Most people will never have a need for a portable printer. The trusty laser or ink cartridge printer, either hooked directly to the computer or through a network, satisfies the need. However, there are those situations where the standard printer just isn’t feasible.
In my case, when I’m scoring college volleyball matches using a computerized scoring program, I need a way to print the resulting score sheets. Of course, I could lug along one of my regular printers, but that isn’t really feasible.
My need for a portable printer was met for a long time with a HP desk jet 450. This printer was a mainstay of the portable printer market for a long time. However, as I transitioned to using a MacBook, as opposed to a Windows based laptop, I found that I could no longer get drivers for that old printer. So I began researching what was available on today’s market.
Hewlett-Packard, of course still makes a portable printer. There is no doubt that HP makes a good product. However, for my needs, the HP products were too expensive.
As I considered up other options, I wound up looking at the Canon PIXMA iP110. I was not disappointed. The 110 is lightweight, 4.3 pounds, and does an excellent job for my needs. Of course, any inkjet style printer is not a good choice for major print jobs. Ink cartridges are just too expensive.
But in my case, I typically only print 8 to 10 pages at a given event, so that’s not really an issue. But along those lines, I found that ink cartridges for the iP110 are reasonably priced.
While the iP110 is not ‘new technology’ — it first appeared in 2010 — it does have some advanced features. You can, of course, connect the printer to your computer with a standard USB cable as I do. However, the iP110 also allows network connections through Wi-Fi. It additionally supports Airprint(tm) technology for printing from iPhones and similar devices.
It is true that, as it comes in the box, the IP 110 is not ‘portable’ in the sense of a laptop computer. It does need a source of power through a 110 V converter. However, for those needing true portability, the battery pack is available for the printer.
As I mentioned, ink cartridges for the IP 10 or any other inkjet printer are not cheap. However, I found a package containing two black cartridges and one CMYK color cartridge on Amazon.com for about $35 including shipping from a third party supplier. The same package from Amazon itself is $41.99 with free same-day shipping for Amazon Prime members. In the grand scheme of inkjet cartridge prices, either option seemed to me to be reasonable. The stated retail price of the package is $49.95 so the savings aren’t great, especially for the Amazon Prime option.
This price is comparable to a similar package for the HP portable printers.
The basic printer costs $155.24 from Amazon. (I am an Amazon Prime member so shipping was in one-day and free.) I recently saw the same printer at OfficeMax for $249.00.
The optional battery pack is about $100.
By comparison, the HP Deskjet c460 portable printer is $401 from Amazon Prime, for the basic configuration and $499 including a battery pack.