When it comes to buying portable printers I always recommend people to buy inkjet as opposed to those based on thermal technology. Here are a few reasons why they’re better,
- They can print in color, and at especially high resolutions. Most thermal devices are only capable of printing monochrome (black and white) and red at the very most. On the other hand you’ll find that all inkjet based devices in the last 8 years are not just capable of color printing – but laboratory color printing too.
- They have far faster printing speeds, with the latest released from HP and Canon managing to whip out around 20 pages per minute for monochrome and around 10 ppm for color. By contrast a thermal printer can only print out around 4-6 ppm.
- Inkjet models are able to use PictBridge for direct-to-printer transfer of photographs from your camera without the need for an intermediate.
- A great variety of wireless connection types with infrared, Bluetooth and WiFi all possible in most cases. Usually you’ll find that thermal devices are limited to Bluetooth, almost never WiFi and occasionally infrared.
- Cheaper paper costs, thermal devices need thermal paper rolls which are double the cost of inkjet paper. What’s more is that you’ll see a much greater variety of possible sizes you can print. Ranging from credit card to U.S number 10 envelope size allowing a far greater amount of flexibility. Thermal printers are more limited and can just about print out A4 (not in all cases though).
Overall you’re going to find that Inkjet based devices are the most valuable to the majority of people with their greater degree of flexibility and powerful printing processes.
On the other hand thermal devices far more aimed at transportability as opposed to sound print quality which is what makes them unattractive to the majority.