When it gets down to it I don’t think that Brother’s PocketJet range is for everyone, which is why I’ve decided to briefly review their products.
When it comes down to it, I don’t think Brother makes things particularly easy on themselves because it can be quite difficult to understand their product lines – and their PJ range is no different.
There are essentially two different product ranges, and within these ranges exists a number of similar but critically different devices.
There’s the older PocketJet 3 – which is now discontinued from large scale production but which is still widely sold – refurbished, used or new. This device wasn’t able to access wireless whatsoever. There are essentially two different types of the PJ3. There’s the regular model – then there’s the PocketJet 3 Plus. The Plus version is exactly the same apart from instead or printing to 200 x 200 dots per inch it can go up to 300. This is quite a large improvement. If an inkjet printer were to increase its resolution by a mere 100 dpi then it would be meaningless because they usually have thousands anyway. But in this case those 100 dots is added at an amount where you can genuinely tell the different at first glance and so its got a lot more value in my opinion.
Then there’s the newer PJ6 – and this comes in 4 designs just to make things extra confusing. There’s the regular model, and the plus model – and the Plus has the same 100 dpi increase. However for each model there’s also a ‘with Bluetooth’ option. So there’s the: PJ 6, PJ 6 with Bluetooth, PJ 6 Plus, PJ 6 Plus with Bluetooth.
Now the without Bluetooth versions can still uses Bluetooth with an adapter which is plugged into the device. Which in my opinion is of course a little a pointless because it’s meant to be wire free.
If you want true wireless connectivity then I suggest you purchase the Brother PocketJet which has the ‘with Bluetooth’. In this case the adapter is situated within the device meaning that it’s truly wireless. I would strongly recommend going for this option because not only does buying a Bluetooth adapter mean it needs plugging in, but it means you’ve got to carry it around with you and this just damages their portability which is the main reason for buying them.
These Brother portable printer devices use thermal print mechanisms which allow them to have a vastly small weight and size. The earlier PJ 3 models weigh around 1 pound and the later PJ 6 models weigh around 1.3-1.4 pounds. Either way they’re both incredibly light – but I still wouldn’t say this is the major advantage. I’d actually suggest that it’s their compact size and reliability which plays a big part too.
Their size is similar to that of a laptop battery which means they can very comfortably fit into bags or even pockets. They’re very rugged devices and the PocketJet 6 has no moving parts while the PJ 3 only has a small amount. Either way they’re both far more reliable under the strains of being constantly moved around when compared with their Inkjet alternatives.
They’re much better in terms of portability and durability but it’s essentially a trade of between portability and capabilities. They print to 200 dpi unless you purchase the Plus models which print to 300 dpi. Although these are both very low resolution when compared with laser/inkjet devices they’re more than worth it for the portability and they’ll suit you fine unless you’re trying to impress people with highly detailed pictures.
One of the definitive downsides is their requirement of thermal paper to work, it comes in rolls and is stored in the printer itself which is obviously very useful. However on a sheet to sheet basis you can expect the thermal paper to cost around twice as much. This price is offset to an extent by their lack of ink cartridges – they operating by heating ‘burning’ the paper and so do not require ink.