If you’re looking for this type of device then you’re in luck because you don’t have to settle for thermal printers. These types of printer are much smaller (they can fit into a deep pocket), they don’t require ink cartridges and they’re more reliable – hence perfect for mobility.
On the other hand their print resolutions are very poor compared to inkjet based devices which themselves are incredibly are far less portable. Usually it’s a trade of – either a product which is more lightweight and compact but with worse core specifications – or a product with far better core capabilities which is far less portable.
In this situation then you’re keeping the printer in your car and presumably you’re not going to be carrying it around for hours on end. Since you don’t need the portability so much you can focus on getting a much better printer with extras which will increase your printer’s usefulness such as car charging adapters for the mobile printer.
I would definitely recommend getting an inkjet as when it comes to wireless mobile printers they’re the best by far, they print faster and to resolutions of up to 8400 x 2400 dpi for the best Canon iP100 device. Overall you can expect resolutions to be about half that for a cheaper version, and for black you’re looking at around 600 x 600 dpi.
These are still fantastic specifications and once you realize that a regular 4 by 6 inch glossy photograph is only around 4200 x 1200 dpi then you’ll see that they’re more that capable for handling your needs.
They’re great as Bluetooth portable printers for cars because they operate as multi-functioning printers – they’re admittedly not all-in-one printers so they can’t scan, fax and so on. But they can print out full sized photographs (the size of A4 sheets) and go down to as small as business card size (a high quality glossy business card says ‘professional winner’ like nothing else I’ve heard of). Generally average models can print at around 15 pages per minute for black and 10 ppm for color.
If you’re looking to buy portable printers for cars than in my opinion the best place to check out is Amazon. They may cost very slightly extra but one thing about this type of device is that sometimes they can be a little unreliable. You don’t want to buy it from a seller with poor ratings or no reviews – and you definitely don’t want to purchase refurbished or second hand devices. It’s important to recognize that the age of going down to the high street and being advised by a sales ‘adviser’ (liar) is over.
They don’t know what they’re talking about and can read of specifications which don’t tell you anything about either the reliability or durability of the product. They’re definitely to avoid and you’ll also end up paying a premium for these ‘experts’ to tell you about how good something is when in some cases they’ll know it’s terrible.
Some of these inkjet mobile printers for cars are great, some of them are terrible – more than many other electronics I’d say (as a ratio) – and you need to read reviews and check out what you’re buying to ensure you’re not getting something which breaks in a month (it really does happen).
I would say the best thing to do is to read a plethora of reviews on the product you’re looking at, do Google searches for ‘*item name* problems/issues’ and generally use common sense practices because you could pay a lot of money for a weak item – or paid less for a better one if you’d just done your homework.