printers guides

Portable Printers: Why you need one!

A portable printer is the perfect device if you happen to be out and about or working in different locations. Portable printers are versatile and offer unbeatable convenience – but how many people even know they exist? We’re going to take an in-depth look at them, and discover why you really can’t live without one!

With Wi-Fi connectivity and often an optional battery, a mobile printer lets you print even when you’re away from an outlet.

Most portable printers are small, weighing less than 5 pounds, and many even come with rechargeable batteries and car chargers for use on the road. But despite the small size, most portable models still offer full-page printing with the same inkjet technology you’re familiar with. Many even have scan and copy capability to give you full functionality even when you’re away from the office.

But what exactly is a portable printer?

Remember when mobile phones used to be the size of house bricks? And computers were the size of a family car? Well, those times have thankfully long since passed. A portable printer has the same functions as a normal home printer, but is slimmer in design, lighter in weight, and is designed to be carried and transported easily.

With many of us constantly on the move and working in often confined spaces – on a train, on a plane, in a hotel room etc – we really should be grateful that portable printing machines have emerged which fit our busy lifestyles and are sturdy enough to survive those bumps and scrapes.

A portable printer provides you with the ability to print important documents immediately, regardless of wherever you are at the time – within reason, of course! If you’re riding a camel through the desert when you’re on holiday in Egypt, printing might prove a bit tricky!

Portable printers have become really popular with business travellers because they enable workers to maximise their use of time. And as they’re compact and light, it can fit easily into a suitcase of small carrycase.

Advantages and Uses

Apart from being high on functionality and efficiency, portable printers, in general, weigh below five pounds, which makes them easy to carry. They can be use via a standard car adapter, AC adaptor or Lithium Ion batteries – so actually, they don’t even need an electric power source. The good news is that most portable printers can be easily set up to function as a standard home / office printer too. They are fast and print to a high standard. The quality is as good as that of good desktop printers.

What can they actually print?

Just to give you an idea of their versatility, here’s a short list of useful things which can be printed using a portable printer…

  • Photographs (for estate agents to give to clients)
  • Boarding passes and concert tickets
  • All types of contracts
  • Presentations made in PowerPoint as a backup. This can be useful if you happen to amend a presentation while travelling.
  • Webpages can be shared during meetings

Choosing a Portable Printer

Most of the world’s leading printer companies manufacture portable printers. HP, Canon, Brother and more offer a wide selection which can handle all types of print jobs which require black and white or full colour, high definition or photographic quality prints. The question you need to ask yourself is this: What sort of printing do you need to do? Do you need colour print-outs? What quality do you require? And what volumes are you looking at?

Inkjet Printers

Amongst all the types of printers on the market, inkjets are considered the most versatile. They can pretty much do everything from printing quality text, graphics and photographs. The quality you receive is mainly down to what is called dpi (dots per inch). The more dots per inch, the better the overall quality will be – and this means in sharpness of graphics and text, along with the colours and shades in photos. For most uses, an inkjet portable printer will do  a great job. In fact, how many times have you heard someone comment on the poor quality of a print? Unless you’re a professional photographer or someone who needs really top-quality prints, you’re going to be fine with the quality of most printers these days.

When it comes to dpi, the quality can vary according to the kind of ink used, as well as the fonts, shading, and colours. It would be wise for you to check out the quality for yourself if you have strict requirements.

Inkjet printers use different kinds of paper according to whatever task needs to be done and, as you would expect, the type of paper used can influence the quality of the printing. Photographic paper is always going to be the best option for printing photographs – although we’ve probably all printed photographs on to normal photocopy paper, and they still come out fairly well. But, over time, the colours will fade on standard paper. If you need to print business letters, then a heavier paper will be more suitable than the type of paper you need to print out some notes which are just for yourself.

Laser Printers

These have been labelled as the ‘workhorses’ of the office, although with a portable one, your office can now be anywhere – even in your car! But if you need to print out regular presentations where you need hundred of pages, then a portable laser printer is probably the best choice you can make – especially for black-and-white printouts. As you may be aware, laser printers are more expensive to buy initially, but their toners – rather than ink cartridges used by inkjets – produce many more pages, pound-for-pound, so you will actually save money in the long run. So, if you require more high-volume printing while on the move, a portable laser printer will prove to be less costly in the end.

Thermal Printers

What on earth’s a thermal printer we can hear you ask! Do you remember when fax machines were all the rage and they printed stuff out on that carbon paper material? Well, a thermal printer is similar to that. It’s useful for printing things such as receipts and invoices rather than documents.

Thermal paper can be quite expensive, so if you think a thermal printer sounds good for your needs, it’s a good idea to locate a competitively-priced supplier and make sparing use of the paper. Typically, thermal printers are less expensive compared to other printers since they don’t use ink or toner.

A great thing in their favour is that there are really light, hybrid thermal printers that can work with laptops, PDAs, and smartphones. They can be as little as 0.70 inches in thickness, and can weigh in at less than ten ounces – yet are capable of producing up to 4 ppm at 300 dpi, which is impressive!

And finally…

As our working methods continue to change, depending on the circumstances, the market for printers is continually adapting to the way we work too. Portable printers are high in convenience and versatility and have been designed to fit in with our changing work environments. When you’re busy trying to fit in meetings in different locations, a portable printer can be worth its weight in gold!

Take a look at Ebuyer’s range of portable printers here.

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