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Do you wish you could take pictures with your phone that fit in your pocket? Do you, alternatively, require a multifunction device that can print, copy, and scan vital business documents? Nowadays, you can get a portable printer that can print just about anything.
Specific task printers
Did you know that modern printers may be optimized for use with certain types of media? In spite of their compact size, many of these devices are dedicated to a particular function, such as photo printing, and excel at nothing else.
Without a wireless connection, several of these printers may still produce prints. Some are built exclusively for printing 4x6 photographs, while others can also produce high-quality letter-size papers.
Portable all-in-one printers
If you need a portable printer that can both scan and copy documents, as well as print them, you're in luck. Some portable printers now perform the functions of what used to require a plethora of separate tools.
This type of printer is useful for those who conduct their business from a mobile office, such as a motorhome.
Do you want or need the capacity to print in color or even print photos? Other than the Brother PocketJet 773, which is a monochrome direct thermal printer, all of the aforementioned printers use inkjet technology. It's worth noting that the HP OfficeJet 250 is the only model that includes an ADF for use in making copies or scanning documents automatically.
Size and weight
With a large enough vehicle, you can move any printer. The concern is whether or not it is portable enough to fit in a suitcase or backpack without much difficulty. Typical modern all-in-one inkjet printers weigh between 3.5 and 7.2 pounds. Keep in mind that you can save up to half a pound by leaving the battery at home on a given trip. To be safe, you should compare the weights with and without the batteries. (And don't forget the power cord or adapter if you're considering ditching the batteries.)
Consumables and paper handling
Considerations like velocity and operating expense fall within this category as well. A portable inkjet's print quality variation is roughly on par with that of a desktop inkjet. But print time, paper capacity, cartridge size, and operating expenses are not. Due to space constraints, portable printers can only handle a limited number of sheets of paper at a time and print at a slower, less robust print and paper-feed speed. Smaller printers can't accommodate huge ink cartridges, increasing printing costs.
You should be ready to modify your expectations in light of each of these problems, and we recommend that you compare the printer in question to other portable models rather than to inkjet printers in general. For instance, the extra bulk and weight of an auto-duplexing mechanism is typical for full-size inkjets. In this case, manual duplexing will be supported at best, with the printer producing all odd-numbered sheets first and then requiring you to reinsert the stack. (Everything mentioned here is addressed in our reviews.)
These days, most portable printers can connect via either Wi-Fi or USB, making them ideal for use in a variety of situations. In addition, some are PictBridge-compatible, allowing you to print photographs straight from cameras that meet the spec's requirements. Make sure the printer supports Wi-Fi Direct if you wish to connect wirelessly without using cables. Make sure the printer is compatible with your mobile device if you expect to print directly from it.
Most also include battery replacement options, allowing you to print even if you don't have access to an electrical socket. These are additional items that should be purchased alongside the printer itself. In addition to being able to be charged while in the car, many of these printers are mobile and may be used while out making sales calls or printing while on the road.
Most of these compact machines only print one type of document. As a result, they lack a flatbed scanner for copying and scanning due to their limited space. Only one model, though, can scan and copy: A model of the HP OfficeJet 250. It has a fold-forward cover that exposes a narrow automatic document feeder. Furthermore, the HP Tango X can perform what HP terms "copy" and "scan" operations from your smartphone via the HP Smart app. In reality, all you're doing is printing off a photo you took with your phone (or "scan" the paper, if you will) (or "copy," in HP Smart parlance). We found that the HP Tango X produced mediocre results, as we detailed in our comprehensive evaluation.
How do inkjet printers compare to laser printers?
Photos typically turn out better when printed on an inkjet printer, whereas laser printers are the best option when writing text. While inkjet printers are less expensive overall, they have far higher per-page printing costs than laser printers because of their usage of toner instead of ink, which has a much longer lifespan and is less expensive to repair.
What size prints can portable printers produce?
There are possibilities for printing "full size" 8.5 x 11 or larger images, despite the fact that many portable printers are limited to producing only 4 x 6 prints or smaller because of their small size.
What are the advantages of a photo printer over a standard printer?
Photo printers, in general, offer superior resolution (and, by extension, picture clarity and integrity) to standard office printers. This means they can compete with professional photo kiosk prints, and potentially surpass them with added customization options like centering and cropping.
Inkjet, laser, and ink-jet portable printers all have their own unique uses. It's important to evaluate your needs before purchasing a portable printer.
A lot of the time, individuals buy electronics just because they're impressed by them. Then they come to terms with the fact that they never use any of the "cool" features they have.
Give some thought to your daily routine and the things you do and would like to accomplish. Then select the gadget that best serves your requirements.