Canon’s leading portable printer is the Canon PIXMA iP100 (show below). It is wireless and photo printing capable. It is cheaper than HP’s leading device and is more reliable.
- Click on the picture below or read reviews here to find out more.
- Both Canon and HP only manufacture one portable printing device every 2-3 years, and they both only produce inkjet based products.
This is because inkjet’s are the most useful and popular because they allow for high resolution printing, as opposed to those based on thermal technology.
- Seeing as new devices are released so infrequently you’ll find each later device is a sizable improvement and there’s no reason to buy the older printers as you would do in some cases if they were cheap enough whilst being nearly as capable.
We strongly believe that at the moment the Canon PIXMA iP100 is the best inkjet technology mobile printing device available.
We recommend you check out the Canon’s iP100 review page before reading into others, the page features both a concise review as well as an in-depth one.
Canon’s Older Portable Printers
- Cost similar amounts at worse specifications.
- Are less reliable than later models.
- Less active customer support.
- More expensive replacement parts (due to limited distribution).
It makes complete sense to purchase the latest device in every single way – the Canon iP100 is their latest mobile printer, and this entire website is (at the moment) dedicated to highlighting the current superiority of this one device.
Why is Canon’s iP100 the Best Portable Printer?
- It has the highest color printing resolution of any competitor product (double that of HP’s OfficeJet 100).
- It has very fast printing speeds – admittedly not the quickest but certainly in the top 10 percent.
- It supports direct-from-camera printing using PictBridge.
- It’s around 10% cheaper than competitors with inferior specifications.
These are just a few reasons why it’s the best.
What are Canon inkjet printers?
These are Canon’s printers which use ink as opposed to either laser or thermal printing mechanisms. Both Canon and HP only use inkjet technology for their portable printers – not thermal/laser ones at all. In fact it’s a common misconception that there’s such as a thing as a laser printer which is portable.
They’re not practical because…
- Their hardware components are so large that they’d be far too big to consider mobile.
- The large energy requirements for the laser would result in only low quantities of printing.
Canon Inkjet Printer’s Advantages over Thermal Technology
- Color printing – (thermal devices are mainly monochrome-only with occasionally red).
- Laboratory quality photograph printing allowing for high resolution pictures.
- Higher resolution figures (9600 x 2500 dpi) as opposed to 200-300 dpi.
- Much quicker printing speeds around 6 to 8 times quicker on average.
So what are their Downsides?
Their transportability suffers considerably as a result of their superior printing capabilities:
- Far bulkier, comparable in size to a net book but twice as thick.
- Far heavier, on average around 5-6 pounds (as opposed to 1-1.4 pounds for thermal’s).
So which should I choose?
It’s a very simple question but the answer’s different for everyone, let me help you find out.
Do you want…
A highly transportable printer, which is more reliable, has lower running costs and has a much longer life span… but at the cost of core printing capabilities such as resolutions and speed?
A small but certainly bulkier and heavier printer, which can print high quality photographs, pictures and crisp black text at quick speeds – but at the expense of its portability?
If you need the portability then a thermal mobile printer is what you’re looking for.
If transportability is less important then you’ll want an inkjet portable printer.
What do we recommend?
Generally for most people an inkjet-based device is going to be the best option, even if it’s admittedly not as mobile. But people don’t usually need a printer so small they can fit in their pocket – certainly not at the expense of color printing and printing speeds.
However, if you are looking for a very reliable (25 year warranties are not uncommon), lightweight, compact printer with low running costs as well as internal wireless adapters (unfortunately inkjet printers only allow external) then a thermal printer is certainly for you.
HP or Canon?
If you’ve read above you’ll see that we recommend Canon’s iP100. This is definitely the right choice based on two important aspects.
Remember that you base an electronic product on two critical factors:
Specifications tell you what it can achieve, as well as in comparison to other products – the best place to look for these is the manufacturer’s website.
Reliability tells you if it can achieve what its specifications purport without malfunctions, as well as for as long a period of time as possible.
When taking both of these factors into account I would say Canon is superior and you’ll find this message reiterated on our website.
How do you judge reliability?
We have tested both products in harsh printing conditions (continuous printing for prolonged periods for example) and most importantly we’ve read a substantial amount of reviews.
Ultimately one experiment isn’t good enough. You need to read through reviews on websites such as Amazon, checking specifically for ‘Real Names’, ‘Vine Reviews’ and ‘Amazon Verified Purchases’ where possible.
Reading reviews is by far the best way of getting to the bottom of which is best. One thing which is important to recognize is to give more weight to people with longer reviews and technical phrases. People who have written “it’s just arrived and looks awesome” should not have their reviews given comparable weight.
Canon’s Portable Printers Explained
A lot of people tend to get confused which devices are wireless, which aren’t, how are they portable and so on. So I’m going to explain a lot of the misconceptions right here.
Firstly what’s described as a ‘wireless mobile/portable printer’ is just a portable printer which is capable of wireless connectivity.
Usually you’ll find that in the case of all inkjet based devices (which is to say every single mobile printing device by Canon and HP) there are three types of wireless connectivity:
Bluetooth is always external in inkjet devices and arrives either as a USB dongle or a Compact Flash Type One card. There is only one exception out of all the devices made in the last 14 years. That’s the Canon PIXMA iP100 Portable Printer where it’s an external adapter which can be mounted inside for protection.
Just like Bluetooth, WiFi (the ability to connect to static wireless access points) also comes in external adapters – however not all devices support this type of wireless connectivity. Many do, but unlike Bluetooth which has almost complete coverage you’ll find a large segment of devices that don’t allow WiFi.
Infrared is different because it’s internally built in as opposed to externally, and you also don’t need to pay for it as an optional extra because of this. Not that’s it’s free, it’s just inclusive within the cost of the entire product. Coverage is similar to that of WiFi, and you need to check the device specifically.
How do you judge portability?
There are two main factors which you need to look at when looking to see if a device is transportable enough for your liking:
- Physical Dimensions (usually in inches)
- Mass (usually in pounds)
There are a few things you need to look out for.
To start with, make sure the physical dimensions are with the battery attached, most come without this and they can increase the dimensions. The best place to check for a variety of different sizes is on the manufacturer’s website.
The mass (or weight) of the printer is also found on their website, but if you just look on basic specifications such as Amazon you’ll get a much lower inaccurate figure. You’ll be given the mass without ink cartridges, a battery or any wireless adapters. Now obviously it’s going to have ink cartridges and most likely it will have batteries, so it’s important to check these out.
A few Portable Printer Tips
Your wireless portable printer’s base model will come without a battery, any wireless adapters and in some cases ink cartridges. It’s important to check what it actually arrives with.
Be aware that the price for WiFi/Bluetooth adapters for both Canon and HP cost around 50-70 dollars, the lithium ion printer batteries are around 100-120 dollars. This effectively doubles the price of the product and so need due consideration.
Reading reviews is valuable, problems which commonly occur (especially with people buying outdated devices) because people do not do the proper research. They find pages of reviews highlighting the issues, which they couldn’t be bothered to read
I heavily discourage buying a printer that’s more than two generations from Canon’s latest printer. This type of transportable printing technology is still new with all things considered. It’s earlier generations were plagued by serious faults for both Canon and HP, and although many internal hardware faults have been cleared up you’ll find the further back in time you go the worse the models become.