Laser ‘portable’ printers do not exist. There are only inkjet/thermal portable printers which have batteries and can be used in the car for example.
- I would recommend reading my main page on wireless and compact laser printers for further information.
Why aren’t there ‘portable’ laser printers?
There are two main reasons why no such device actually exists. The first is that the hardware used for laser printing is massive – far too large for any kind of real portability. Some inkjet portable printers are frankly large enough, if you have a laser printer you’ll know they’re very big and it’s just not feasible to scale them down.
If you’re interested in printers which are actually portable with a battery installed see my page on Canon’s iP100 wireless photo printer for information on their leading product.
Secondly laser printing takes a lot of electricity then when contrasted with thermal portable printers. Lasers require a lot of power and the moving parts also require electricity which means that storing the power required in a battery would only provide a limited amount of actual printing time.
Most travel printers are limited in how many sheets they can print of as it is, the amount would be far too low to justify production and use.
Advantages of Compact Laser Printers
The advantages to using a compact laser printer are obvious. They clutter your work desk far less and most are created in an aesthetically pleasing manner. As I stated above if you’ve ever had a laser printing, especially some of the older models you’ll know they’re just far too large. Saving space allows room for other useful electronics, work or simply saves space.
Disadvantages of Compact Laser Printers
The disadvantages are probably more numerous than the advantages if I’m being honest. To start with from a price perspective they tend to cost more than their larger components as is usually the case.
They’re not ridiculously priced as some items are but you’ll either pay the same or a little more for a printer which doesn’t have as many secondary or tertiary functions. Which goes on smoothly to my next point, they won’t have as many secondary/tertiary abilities.
I’ll give a few examples, one being that they almost certainly aren’t able to scan, send faxes and so forth which is pretty standard for the prices you’ll be paying.
You can easily expect to pay around 200+ dollars for your printer and it will have reasonable laser printing capabilities but as soon as you start sacrificing weight and bulk you almost inevitably start sacrificing functionality too.
It’s worth checking out my page on some of the smallest A4 size mobile printers if having a ultra lightweight and small sized device is important.
For all the disadvantages I’ve mentioned I think for the right person they’re a pretty good idea. I for one hate clutter, I don’t send faxes and I’m not bothered about scanning – however all my work is digital, on the internet.
If you’re an office worker or businessman and you’re handling a lot of paper and need most of the secondary/tertiary functions then they won’t be suitable for you. The fact is that the mobility of these printers comes from their lack of ‘extras’ and an effort made to make the design as compact as possible.
But there’s only so much you can scale down printing components, eventually you can’t get them any smaller with current technology standards and hence you have to make other sacrifices.
The question is are the sacrifices worth the benefits for you? It’s a question you’ve got to ask yourself and I think most people who need a laser printer probably need all the ‘extras’ too.