Things you should know before purchasing a Portable Printer

Things you should know before purchasing a Portable Printer

Portable printers are ideal for business travelers who need to revise documents for client sharing while on the road.

Portable printers are also well suited for anyone who works in the field and needs to print documents, such as contracts or receipts, on the go, such as salespeople, architects, and field service technicians, because many are self-powered or have alternate power sources.

Things you should know before purchasing a Portable Printer

Compact, portable photo printers, for example, enable photographers and others who work with images to distribute their work on demand.

Advantages of Portable Printers

Although many hotels and cybercaf├ęs provide shared printers for guests to use, bringing your own Portable printer may be more cost-effective in the long run if you frequently need to print on the go; additionally, as one frequent traveler's experience demonstrates, using hotel printers can be limiting and frustrating.

Another reason you might want a mobile printer is that it allows you to print from devices other than laptops or directly from compact storage cards.

Finally, the most compelling advantage of Portable printers is their ability to print virtually anywhere, even in the most remote locations or while on the move. If you're willing to bring the printer with you.

Size: Small

Portable printers are very portable nowadays, but they still add noticeable weight (about 5 pounds) and take up some space in a carry-on or large briefcase (average dimensions: 13" x 7" and 3" high). Compact photo printers are even more compact, with some being barely larger than the 4x6 photo paper on which they print. There are larger and smaller mobile printers, but keep in mind that portability and features or performance are usually trade-offs. Check the printer's dimensions against the carrying case you intend to use to ensure that it will fit.

Things you should know before purchasing a Portable Printer

Increased Cost

The smaller the device, the higher the price in portable electronics and Portable printers are no exception. Portable printers can cost nearly twice as much as desktop printers, and ink cartridges for Portable printers are typically 20% more expensive, depending on the printer.

However, if you don't do much printing on the road or are more selective about what you print, your Portable printer cartridges may last longer.

Performance

A Portable printer's print speed and quality can be impressive. Many Portable printers print at around 5 pages per minute, but some are much faster (the HP OfficeJet H470, billed as the world's fastest Portable printer in 2007, has a rated speed of 23ppm black and 16ppm color). If you're a traveling salesperson who can't afford to wait for pages to print, look for Portable printers with print speeds of 10 ppm or faster.

Similarly, print resolution is frequently higher than the 300 dpi to 1200 dpi range recommended by our Printers/Scanners guide. In short, mobile printers can quickly produce professional-looking documents.

Things you should know before purchasing a Portable Printer

Options for Connectivity and Power

Other important features to consider when comparing Portable printers are connectivity and power options:

Built-in wi-fi and Bluetooth allow you to print from a variety of devices (including wireless-capable or Bluetooth-enabled PDAs and cameras) without the need for wires. Many mobile printers also support direct printing from compact digital storage cards (e.g., SD cards from cameras), which is a very useful feature to look for if you want to print photos on the go without having to connect or start up your laptop.

Portable printer power options may include an AC adapter, an internal rechargeable battery, a car adapter, and USB power. Obviously, the more self-powered options available, the better, but some adapters may be costly.

Other Important Operating System Features to Consider: Check that the printer drivers work with your laptop.

Paper Sizes and Weight:

If you need to print on different paper sizes or stocks, make sure they are listed as available options in the printer specifications.

Durability

Ruggedness is an excellent feature in any mobile device; if you have the opportunity to inspect the Portable printer in person, you can get a sense of its build quality.

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