Here’s an honest blog post from a dishonest man. The realm of portable printers is a tiny one. The production of new products is slow, and their improvements upon the previous generation are limited. I finished having anything new to say about mobile printers about one year ago, and yet here I am, still writing. The reality is that this product is so specialized that almost no one actually makes it.
Unless you’re looking for some kind of commercial receipt printer (which I’ll soon have to branch out into) then you essentially have three products which are worth buying. That’s right. Three. The reason for this is because only HP, Canon and Brother actually manufacture this type of device. The reason there’s only three is because each only has one product worth buying. This is because they only release new products every four years or so on average. The old ones are generally inferior, more expensive, harder to buy and have fewer support options. So no one picks them.
There’s a reason they are (at this moment in time) on the right hand side of every single page on my website, and it’s because those three products are your only choice.
But I can actually simplify and narrow things down to only two choices, that would be the PIXMA iP100 and PJ 6 Plus. The reason for this is that both of these printers are very different. They’re both laptop printers (although they are compatible with other mobile products) but one uses thermal technology and the other inkjet technology. They’re both useful for different things. Both are great for work, but the iP100 is good for pleasure. The reason I’ve not included HP’s laptop printer is because it and the iP100 both use inkjet technology. Since there are different reasons for choosing between the two technology types it became apparent to me that you’ll want to pick either the best thermal or best inkjet printer for laptops. Ultimately Canon’s device is the best.
So as you can you see, we don’t even have three printers anymore – we basically just have two. The three printers is just to give the veneer of choice. As long as you have a basic grasp of technological specifications and you’re willing to read a few reviews from a few different sources then you’ll come to the same conclusion I did several years ago… which is that HP kind’ve sucks.
I don’t usually bad mouth a manufacturer I’ve written endless amounts about. But yeah, I’ll be honest now, when it comes to portable printers then HP is definitely number two. It would be number three but since it’s essentially a two horse race I’ll come out and say it – HP sucks. HP really really sucks. I wouldn’t buy a HP printer even if it was a regular desktop one. The irony of course is that I’m writing this on a HP laptop which I hate too. It’s slow, new and expensive which is an awful combination. Its speed doesn’t seem to match up to the specifications (at least from previous experience) and I feel like I’m working on some ancient stone age device. I really hate HP, is what I’m trying to get at.
So what’s the point of this website, and why do I keep on writing about small mobile printers?
Well. Basically the point of this website is to make me money. That reason is actually number two nowadays – because I also spend a lot of my time experimenting and seeing what will work on other websites. These other websites have the long term viability which this one just does not. Who knows if the world will still need printers in 5 years, 10 years or 15 years. I may just be 20 years old but you better believe I think long term. Planners are winners.
This actually brings me to a hilarious incident of me with a guy I met in Bangkok. I am half Chinese and half English so I have the ‘hint of the orient’ look. I met this guy at a hostel and he was a full on English guy (you have to be from the UK to know what I mean) and was about 40 years old. He was a professional but clearly he was bored of hotels, and frankly I can understand.
Well we got to know each other and decided to have a night out, we went to buy some wine at a local supermarket and I got some very very strange looks. People were actually laughing at me. Due to my racial background I look like I could be Thai or perhaps half Thai. If you’ve ever been to Bangkok you’ll see there are lots of old white guys with young Thai girls (or in my case me, a boy!) and it therefore occurred to me that even though we were both English chaps (albeit of a different age group) people assumed I was his toy boy or hooker or something. I do have that youngish boyish look going on. Quite a lot of people found it amusing, I mentioned it to the guy I was with and he instantly became self conscious. In fact this also reminds me about another time in Bangkok when an old white guy stopped when I walked by, looked at me, turned around, still looking at me and then started to follow me. Anyway, I digress.
So we were drinking wine back at the hostel and I’d only bought one half bottle of wine, he has two. I’d finished telling him I was good at planning and he notices that my bottle of wine is empty before grinning and remarking “It seems like you’re not such a good planner after all, want me to fill you up?”. I looked at my empty glass and said “sure”, and as soon as he finished pouring (with the cocky grin on his face) I look at him, look at the glass, open up my own grin and say “or maybe I’m a better planner than you can ever comprehend.” whilst swirling the glass of his wine in front of his face. That wiped the grin of his face. Another thing that wiped the grin of his face was when later on two girls and me bailed on him leaving him with a 90 dollar charge for a bunch of drinks and a balloon popping show (involving darts and old Thai ‘ladies’) – which isn’t as cool as it sounds by the way. Their aim was very accurate though.
Ok where was I.
Ah yes, the reason I write so much about small portable printers is because people are clueless. Seriously, people have no idea what they want or what they think they’ll find. I have people searching for ‘battery laser printers’ which don’t even exist and never will because they’d simply be too large with obscene power requirements. No matter how far I’ve come there’s still a long way to go, I still need to optimize lots of page to make them more useful. I need to delete pages, creates pages and adapt with the times. I’m looking forward to the day when a new small mobile printer is released because it has literally been nearly two years now. Can you imagine how annoying it is to want to talk about mobile printers when there have only been three releases in about 6 years?
There will be a day when printers are no longer needed… let alone portable ones…
It occurred to me around a year ago that the world was becoming paperless. It won’t happen tomorrow, or probably even in a decade – but the reality is that soon enough there will come a time when printers are not useful. I’m not just talking about my ultra-portable ultra-specific type – I’m talking about all types of printers. They’re going to slowly die out.
That’s one of the reasons I don’t take this website so seriously anymore. I’ve decided to go into a niche which will last as long as possible and is termed as ‘evergreen’. It’s something which I can make a business out of. I can’t develop and sell portable printers, they’re way too advanced. But other, simpler equipment which will be around for a long time is something that I can do. I can buy in and sell printers, but I really need to look super long term. I’m 20 years old and I need to be making the investment of my lifetime now while I’m still young. It may seem extreme to y’all out there, but since I left my family home at 18 I’ve been… poor. It really sucks. Being poor sucks. Anyone who tells you otherwise is deluding themselves or rich.
I’m working on either becoming directly rich via the internet, or rich via both internet and physical properties of some sort. A combination of both will be useful. I hope you found this blog mildly entertaining, if people actually read the whole thing I might add in some more interesting stories. I’ve got 2 years worth of *bad things* and plenty of stories worth telling.
Cya amigos. Long live… portable printers!