The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mobile Printers

Until the day that iPhones are able to print off pages on their own, mobile printers will still be a viable way (and the only way) to print when you’re on the move. In the meantime, we have a staggering array of mobile printing options at our fingertips. If you’re like me and you travel a lot for business, you know full well the importance of having a mobile printer along with you, if only for emergencies.

For many business travelers, having a mobile printer is just part of the job, especially if you have to have a portable POS system. If you’re in the market for a mobile printer, there are some key things to consider before taking the plunge into the waters of printing mobility.

Benefits of Mobile Printers:

Mobility: Because mobile printers are, well, mobile, they can allow you the freedom to print what you need, regardless if you’re in O’Hare or in the Amazon. You can pack them in your carry-on and be able to print what you need right in your hotel room. Having a mobile printer saves you the hassle of locating and getting to a printer store when you’re travelling. If you’re traveling on business, you may not even have that kind of time in the first place. Mobility is key.

Instant Gratification: Being able to print documents at your command can go a long way to impressing potential clients or customers. If you’re a photographer and you want to impress your customers by giving them “instant prints,” then a mobile printer is right for you. You can also print receipts and itineraries straight from your mobile device. A lot of contract work is done these days over tablet PC’s. You can bring your mobile printer with you to a jobsite and be able to print out an invoice or an order list on the spot.

Reduces Costs: Some mobile printers, like the PocketJet6 by Brother, utilize “inkless” technology, thus sparing your budget from having to support a seemingly endless supply of expensive ink.

Drawbacks of Mobile Printers

Connectivity: As anyone who’s tried to sync their mobile device to the Bluetooth in their car, or really to anything, it can be a hassle, if not altogether impossible to consistently sync certain mobile devices. If you’re tight on time and need to print something in a hurry, then you’d better have all of your connectivity issues solved beforehand.

Lower Quality Prints: Yes, it’s a given that your little mobile printer isn’t going to necessarily be able to output the same quality as your 200lb office printer. If you have to print an important document for a presentation and all you have is a mobile printer, it’s not going to look as good it could be. It could be the difference between making a sale and going home empty handed.

Slower Printing Speeds: Printing one-offs or small jobs on your mobile printer is going to work out just fine, but if you absolutely have to print a large batch job, then the mobile printer is going to kill your productivity.

Lack of IT Support: Since you’re most likely using a mobile printer out of the office, then your IT team isn’t going to be around if something goes wrong with your mobile printer. Should something happen to your mobile printer you will be forced to rely upon the web or their customer service hotline to get your printer fixed. Or, you’ll be forced to buy another one in a pinch. Not having the safety net of your company’s IT team can lead to big problems while mobile printing.

Owning a mobile printer is always a good idea. It’s just important to acknowledge the drawbacks that they entail. Just know that you can’t count on your mobile printer for everything. Just like any tool, it has it’s specific uses and isn’t going to work well outside that small scope.

Carla Eaton has a B.A. in Mass Media and writes on the topics of business, technology, and design. She currently blogs for inkfarm.com, who specializes in Dell printer ink

This post send by Carla Eaton

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