When it comes down to it there are a few critical components to understand when it comes down to understanding the various wireless portable printer devices.
To start with there’s the wireless aspect which means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To some people it means the ability to connect to wireless access points such as home WiFi. Other people think it refers to Bluetooth mobile internet, such as are installed on most mobile phones or laptops. Finally others (although admittedly a minority) believe it to refer to infrared wireless transfer. Old timers mainly.
Secondly there’s the ‘portable’ aspect of the device which again can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some people assume it means a small and compact printer and don’t necessarily liken it to a device which has a battery. Most people do get it right in thinking that portable means it comes with a battery and hence isn’t reliant on AC mains power.
Finally people can have a tough time recognizing what type of print mechanism their wireless portable printer uses as well as which are best for who.
To start with, just to throw this out there – laser mobile printers don’t exist in the sense of being compact and battery powered. Frankly there’s no such thing as a ‘compact’ laser printer because even the smallest ones are pretty massive. Secondly they use quite a lot of electricity which means they’re definitely not suitable for having a battery inserted into them.
The most common type of print mechanism you’ll find are inkjets are there are a few reasons for this. Firstly they print to pretty high resolutions, they’re not incredible per say – but no one would question whether they can do a good job. With a lot of mobile inkjet printers you’ll have absolutely no trouble in printing out glossy 4 x 6 photos on card paper. They can print in very high resolutions and their only downsides regard to their speed and their lack of ‘all in one’ capabilities. They’re just printers, not fax machines, scanners, waffle makers or anything else which people have grown accustomed too. Their speed is definitely slower but it’s not atrocious considering you’re getting portability – but on the other hand their costs can be pretty atrocious. Generally the start at around 200 dollars but from here their price can easily be raised by a lithium ion mobile printer battery – 100 dollars, a Bluetooth adapter – 50 dollars, a WiFi adapter – another 50 dollars. In fact all the peripherals you need can actually stack up to the cost of the printer itself – and don’t think these are exaggerated costs they’re both fair and common place.
You’ll notice that considering the vast majority of ‘wireless mobile printers’ don’t arrive with batteries or wireless access they’re neither mobile nor wireless. I’ve read one particularly amusing review of a man who now has a very much stationary and wired printer.
Just make sure you do your research when you’re looking to buy printers like this and you’ll be absolutely fine. The only reason you won’t be fine is if you don’t read the fine print, go to the manufacturer’s website and check ‘what’s in the box’. If you want Bluetooth printing then make sure it either arrives pre-installed (which is rare), or that you purchase it at the same time and you’re aware of the cost it can incur on you.