Portability of Inkjet Technology Mobile Printers

Defining Portable?


A lot of people worry exactly how ‘portable’ a device is, and what this encompasses, because generally people aren’t experienced with regards to mobile printers.

You’ll find that there are two critical areas in how a device should be constructed:

  • Mass (generally the weight in pounds)
  • Physical Dimensions (the width, depth and length in inches)

If you want to learn more about printers based on inkjet technology, check out our mobile inkjet printers page.

The Mass (weight) of a Mobile Printer based on Inkjet Technology

You’ll find there’s a somewhat limited range of masses which range from around 4-7 pounds in total.  Now one important thing to remember is that the ‘specifications’ often given on websites such as Amazon aren’t a true reflection of the unit’s all-inclusive mass.

  • You’ll find that they’re weighed without ink cartridges, batteries or wireless adapters.

You can find out the true weight by checking on the in-depth specifications on the manufacturer’s website.

As a general rule of thumb the first 1-2 sets of specifications you come across won’t be the precise ones so it’s important to do a little more digging.

  • You’ll find that none of these inkjet based devices weigh more than 7 pounds with everything inclusive.

At the lowest end of the spectrum (mainly for archaic BubbleJet devices made by Canon nearly a decade ago) you’ll see around 4 pounds on weight.  I’d estimate a reasonable average figure is closer to 5.5 pounds.

The Physical Dimensions


When I quote physical dimensions to people I tend to get mixed results with the general sentiment that quoting a bunch of figures isn’t very helpful.

  • First thing to point out is that just like the unit’s mass, its physical dimensions isn’t the ‘real’ figure with everything included, it’s set without the battery.

In some cases this won’t make any difference at all.  However you’ll find that in the majority of cases the battery sticks out.  So if you’re buying a specific bag size, or you’ve got a limited area it can fit into, you really need to check the real specifications.

  • They’re all relatively similar in size and vary between a net book and notebook in size, aside from being twice as thick.

Finding the Specifications can be Tricky…

The truth is that HP and Canon seem to want to do everything in their power to make things as difficult for you as possible.

This seems to include burying the actual specifications deep within their website making them very hard to find.

  • What’s more is that you’ll generally find 1-2 pages of basic specifications before you actually make it to your goal!

You know you’ve found the real deal when they’re:

  • Listing different but very similar product models:
    • H470b
    • H470btw
    • List down unusual information, such as operating temperatures and noise levels in decibels.
    • When they have a list of different masses and sizes based on whether you have batteries, ink cartridges and so on attached.



You’ll find that in most situations an inkjet device is more than satisfactory in terms of portability.

Now admittedly here at WPP it would be unfair to not mention that thermal devices are vastly more transportable.

But the truth is that most people don’t need a device so small they can fit it in their pocket.  Storing it in the car or in a bag for short-long periods of time is absolutely fine, and unless you’re in unusual situations then you’ll find that they’re perfect for officer workers, businessmen and construction site work managers.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile printers based on either inkjet, thermal technology as well as the different brands (Canon, HP and Brother) and various wireless connectivity options then check out WPP for further details.

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