Let’s face it. Stopping your car, getting out, opening the back door, connecting your device to the printer and then printing is a hassle. It’s not a massive hassle of course – but if you’ve got a portable printer in the car or are considering getting one then clearly you’re trying to save time and make your life easier. If that means paying 200 dollars for a device, why not pay 250 dollars and make the whole thing even easier, right?
There are a few things you need to watch out for – because Amazon as well as the two big printer companies which stop inkjet printers which are far more suitable for vehicle use, can be quite misleading when it comes to how they describe their models.
They’re described as ‘mobile’ and ‘wireless’ – when in fact practically none actually arrive with a battery or wireless connectivity pre-installed. This makes them very much stationary and very much needing wires – and in some cases usb 2.0 cables aren’t actually provided because they assume you’ll purchase the Bluetooth adapter so it may not even arrive wired too.
Practically all (bar around 3) of these devices will arrive without a Bluetooth adapter. The first thing you need to recognize are the costs which are involved – a Bluetooth portable printer will cost around an extra 40-70 dollars for that wireless connectivity or you’re just buying a printer with a battery essentially.
A good tip if you are short of cash (this applies more to older printers but still definitely works with new ones) is to look on websites such as Ebay for second hand Bluetooth adapters. Since they’re specific to the printer, most people will sell them on for a much cheaper price just to get rid of them.
If you want your device to work with anything other than a laptop then it would be a good idea to check and make sure that your device is specifically supported because some and some aren’t. It’s also important to be able to check to make sure what type of Bluetooth printing device you want – such as usb dongle or a Compact Flash card.
Both have upsides and downsides – the dongle is more cumbersome to carry but can be knocked out more easily. The card is easier to break because it’s thin, but it’s far less annoying to slot into the printer.
You’ll be wanting an inkjet device because they can work to much higher resolutions and print far faster than their thermal equivalents. The only advantage of thermal devices are that they’re very tiny and incredibly lightweight, but seeing as this will be the portable printer for your car you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever with that.
One of the great things about Bluetooth connectivity is that you can potentially be driving (I don’t recommend this by the way but I’ve not read that it’s illegal anywhere – yet), as well as sending printing instructions from your Blackberry or Ipad for example. It’s just far less hassle than having to remember a usb 2.0 cable, carry it with you, keep it close at hand and then plugging everything in.
- You might be interested in checking out wireless portable printers for cars for further information
This removes the chances of things going wrong as long as the Bluetooth is installed within the device – or mounted in it like some Canon’s.