Nowadays a lot of college students need mobile printers which they can use on the go. This may mean taking it into class, transferring it from home to dorm or having some king of little document printer which is capable of being easily movable. Many college students have benefited from portable document printers, some of which are so small they can fit into your pocket.
There’s no denying it. This kind of small printer is definitely for either the nerdy or ‘engage’ students – but however they’re usually branded let me pull out another word – serious. Serious work at college involves being able to maximize time and increase productivity. Having to travel back to your dorm or find a printer is not a good use of one’s time. Having a printer which is the size of a laptop battery which you can pull out and use at any moment is serious. A serious printer for a serious student.
HP, Canon or Brother mobile document printers?
HP, Canon and Brother are three of the biggest printer manufacturers of all time and it makes sense that these three also product some of the best mobile document printers. The choice isn’t so much between the three manufacturers, but between two main types of printing technology. You have a choice between inkjet and thermal printers – and although I’ve written thousands of words on this topic I can quickly condense everything down to two main differences.
Thermal Printers – Are incredibly small (they’re the laptop battery size I was referring to) but very slow and only print in black and white.
Inkjet Printers – Are much larger (notebook size) but can print in color, plus print photographs and access WiFi transfer options (instead of just Bluetooth) – but they’re also much less reliable and more prone to breaking.
HP and Canon both product inkjet mobile printers. They can print laboratory quality photographs, have the most data transfer options and are similar in overall price (once you include the battery and wireless adapters which cost extra).
Brother only features thermal mobile printers. They can print high quality black and white but it’s much slower. They have lots of drawbacks but they’re for printing of pure-work instead of impression people with colorful graphics. They’re much smaller and much much more reliable – they’ll last you a decade – and some of Brother’s devices have a 25 year warranty on them. Now that’s confidence.
Which little work printer would I buy?
This is pretty much a non-start because I’m not you and I assume you have a different reason for using one than me – so I’m going to present a few different situations.
You’re a college student with a laptop and a blackberry, and ideally you want to be able to print of work and documents from both. You don’t take your laptop into class because it’s too heavy, but oh wait, you’ve forgotten some important work. Instead of charging back to your dorm you can simply open up your Blackberry’s email client, search for the work, and the send it Via Bluetooth your thermal printer. Or, if you don’t have it saved to your email client perhaps you have it stored in some cloud service (you should!) where you can download it and sent it to your printer.
You’re a college student studying photography and you need a photo-capable mobile printer. All you need to do is take a photograph with a PictBridge enabled camera and transfer the data from your camera to your printer via a simple usb cable. It couldn’t be easier. Your camera’s screen provides basic printing options and as soon as you’ve finished sorting out what you want you simply hit print. You don’t need a middleman such as a laptop or smartphone. You can take a photograph and print it out wherever you are.
Canon PIXMA iP100
The reliability of the Canon PIXMA iP100 combined with its higher printing specifications (it’s an inkjet printer) plus smaller size and weight make it the product which I recommend the most. It’s a winner. It’s not only durable but both according to my own personal review plus the reviews from other people from multiple sources it’s also incredibly reliable. I would say that purely from a review-based perspective which combines the opinions of websites such as Amazon, TechCrunch, CNET and so forth, it is the most reliable portable printer.
Brother PocketJet 6 Plus with Bluetooth
The PocketJet 6 Plus with Bluetooth is a great piece of kit with only a few drawbacks. As it’s a thermal printer it’s only capable of black and white printing. Next it features no in-built WiFi adapter nor the ability to purchase an external one. But ultimately it’s a very capable black and white printer because it’s able to print high resolution, crisp documents. You can find out more about the PocketJet 6 Plus black and white A4 laptop printer here.
Are there any cheap mobile printers for students?
Most college students are on a budget so they’re going to be looking for the most cheap document printers as they can find. There are a few main ways of doing this, and a few known methods which I probably wouldn’t recommend.
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible portable printer then I would suggest going for a mini-sized device which isn’t the current generation. You may have to purchase a device which is 5-8 years old but if you take a look at most reviews then you’ll see they’re a pretty good option to go for. I would suggest going on Amazon and looking at Canon’s BubbleJet range. These are much cheaper nowadays, feature decent printing resolutions and can be bought cheaply either used, second-hand or refurbished. You can find out more about cheap portable printers for laptops here.
Having a thermal printer which is designed for things other than printing receipts or invoices is a relatively new concept. Therefore most of the cheapest portable printers were inkjet devices and at least 5+ years old. You can find out more about getting the best deal by reading my article on cheap wireless portable printers here.