When it comes to purchasing a mobile printer which has wireless capabilities there are a few important factors you need to be made aware of.
To start with you need to be sure of what you want and what you’re getting. The biggest problem that people tend to have is that they see ‘wireless’ and assume it’s the wireless they’re looking for. They might think it means it’s connectible to a wireless access point such as are located in most hotels. They may believe it to be Bluetooth which is internally installed within the printer itself. They may think it refers to infrared – although in most cases it’s going to be the first two, because let’s be honest who uses IrDA anymore.
To start with most ‘wireless’ printers which are stationary are referring to WiFi – whereas it’s very much the opposite for mobile printers. For these types of devices it’s actually Bluetooth which they’re commonly referring to.
The first thing you need to look at is whether your print supports the connectivity you want, because the chances are it doesn’t. This may come as a surprise but there aren’t very many devices which allow all three.
If you want Bluetooth for your wireless mobile printer then I suggest the first thing you check it if it comes pre-installed within the device or not. Most don’t, and I’m sure you can see it’s a massive advantage if it does because you don’t have a dongle or compact flash card sticking out the side. When you attempt determined whether it comes within the device (and also by extension whether it’s included in the price) or not, the chances are you’ll find it’s an extra item which you need to buy. This is really important because they can cost around 40-70 dollars, so are much cheaper but the majority are quite expensive. The same process is true of being able to connect to wireless access points, if it isn’t pre-installed – and in most cases it isn’t. Then you’ll need to buy either a usb 2.0 dongle or a Compact Flash card and plug it into your device for it to work.
You also need to check if your wireless portable printer comes with a battery, most do not and they’re around 100 dollars. I’m sure you can see that if you don’t account for these costs and you’re planning for your device to actually be able to move and access the internet without wires, then the costs of the extra peripherals can easily cost as much as the device itself.
I’d recommend buying them on Amazon because that’s where you tend to find the best deals. Try not to buy from sellers which don’t have numerous customer reviews and high star ratings because they can and will scam you out of your money. Check for ‘Amazon verified’ names and purchases to ensure that their reviews are likely to be real as opposed to fraudulent.
When it comes to the wireless adapters which are wither Compact Flash cards or usb 2.0 dongles I’d suggest looking on auctions websites such as Ebay to see if you can get cheap deals. This wouldn’t work or be advisable either for the battery because it may be worn down. But ultimately the Bluetooth adapters are unlikely to break or arrive broken, and since they’re device specific in most cases people will be willing to sell them on at bargain prices as opposed to having a useless piece of technology sitting around the house.