Which portable document printers work with the iPad?
A simple enough question with a slightly more complex answer. Essentially any modern portable printers which utilize WiFi data transfer are acceptable and they will work with the iPad. Notice that I mentioned WiFi and not Bluetooth and IrDA which are both wireless connections but still won’t work. It must be WiFi… as in you’re in a Starbucks and you whip out your portable document printer and iPad because you’re a cool businessman who prints of sales reports which drinking a frappucino. Personally I think Starbucks coffee shops are great places to work because you almost feel like you have an audience you have to impress.
The reason you require a wireless network such as at Starbucks, airports of wherever to print using your iPad is because you must use Apple’s AirPrint or HP’s ePrint. Unfortunately one limitation of Apple’s operating systems is that you have to go their way or the high way. If you want to print you use their option or HP’s option (via an install-able app) or you don’t get to print. You can’t just plug in some USB cable or activate the Bluetooth in a printer and iPad and think it’ll work. It won’t. Printing in Starbucks is easily achievable as long as you have one of the portable WiFi document printers as outlined below.
Canon PIXMA iP100 mobile photo printer – don’t let the ‘photo printer’ title scare you because this bad boy is the best mobile document printer available at the moment. The iP100 is capable of that all important WiFi connectivity via a 50% purchasable adapter which will allow printing from the iPad. Although this 50 bucks may sound like a rip off you actually need it for HP’s competition plus all other mobile printers. You need to make sure you have the correct print app for printing from the iPad installed for things to go smoothly. The Canon Pixma ip100 portable printer is a winner because of its photo printing, wireless capability (if you want to use it with your laptop then a Bluetooth adapter might be a good option), printing speeds and low price.
HP OfficeJet 100 (also) a mobile photo printer – I’ve got to be completely honest with you. HP and Canon’s printers are basically the same. Yeah I said it. Okay the OfficeJet 100 is definitely slightly worse but their specifications and functionality are very similar. The HP OfficeJet 100 for the iPad (well it’s not technically for the iPad but they look pretty together) as the WiFi adapter required which you also need to purchase separately. The OfficeJet 100 is worse with regards to its reliability, printing resolution and price (it’s about 50 bucks more expensive for the standalone printer). I personally wouldn’t buy it but since they’re the two options on the market at the moment I think they’re both worth looking into, despite the fact that they’re very similar.
Does Apple make any portable printers?
I wish. I mean seriously, I go to bed every night and I say a prayer along the lines of “please Apple, please make some portable printers”. Why? Because Steve Jobs is dead. Otherwise I would obviously be praying to him. By the way if you don’t like my sense of humor then you can always just leave. I’m serious, I don’t need you. I don’t particularly want to. I only write this to make money so do whatever you want bro. But I digress…
The question of why doesn’t Apple corporation manufacture any portable printers haunts me somewhat. I could make so much more money if they did. But they don’t and therefore people have to come up with alternatives which work with a little trouble and effort. Personally I don’t think you should need to take the trouble and effort and personally I do actually think that at some point Apple will add a mobile printer to their product range just because we all know it would be so damn cool. It wouldn’t work with anything aside from Apple devices (I would hope to say ‘all Apple devices’ but this is Apple we’re talking about) but at least a portable Apple printer would be fast, cool, wireless and… well… super cool.
Any kind of product like this would need to be as portable as their iPad products so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they released a larger inkjet version which would be similar to the printers I mentioned above – as well as a much smaller thermal printer which would be pocket sized.
Cool places to use a document printer with your iPad
So you just purchased either an iP100 or OJ 100. It’s cool, right? Setting it up took a few minutes longer than you thought because you needed the printer app and you got confused because you’re not an expert on document printers and I am. That’s okay. I have an entire website dedicated to portable printers so I understand that your knowledge may not be quite on par with me.
On a train. Your train has a WiFi access point… or you create one using your iPad or iPhone. You then whip out your printer, put it on the table in front of you and start impressing everyone. You didn’t need to print your work off on a train. You could just have printed it off later – I mean the work was in for Friday and it’s now Monday so you literally had no reason to do it now. But you did. You just printed on a train and damn that felt cool.
In the car. There are actually lots of ways to print in your car using your iPad. You could for example get a standalone wireless router, a power converter and a regular AirPrint printer. Set up the wireless connection, attach your printer to the connection, and attach the wireless modem and printer to your car’s cigarette lighter. Now that’s cool too. Printing in your car from your iPad. You don’t even need to be in the car you could be inside a client’s home or business, hit print and simply nip out to the car to get the printed work.
While sky driving. As long as you have your iPad which has roaming WiFi capabilities and things set up properly then I see no reason why printing whilst holding both your iPad and printer would be impossible. If you do want to print whilst sky diving then I do certainly suggest you find perhaps a partner who can hold the printer. This is definitely a recommended way to use your printer and I’d even go so far as to say it’s a requirement if you really wanna be a cool dude with an iPad.