Useful Small Wireless Printers when Travelling with the iPad

A lot of people have been searching for the solution to the problem of finding a printer for travelling with, which is both compatible, small and feature wireless capabilities.  Obviously they must be iPad compatible (which isn’t something Apple makes easy) – but they also need to be small enough to carry (the models i’ll discuss are around laptop size – although heavier) and also feature WiFi connectivity (at this moment using Bluetooth to transfer data is impossible).

If you want to learn how the solution I created works then please check out my page on iPad travel WiFi travel printers for the step by step guide.

  • This page will provide a more general overview and it’s highly recommended you read that page first.

One Usually Recommended Printer Which Won’t Work


A lot of people are stuck under the misapprehension that the Brother PocketJet printer range (namely the 6 and 6 Plus as opposed to the old 3 and 3 Plus models) are iPad compatible.  They’re not.

The reason for this is that they utilize only Bluetooth connectivity which sounds fine because the iPad and iPad 2 both feature Bluetooth – but their software is very limited, so the iPad cannot actually communicate with the PJ 6.  As of yet there are currently no printer apps which solve this problem.

This is a massive flaw in the iPad because one of its greatest attributes is its high levels of portability owing to its small size and light weight.  The Brother PJ 6 Plus is the smallest mobile printer which is possible to purchase at the moment.

Please note that this isn’t some grand statement designed to impress you, it’s the truth.  Its thermal printing technology makes it very small and very reliable – imagine an A4 sized laptop battery in size – that’s essentially very close to its size and weight.

Now imagine Canon and HP’s competition which are the size of net books and twice as thick.  They’re simply not comparable in terms of portability.  Although HP’s device is slightly larger and heavier they’re both very similar in size.

So What Are the Two Travel Printer Options Which are iPad Compatible?


Ok so now we’ve cleared the air about which type of wireless connectivity works with the iPad (WiFi not Bluetooth) it’s time to look at which are the best available products on the market.

The Canon PIXMA iP100 Mobile Printer is on the sidebar at the very top of every page of this entire website for a reason – because I recommend it and because I think it’s the best.  As you can tell from the reviews of other people you can see they would agree with me.

If you then go ahead and compare it with HP’s OfficeJet 100 you’ll see that it has substantially lower reviews.  There’s an image of the latest reviews for both products below, and although when you read this they may be somewhat different I’ve looked in on them over several years and the difference between them remains constant.

Canon PIMXA iP100 - iPad Compatible

Generally I recommend the iP100 because of its lower price, greater reliability, customer reviews and better specifications.

The reason the HP OfficeJet 100 is 3rd is because it’s simply trumped in almost every single measurable and judge-able aspect.  In terms of reliability which is obviously very important it’s worse, its specifications are worse, its more expensive and so on and so forth.  Just one or two of those three reasons would be enough to dismiss it – but the fact that there are more reasons means that it’s just not a good option to go for.

HP OfficeJet 100 reviews and specs – although it certainly does seem like a one horse race I’d definitely recommend doing the research for yourself and checking out the OJ 100 just so that you know I’m right.

HP OfficeJet 100 - iPad Compatible

The link above goes to Amazon and from there you can directly compare it with the iP100 and see how limited your amount of real alternatives are.

I know it doesn’t seem fulfilling to offer just two portable printers and basically point out that one is worse than the other but what you need to understand about these devices is how limited the manufacturers of them are.

Important iPad Travel Printer Information


When it comes to inkjet printers only Canon and HP have been manufacturing products for the last 10-15 years, and because they release a new product every 3-4 years it means that you can either pick a printer which is very old (and they do generally tend to get better with time) or you can pick one of the latest devices.

There are 3 main different thermal portable printers but these are all Bluetooth only devices and are not compatible with the iPad 1 or 2 (and probably 3) – it’s also impossible to connect them together via any kind of a cable.  There are no compatible usb ports on the iPad which can link to a printer because it’s all within the rather limited Apple ecosystem.

Although I say latest devices it’s probably worth nothing that the iPad compatible Canon PIXMA iP100 is now around 3 years old and the OfficeJet 100 is 1 year old.

If we think about how often new products are churned out nowadays it certainly does show that there’s only a small amount of people who are interested in these types of products.  But of course after you look at the prices and the cost of new ink cartridges you can soon see that its going to be somewhat of an ‘investment’.

Both of these devices are branded as ‘photo printers’ which means that they’re both capable of laboratory quality photograph print outs.

At some point it does seem likely due to the portable nature of the iPad that there will be a dedicated AirPrint or perhaps ePrint printer made for it, but at the moment I don’t have any such information about any kind of an undertaking.

The manufacturing of these products has historically been approximately every 4-5 years for Canon and HP who manufacture inkjet travel printers which are generally aimed at businessmen or perhaps travelling photographers.

Finally I’d like to point out that in case you thought I missed out some kind of travelling ‘laser’ printer that none such exist.  The components for such a device are far too large and you only have to look at regular laser using desktop models and see how large they are to see that their working parts are impossible to scale down into anything useful for carrying around.

The links I provided at the top go to Amazon review pages but if you want to read my in-depth reviews you can check out the pages I’ve linked below.  Each of these pages also has a link to the Amazon review page so you can find out more there if you so wish.

You can also see my post on whether the iPad 3 will have compatible mobile printers for use when journeying the lands!

Here’s my Canon iP100 Travelling Printer review and here’s my HP OfficeJet 100 Travelling Printer review.  They’re quite long but they’re very very informative and it took me a very long time to put them both together so if you want to get the real scope which has more depth than simply a few hundred words on Amazon then I do suggest you take a look.

They’re a culmination of my own evaluation of the devices, other people’s reviews taken into account and specifications.  All of this culminates into what I like to think of as a ‘super review’.

Thanks for reading, if you’ve got a question then feel free to post it below.  I can’t guarantee I’ll get back to you but since I’ve only had a handful of comments on this entire website so far there’s actually a strong likelihood that I’ll reply.

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