When you’re trying to find this type of device you really have to split it into its component segments. With regards to wireless there are three choices to choose from – Bluetooth, Wifi and Infrared. I’m not going to discuss IrDA because it’s outdated and connect to wireless access points is near pointless for portable printing – when you could use a Bluetooth adapter and have wireless connectivity abilities everywhere.
When you think in terms of ‘small’ you’re either referring to something which you can literally hold in your hand comfortable for long periods of time. Or you’re thinking of something you need a bag to store in, which you could carry for awhile but certainly would soon be worn out carrying it around all day.
In this instance you’re thinking of either a thermal or inkjet printer. Remember there is no such thing as a laser mobile printer.
Thermally based devices have much lower resolution figures, no color printing and slow speeds. However they’re incredibly lightweight – between 1-1.4 pounds and they’re very small – just long enough to print out A4 paper and a few inches thick at most. They’re small mall enough to slip into a jacket pocket and light enough not to weigh you down.
Inkjet mobile printers are the opposite, capable of high resolution printing such as photographs or crisp black text. They print faster and support far more options – however they’re much larger and heavier. They weigh between 5-6 pounds on average and are comparable in size to a small and very fat note book.
I would recommend the Canon PIXMA iP100 at the moment because it has the highest specifications and just as importantly the best user reviews of all time – of any mobile printer. It’s very easy to limit yourself to going with just specifications and for some pieces of technology it may not have such a negative effect. But when it comes to transportable printing devices you’ll find that especially the earlier models were very prone to breaking. Nowadays things have improved but it just takes 5 minutes of looking over Amazon reviews to see that many still suffer paper jams and clogged internal print mechanisms.
If you do want a mobile thermal wireless printer then I personally recommend going for one of Brother’s latest devices.
In my opinion if you’re looking for something movable, lightweight, easy to operate and without needing external items then the Brother PocketJet 6 Plus is what you should be aiming for. It’s capable of 300 dpi printing for monochrome and it’s purely a work related printed. It works perfectly in the car or on worksites where regular printers are more prone to breaking because of dirt and dust gradually accumulating in the open areas where the moving parts such as the inkjet head operate within.
Brother’s PJ 6 range do not have moving parts and so come with a 25 limited warranty to show their commitment to long term, reliable printers. A good choice for anyone.
- Here you can find out more about compact portable printers.