or Amazon a lot of people are disingenuous and will create their own reviews in order to boost sales.  I’ve heard of plenty of people who purchased a used or ‘refurbished’ device for it only to arrive with incomplete parts and not functional whatsoever – so be careful.

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