A lot of people instantly think that portable printers are right up their alley, and some people will be completely correct – but like any new technology they’re not without their criticisms. Find out more below.
An instant criticism of mobile printing is their exorbitant costs which are usually hard to discover at first. Now all printing companies operate a razor and blades business model whereby they sell their printers for a loss and recoup the profits from peripheral items, repairs and ink cartridge replacements. For this type of device a similar system is in place, but as well as making a profit on the ink cartridges there are wireless adapters, car chargers as well as the batteries which all need to be included to get the most out of your device.
The first thing I should mention is that all (almost all bar literally one or two) ‘portable’ printers arrive very must stationary. They don’t come with batteries and these are seen as an optional extra which must be purchased. Now most people do their homework and figure this one out pretty quickly to include it in their costs – but not everyone. You just need to take a brief look around forums and blogs and you’ll see disgruntled people complaining about the costs. They’re around 100-120 dollars on average and with most devices being 200 dollars they’re generally a little over half the price of the actual printer itself.
Then we have the optional wireless adapters – thankfully most of the devices come with infrared as standard, but let’s be honest not that many people use it – which is probably why it’s included in the price because it’s another few words to add to their sale’s sheets, doesn’t cost them much and makes it sound better even though its practical use is minimal.
The most common adapter is of course a Bluetooth one and as you can imagine this costs a very large amount as well – generally around 40-70 dollars. Remember they’re device specific and they’re sold only through certain distributers and heavily patented which means you can’t do a quick Google search to find the best deal. The best thing to do if you want a cheap one is to look on Amazon or Ebay for second hand adapters; if you’ve got an older mobile printer you’re likely to find them at a bargain because after people stop using their device the adapter is instantly useless.
All of these things which you need if you want the printer to run at a professional level will end up costing more than the printer itself – and if you plan on getting the cases and a car charger then we’re talking double the price.
This of course doesn’t include the ink cartridge costs which themselves are outrageous – there are no laser mobile printers because their power consumption would be too high and their internal hardware isn’t able to scale down to a movable level such as that of inkjets.
Overall there are a lot of good reasons to get this type of device, but when you’re dealing with portable printers you need to be aware that the costs involved are massive, and they’re not always as obvious as they first seem.
One tip to reducing costs if you want various types of wireless connectivity such as infrared, Bluetooth and WiFi is to purchase their not so latest models and get the adapters cheap to create a wireless portable printer which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.