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Portable Printers for Laptops

Updated on August 20, 2014

Portable Printers for Laptops for Printing on the Go

Face it not all of your printing needs occur while sitting at your desk in the office. Traditional printers do a wonderful job of producing documents, photos, and more with great clarity, doing it rapidly, and in high volume. However, when you're not at your desk, other skills and abilities become important.

On this page you'll find some tips on choosing portable printers for laptops and other handheld devices.

portable laptop printer
portable laptop printer

Choosing a Portable Printer

Portable printers should make it easy to print things on the go. There are of course a number of printers for photos on the market. However, this page will focus on printers that will print documents, and perhaps photos as well.

The word portable means different things to different people. However, on this page we will highlight only those printers that weigh less than 5 pounds. Certainly, weight is not the only criteria for making a printer portable, but a weight limit seems to be in order.

The following are a few suggestions of features that you might want to consider before selecting portable printers for a laptops or handheld devices.

CompatibilityClearly, any printer you choose needs to be compatible with the device from which you will be printing. The specific operating system must be supported. You'll also need compatible connections.ConnectivityAny good portable printer will need some type of wireless connectivity. Bluetooth, WiFi, or IrDA (infrared) can potentially get the job done. Certainly USB, parallel/serial ports and so forth are also good in many instances . Some mobile printers will also accept SC/MMC cards which is particularly convenient if you hope to print from a digital camera.Power SourceAgain, for the purpose of portability, avoiding the necessity of wires and cables is important. Therefore a battery operated device is often needed. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries tend to be the better option. Having an AC adapter is also good however, so that you can use an outlet to save on battery power when available. Some mobile printers also have car and airplane adapters for the ultimate in power source flexibility.SizeIf you'll be toting around your portable printer, you want it to be comfortable to carry. Some are small enough to fit in a brief case, others are not. In addition to weight, you might want to consider dimensions and whether or not the device will fold up. Some come with a carrying case to make toting them around easier.DocumentsDetermine what types of documents you want to be able to print and then match this up with what the printer can produce. For instance if you want the flexibility of printing 3 x 5" cards as well as 8.5" x 11" documents, you need to be sure the printer can handle both of those paper sizes and so forth. You also need to know what type of media you wish to use. Plain paper is usually a given, but transparencies or cloth for instance aren't.Print QualityFor text documents 300x300 dpi is reasonable quality. For good photos you may want 1200 x 600 dpi (or better). Some mobile printers can handle both color and black & white printing, others can't.SpeedIf speed is important, you will need to compare numbers. Speed is frequently reported as ppm or pages per minute. Printers often have a speed rating for black & white printing and another for color.Cost

Of course you need to know your budget before you buy, but you need to be sure to consider the overall operating costs. For instance, will you need to be purchasing ink, toner, paper or other supplies? What is the cost associated with this? Some paper and inks are more expensive than others.

CapacityYou'll also want to know how much paper and so forth the printer can handle in relation to the volume of use. If you print 50 pages per day and the printer can only hold 20 pages, you may be disappointed with having to add paper repeatedly throughout the day.

Another Good Option

Canon BJC-85 - Printer - color - ink-jet - Legal - 720 dpi x 360 dpi - up to 5 ppm (mono) / up to 2 ppm (color) - capacity: 30 sheets - Parallel, USB, Infrared
Canon BJC-85 - Printer - color - ink-jet - Legal - 720 dpi x 360 dpi - up to 5 ppm (mono) / up to 2 ppm (color) - capacity: 30 sheets - Parallel, USB, Infrared

This mobile printer is a bit larger than some, but it's very handy. It measures 6.2" x 11.8" x 2.2" and weighs in at 3.1 pounds. This inkject printer will roduce 360x720 dpi black and white documents at 5 ppm and color at 2 ppm. It's both Windows and Mac compatible and offers parallel port, USB, and Fast Infrared (FIR) connectivity. Users can print from their computer, notebook or mobile phone. Media types include envelopes, transparencies, plain paper, iron-on transfers, photo paper, high-gloss film, and glossy photo paper.


Photo Credits:

Introduction: Eunix

Choosing a Portable Printer: visualdensity

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great presentation, still looking for that portable printer for my laptop

    • profile image

      poder501000 6 years ago

      Great info thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice lens.Thanks for sharing. strategic planning software

    • SafeCard LM profile image

      SafeCard LM 7 years ago

      Thanks for the information

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      Craftybegonia 7 years ago

      Thanks for the information.Good job!

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      I could use a laptop printer. My desktop has one that came with it, but I never bought another for the laptop. It would come in handy.