The PocketJet 3 (sometimes PJ 3) is the predecessor of the PocketJet 6 and both are produced by Brother. Check out our reviews below.
Ultimately like all mobile printers this has some upsides and downsides and the question about buying this kind of device isn’t whether it’s good or not – it’s who it’s good for. I would say that most people don’t need the mobility which this type of thermally based device brings, and so for most people it’s probably not going to be what they’re looking for. On the other hand there are going to be plenty of people out there who need something with this level of portability, and all the benefits that it brings to the table.
As this is based on thermal printing technology you can expect it to have overall worse core specifications across the board. Its resolution is quite low at 200 x 200 dots per inch for both color and black. Consider that more inkjet devices print at around 600 x 600 dpi for monochrome (black and white) and 4800 x 1200 dpi for color (glossy photographs) and you can see right away its inferiority. It terms of printing speed it’s again inferior reaching speeds of 3 pages per minute – whereas for inkjet’s it’s around 14 ppm for monochrome and 6 for color.
Whereas its specifications are quite inferior you need to understand who this is good for and why. Why you’re buying this type of thermal device you only have one main thing in mind – transportability. As such its poor specifications are a trade of for that level of mobility provided. Transportability for me has three main components – weight, physical dimensions and peripheral items which need to be carried alongside the device.
The weight of the Brother PocketJet 3 is just one pound making it around 20-25% of the weight of inkjet competitors which themselves are approximately 4-6 pounds in mass. When it comes to physical dimensions I do not see the merit in quoting you a bunch of random figures because it doesn’t give you a real feel and perspective for what it actually looks like. If you were to imagine a laptop battery then I would say that you’re pretty much dead on as to its size. It’s very compact and it can fit into a deep pocket if necessary, and certainly alongside laptops in bags and so forth.
Finally when it comes to the extra items you need to carry I’m talking about products such as ink cartridges, paper and adapters. All of these things don’t just add weight; they take up room and add worry because you need to keep on top of where everything is. However this Brother portable printer doesn’t use ink because it’s a thermal device, it doesn’t need external paper because it’s stored in rolls within the main compartment of the PJ 3 and finally its Bluetooth adapter is also internally stored which is refreshing because almost all (bar one or two – literally) inkjets do not have this feature and are awkwardly stuck out the side.
Overall this is a handy little printer in terms of mobility, but it’s not going to come anywhere close to replacing a stationary device. This is simply a compromise position between transportability and functionalities, and it’s up to you which you need the most. Just remember that unlike most thermal devices it can print in A4 sized paper (as well as a little larger), and it does have usb 1.1, infrared and a reasonable battery charge.