A life on the move can be grueling, so it is helpful to have portable electronics to simplify tasks that may be otherwise difficult. We all know you cannot fly from New York to Utah with your computer tower and monitor, but laptops will fit beneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. Why should this convenience be limited to computers?
Many people do not know portable business printers even exist, as the market for this type of device is not nearly as big as mobile photo printers. However, if you are a person who frequently stays in hotels or has a job that requires a lot of time spent in your vehicle, a portable business printer is invaluable.
Perhaps you just delivered a truck-full of product to a company and a few boxes were damaged so you need to print a revised invoice. Maybe you took the red-eye flight to get to an early meeting in San Antonio and need to print the notes for your speech but the hotel doesn’t have a printer. These are just a few scenarios that may call for a portable document printer.
Speeds for portable printer models are significantly slower than a standard desktop printer, as to be expected, with each page taking about 5 to 10 seconds to print. The overall quality is also sacrificed a bit in the way of portability, averaging 300 dpi and maxing out at 600 dpi. However, the documents will still be crisp and clear enough for everyday use.
The top portable printers:
- Fit into a small suitcase or a laptop bag.
- Can be charged in a car.
- Connect wirelessly through Bluetooth.
- Weigh less than 10 pounds.
There are basically two classes of mobile office printers- those that focus more on portability and those that sacrifice some portability for better quality printing. This can be illustrated better in a comparison of the Brother PocketJet 6 Plus and the HP OfficeJet 100.
The Brother PocketJet 6 Plus is 10 inches long, 2 inches wide and weighs just a few pounds. It looks like a laptop battery and can literally fit in your pocket, which is a unique feature but also a limiting one. The slot for feeding thermal paper only takes a single sheet and requires you to feed it by hand. The Brother 6 Plus also only prints in monochrome, meaning black-and-white only. However, for quickly printing a business document on the fly, it is a convenient solution.
The HP OfficeJet 100, on the other hand, is a bit bulkier. Though it won’t fit on your person, it will fit comfortably in a suitcase. This machine has color printing capabilities and a paper tray that holds up to 50 sheets. The speed and quality of the HP OfficeJet 100 will be better than the Brother PocketJet, but less convenient for travelers. This machine requires inkjet cartridges, whereas the Brother does not because it prints exclusively on thermal paper.
Either class of portable printer will be sufficient for document printing and a reliable companion on the road. The type you choose should be based on your preferences and needs.