A lot of people tend to overlook the downsides intrinsic to the external Bluetooth adapters which are intrinsic to mobile printers using inkjet technology.
What people don’t know about portable printing is that depending on which type of technology you go for changes which type of Bluetooth adapter you can have.
- Inkjet based technology only allows for external Bluetooth dongles or Compact Flash cards to be used. On the other hand you’ll find that thermal technology allows for internal wireless adapters.
All of Canon’s and HP’s portable printers (and they’re the only two companies which make inkjet based models) fall under this category.
This poses some serious disadvantages, the first being that they’re far easier to knock out as well as needing packing away whenever you’ve finished. Not to mention that they also look a little ridiculous sticking out of the side.
If possible when you’re buying an inkjet printer I would recommend going for Compact Flash cards because these are far better.
- They protrude out far less.
- They’re more compact and easy to carry and store.
- You can generally leave them inside the device.
The problem is that generally only 25% of devices use Compact Flash card slots which mean that for most people an external usb 2.0 dongle is necessary.
I personally would recommend that if you do what to buy a printing mechanism which allows for internal adapters to go for a thermal printer.
These will have two options in 95% of products, allowing a ‘non Bluetooth’ option which generally still allows for an external Bluetooth adapter. As well as a ‘with Bluetooth’ option, this does allow an internally installed adapter.
The cost varies but you can expect to pay around 40-70 dollars for an adapter in both inkjet and thermal devices. This cost is steep and definitely needs to be accounted into any budget, and it’s also important to recognize that you can’t just buy cheap copies.
You’ll find they’re:
- Device specific or at best produce range specific, which means that you can’t mix and match from other brands
- Distributed limitedly through the manufacturer’s channels, allowing for minimal price differences.
Finding Cheap Bluetooth Printer Adapters
If you do want to get the best deals then looking on second hand websites is your only method, there is no alternative.
People are willing to sell adapters at substantially reduced prices because they’ve thrown away the printer it worked for and have no use for it. This means they’re willing to sell a 50 dollar adapter for just 5-15 dollars.
What’s more is that unlike some hardware we’re just dealing with basic, static internal components where the chances of them arriving broken are minimal.
They’re certainly a good option if you want to minimize your costs for the peripheral extras which you need.