Within the PocketJet range there are two core printer groups, the Pocketjet 6 and it’s predecessor the Pocketjet 3. Each of those two main groups have several similar products within which have slight but key differences.
First of all each of the two core groups have the regular version, a ‘plus’ version and a ‘plus version with kit’. I’ll explain all of these.
The regular version of lets say the Brother Pocketjet 6 has 200 dpi (dots per inch), but the plus version has 50% more dpi at 300. It also is Bluetooth capable which means if you purchase the specific Bluetooth adapter for the printer you can access wireless data transfer assuming the mobile device (laptop, tablet, smart phone) is also Bluetooth capable. The plus version with kit is simply the plus device with with Bluetooth adapter and several extras which combine to make your printing experience easier. Overall it’s a definite step up from the Brother Pocketjet 3 so it’s definitely worth checking out.
What makes these printers special is their use of advanced Thermal Printing and in this regards I really do think that Brother has done a great job. It has tended to be the case in years gone by that thermal portable printer models were regarded as somewhat inferior when contrasted with their inkjet and laser rivals. The reality is that there was a very good case for this with them having much lower dpis – and this is still the case. On the other hand dpi figures for all of the printing types has increased quite a lot, and although thermal printing is still nowhere near that of their competitors it still performs to the standard that most people need. Most people don’t need incredibly high definition photo prints, they want sharp good quality images and decent text and that’s what they get.
The thermal printing hardware which this Brother portable printer utilizes so well in this product line offer some really special advantages. To start with they’re significantly smaller than the other printing types because they don’t require any moving parts. This doesn’t just make them significantly smaller which is perfect for true portable printing, it makes them far less prone to breaking down. When you’re constantly moving around a printing with moving parts then it’s obviously far more likely to break down and the truth is that this is one of the few reliable and portable printers I’ve seen in quite awhile – it’s refreshing.
So essentially the PockJet printers are truly portable and compact, less likely to break and print in good quality – if not up to the standard of modern stationary computers then still good enough for the majority of people.
So what are the downsides? To start with they cost quite a lot depending on what you buy but they can be around half to double as expensive as superior if not vastly less portable competitor products such as by HP or Canon.
Their thermal printing means they can overheat in especially heat conditions under constant use, and they do require thermal paper which is much more expensive than regular paper. However you can offset these costs over a long time period because the thermal print mechanism doesn’t actually require any ink whatsoever and combining their reliability with no need to replace ink cartridges and it seems that over time the higher costs will be less painful.
They don’t support wireless lan networks such as wireless access points in the home or at airports. However this is more due to the fact that these are truly wireless and portable printers designed for use out of the home as opposed to purely convenience printers designed for in-home use.
Overall you’re looking at a good printer range, they’re great for true portable wireless printing where you need something compact and lightweight. They’re bad if you want high quality printing, extra features such as faxing or you want to connect to wireless access points.