If you want something which is compact you need to ask yourself how compact – do you need it so small you can fit into your pocket – or just so it can fit into your car? A lot of people are confused as to what they want, but the most important thing is to recognize that there are just a few questions that need to be answered before you can be led to what you’re looking for.
In terms of size you’ll want either a thermal PrintStik mobile printer or a Canon inkjet transportable printer. All devices based on thermal technology are vastly smaller than their rivals. They don’t have any moving parts like an inkjet head which makes them both more compact and more reliable. They’re so small they’re comparable to a note book battery – they’re pretty much tiny.
You need to make sure that you’re getting one that can print to A4 size and the one I’ve linked you above can. That’s designed for both wireless data transfer via Bluetooth – usually getting the information from a laptop. You’re most certainly looking at a tiny mobile printer which is movable (it weighs under 1.5 pounds), but are you getting the best specifications?
Ultimately the answer is no, and the fantastic size and weight is what you can consider a trade off. You get the smallest and lightest out there but you sacrifice print speeds and quality. This particular device can only print at 200 dpi in black and white making it a very much work orientated printer.
On the other hand the Canon PIXMA iP100 is most people’s preferred printer of choice for several reasons. It’s able to print in color and to incredibly high resolutions to boot. It can hit 9600 x 2400 dpi for color allowing photos to be printing of without any problems. Its black and white monochrome printing is 600 x 600 dpi, and these two figures mean you can print out some impressive files.
But ultimately its superior specifications come at the price of its mobile aspect. It’s not a very small wireless portable printer and although for other laptop inkjet devices it’s comparable smaller it’s still obviously much larger than a thermal printer. It can not only print A4 but A5 sized sheets of paper which allows for a wide variety of work and leisure applications. It also allows for wireless connectivity however the Bluetooth with this device is a little less portable because it’s an external adapter. Unfortunately for most inkjet based devices you’ll find that all of their various wireless adapters are external – apart from infrared and this Canon Portable Printer does have that installed as standard.
The main question you need to ask yourself is whether you want something very small for casual, work related printing. Or whether you want a much more power, multi functional device albeit one which is more designed for keeping in the car as opposed to carrying around with you all day.