There are times that business persons who are away from their desk need to make prints. Portable printers are available whenever there is a need for a form with a customer signature or even an additional document for a presentation. This means you wont have to head back to the office or go searching in a strange city for some place to print the document.
In order to save space, many of these portable units use a thermal printhead and thermal paper. While some of the portable printers only produce black and white prints, others can be used for color prints.
With the limits for carry-on bags now in effect with most airlines, it is important that the portable photo printers be able to fit into a bag and leave room for other necessities for the trip. Most do fit the bill and the use of thermal printing ensures that the traveler is not going to have a cyan spot on their shirt needed for the presentation the next day.
Users of portable printers for laptops will appreciate the fact that most can be powered with a battery pack. When combined with a laptop, documents can be prepared almost anywhere. Each charge of the batteries on these devices may print from one hundred to three hundred pages. Some of the portable printing units available have the capability of being charged in the car as well.
Most of the portable printing devices available are lightweight. They may weigh anywhere from a few ounces to four pounds. If the printer is to be carried in a briefcase or computer bag, the buyer will certainly want to take weight into consideration when making the purchase. The difference of a couple of pounds can make a big difference when toting a bag down a long concourse in an airport.
The quality of prints produced by these portable printers for laptop computers range from fair to good. Most do a good job with text and may produce fair prints in grayscale. Some however, are only designed for printing text. If photo printing is important, be sure that you choose a printer having these capabilities. In addition, most buyers will want to select the printer that makes full size prints. At least one of these devices is small enough to fit in a coat pocket, but only produces prints that are 46 inches.
Buyers will need to know that portable printing units are much slower than the full sized machines that are used at home. While some will print just over one page per minute, many will take up to four minutes to produce each page. Unless the traveler has a lot of time to wait for prints, it would be best to prepare them where there is access to a full sized printer and save the portable device for use in emergencies and for small printing jobs.
While most of these devices can use a USB cord to attach to the computer, most also have Bluetooth capabilities. This means that the printer and computer are able to connect wirelessly for printing. Of course, Bluetooth connections require that the computer also be compatible with this type of printing. Bluetooth capability also allows many printers to connect to cellular phones and some cameras in order to print documents directly from these electronic devices. Users that do not need the Bluetooth technology may choose to downgrade the printer and save some cash. For other printers, the technology is an optional purchase to begin with.
The convenience of portable printers is often more expensive than use of standard printers. The portable devices cost several times that of a standard ink jet printer and about the same as many standard laser printers. In addition, users will pay more for thermal paper than they pay for normal printer paper.
While most of the portable units use thermal printing, HP offers an inkjet printer that meets the demands of portable printing. This particular printer is a little larger than most of the other portable devices but also uses plain paper. Buyers will still need to pay more for the normal sized printer and should expect prints that are delivered at a slower speed, however.
Small portable printers are useful tools for individuals that often work outside of their office. Whether the individual travels by plane or works out of the car, having the printer available is an excellent way to ensure that last minute documents can be printed without returning to the office or finding a print shop that will allow the user to connect a computer. While the speed is somewhat slow and the printers and supplies are more expensive than standard machines, they are ideal for use in these situations. Most owners will find it more convenient to travel with documents pre-printed except for those that must be prepared and printed in the field.
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