When it comes to finding ‘cheap’ mobile printers there are certainly a few things you need to be aware of. Firstly when you see a printer’s list price as 200-250 dollars which is the average price, this doesn’t include the battery. If you buy the base product you’re very much getting a stationary device – remember that the lithium ion batteries are 100-120 dollars so they’re not a price to be ignored. Next you need to assess whether you want wireless capabilities or not.
If you do then the external Bluetooth/WiFi adapters are going to set you back 50-70 dollars right away. Just remember that they’re also device specific so it’s not the type of product you can find a knock off device online at half the price. Finally the last thing I’ll provide an insight to is their ink usage and price, they’re ink guzzlers if there ever were any – and because of their transportable nature there’s most definitely a premium set on their ink cartridges.
Next you need to ask yourself how small you want your printer to be, in most cases you’ll find that an inkjet mobile photo printer is similar in size to a net book apart from being twice as thick.
If you’re instantly thinking that this is far too thick for you then a thermal mobile printer is what you’re looking for. These are comparable in size to a laptop battery and weight under 1.5 pounds.
There are benefits and cons to using each of these two different printing technologies. I’ll briefly go over the differences. Firstly an inkjet based device can print faster to much higher resolutions and has a far great array of abilities regarding printing. However its downside is its large size and weight.
A thermally based device has far inferior printing abilities and is more designed for black and white printing. However its upside is that it’s compact, more reliable (there are plenty of 25 year warranties included in the price) and lightweight. Furthermore it doesn’t use ink at all so you’ll save money over time if you do a lot of printing. Also its thermal paper is stored in rolls within the printer and so are its wireless interfaces. Whereas for an inkjet device you’d need to carry around paper, ink cartridges and external adapters, none of these are necessary for thermal printing.
Ultimately you need to pick which of the wireless mobile printers for laptops suits what you’re looking for. I know for a fact that I would pick an inkjet based design – definitely by Canon as they’re better than Hewlett-Packard. On the other hand if you want something a little more rugged, with low maintenance costs and which will stand the test of time far more than a Brother PocketJet printer is what you’ll want. Ultimately you need to look into what you want the printer for, where you’re going to use it, the quality you need to print to, printing speeds as well as the portability aspects.