There are essentially three main travel printers out at the moment which are on the sidebar of every page of this website because of their superiority in terms of functionality, portability, specifications and price.
I’ve provided visual images of their latest reviews and scores, plus I provide links so you can compare their price, specifications and most importantly reliability (user reviews).
Please don’t assume that all mobile printers are reliable because for many years there were significant problems which plagued Canon and HP, and there still are issues as you’ll find out when you read the reviews.
Firstly there’s the Canon PIXMA iP100 (read Amazon reviews and see prices here).
Secondly there’s the Brother PocketJet 6 Plus (read Amazon reviews and see prices here).
Thirdly there’s HP’s OfficeJet 100 (read Amazon reviews and see prices here).
Travel Printers for the iPad
People use travel printers for smart phones, netbooks, tablets and of course Apple’s iPads and iPhones. This section is going to cover these two main apple products and if you want to find out more general information regarding their usage with non-Apple products then simply scroll down below.
Unfortunately if you’re looking to use the smallest possible mobile printer to use with your iPad then you’re out of luck. This is because the smallest ones use thermal technology and are only equipped with Bluetooth. Therefore both the PocketJet 6 Plus and Planon PrintStik (which are the only two choices) are unavailable.
Remember that printing with the iPad requires a WiFi connection, it’s not currently Bluetooth compatible with the two products I’m about to talk about.
The two devices I’m going to concisely discuss are individually not iPad compatible unless used in conjunction with a Printer app which allows you to use a WiFi signal to send the data to the printer.
If you want to find out more you can check out my page on mobile wireless printing with the iPad for further information on how the specifics work.
The Canon PIXMA iP100 will work with the iPad its made compatible with the printer application which is on the page I’ve linked just above this paragraph. You can scroll to the top of the page to read other people’s reviews, opinions and see the price – or you can read my review which is linked at the start of this paragraph.
Although this device can use Bluetooth and receive data transferred from a Bluetooth-enabled laptop that doesn’t mean that the iPad can actually sent it the information it needs. Just remember that Apple’s ecosystem is very limited at the moment which is why a printer app is required in the first place.
You can of course email/send the information to a laptop or smart phone and then transfer it across but that’s quite a lot of hassle.
The device which I next recommend is the HP OfficeJet 100 which also works with the iPad with a printer app installed. By the way these printer apps are around 10-20 dollars. The one which I’ve tested costed $20 so I can only vouch for that one, but there are of course other options. If you want to find out more about the OJ 100 then you can visit the page which is linked at the top of this paragraph.
It’s important to recognize that I firmly believe that the iP100 is the superior device. In terms of reliability, price and specifications is comes ahead. This isn’t just my opinion but the cumulative opinions of other people which I’ve taken into account when writing my own reviews.
Bluetooth Travel Printers
One thing you can be sure of is that when you need a wireless access point that’s when you’re the least likely to find one. If you’re someone who works in the field and needs information printing off then and there it’s best to carry a Bluetooth portable printer which is capable of receiving data from your smart phone or laptop.
The first important thing to point out is that almost every single travel printer doesn’t come with Bluetooth already enabled. They usually allow for you to purchase a Bluetooth card which you insert to active the Bluetooth. The second thing to point out is that for the iP100 and OJ 100 these Bluetooth Adapter cost around 50 dollars each, so you need to factor that into the total buying price.
While I’m on the topic of price it generally costs about 100 dollars for the battery, and 50 for the WiFi adapter – if you want a fully functioning transportable device then you’re going to have to pay around double the theoretical price.
While Canon’s and HP’s devices both allow for both WiFi and Bluetooth, the Brother PocketJet 6 Plus with Bluetooth (which is what I recommend) and the Planon PrintStik (which I don’t particularly recommend) are the only two Bluetooth-only products. These comes with the Bluetooth already installed, but are much more expensive.
I actually wouldn’t let the price phase you because they both come with everything included so they’re very similar in price, and actually they’re the best travel printers because of their small size and the fact that they don’t use ink. Ink cartridges can easily end up costing hundreds of dollars so if you don’t have that expenditure then you’re going to be saving a lot in the long term.
Although Bluetooth only travel printers are very small they can still print of A4 sized documents so they’re very much the ‘best of both worlds’ in a sense.
You can find out more about these two devices in the paragraphs above by reading their own individual product page which I’ve created for them.
Wireless Portable Travel Printing Technology
When it comes to the different types of portable printers you’ll find there are two different types of technology that are possible.
- Inkjet technology
- Thermal technology
Just like choosing between different brands and then different models will dramatically change the capabilities of your device, you can expect the same for the two different technologies to have an even greater effect on what your device can do.
Inkjet Devices are good with Laptops
You’ll find that inkjet based printers are by far the most popular, at least for consumer use, and there are a number of reasons for this.
- Higher resolution figures for monochrome, color and photo printing.
- Quicker printing speeds.
- Larger number of wireless connectivity options.
If you’re looking for the right portable printer for your situation then I suggest you take a look at our inkjet mobile printer page, because the chances are it’s going to help you find what you want.
It will help you make an informed decision the on whether inkjet based printing is what you’re looking for, and if not, guide you to what it is that you do want.
This page contains further benefits, as well as the negative aspects of printers based on this technology.
Thermal devices are very small but still A4 sized
It tends to be the case that mobile printing which uses thermal technology is more based around commercial aspects.
For example they’re used in all cashier’s tills, as well as for printing receipts, labels and even stickers – and there are a good few reasons for this.
- You’ll find they’re the smallest (by far) out of the two printing technologies.
- They’re also the most lightweight (again by far).
- Finally they’re much more reliable with a vastly longer lifespan.
As you can see from above they’re very much aimed at people who really want something that’s genuinely transportable, withstand rugged conditions and the test of time.
It’s not good enough to have a device which is bulky and weighs you down, and as you can see there are a lot of benefits with regards to portability that go in favour of thermal based devices.
Check out our thermal portable printer page if you’re interested in further benefits, as well as the inevitable downsides of this type of printing technology.
Which is Best?
This all depends on what you want your printer to do, as well as how portable you want it to be. If you want to learn more about which is best for you and your situation then I suggest you carefully read each of our individual pages and you’ll quickly find out everything you need to know.
- Most people will find inkjet technology is what they have in mind.
If you don’t want to go through the time required to research everything yourself then you’ll see on the sidebar to the right that we offer a service whereby we can arrange to find a portable travelling printer based on your unique requirements.
When it comes to travel printers you’ll find variation, often (but not always) affected by which printing technology the model is based on.
The most common types of wireless technology are:
- WiFi (ability to connect to Wireless Access Points).
Remember that each different type of wireless connectivity also has various sub–sections such as whether it’s external, internal, in-built and so forth.
If you’re looking for a travel printer than I’m glad you found this website because the truth is that we’re the only real knowledgeable authority on the subject.
By using our website you can very quickly narrow down all the various options and hone in on exactly what it is that you want to buy.
If you want to find out the what you want quickly, I suggest you check out the homepage Portable Printers and proceed to Canon or Brother to narrow down the printer to what you have in mind. Or you can go to either the thermal/inkjet pages to learn more and then proceed onwards from there.