Wireless printers are very popular today, especially because everything else is becoming wireless. Mobile phones, smart phones, tablet PCs, laptops – everything can now work without wires. And with portability in mind, small wireless printers have been developed to cater to all the on-the-go printing needs of professionals and computer users. But one of the concerns that people have when it comes to using small wireless printers is the versatility of these devices. What are the benefits that these machines can offer and what are the potential drawbacks of using these devices?
The Benefits of Small Wireless Printers
As small printers, the biggest advantage that any computer user can get from these devices is their handiness and portability. These printers can be brought around with you wherever you go because of their very compact structures and light weight. Some small wireless printers weigh as little as 1.1 pounds. These are typically thermal printers with Bluetooth wireless connectivity. There are also wireless printers with carry handles that make handling them much easier, like compact photo printers with infrared and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Another great thing about small wireless printers is the space-saving features not only on the size factor, but also on the functionality. Since they are wireless, they can be accessed without the use of any wires or cables, saving a lot of space and reducing the clutter in your car or in your office. You also no longer need to connect so many different cables from one device to another so you’ll even save time by using these devices.
Small wireless printers are also beneficial for professionals and individuals who are always on the go or who frequently go on trips and adventures. For instance, if you’re a photo enthusiast, having a compact photo printer with Bluetooth connectivity enables you to print photos from your mobile phone directly to the compact printing device. If you’re a professional who always has a lot of rush work to do, you can print even inside your car and all you have to do is connect your laptop to the Bluetooth connection of your thermal printer, and you can have a professional document printed out for you in seconds. If you’re a businessman who goes to different places and prepares various papers for your clients, you can bring around your compact inkjet printer with Bluetooth connectivity and just send files from your client’s computer to the printer. There are so many uses of these compact devices, and by using these printers, you eliminate the problem of having no printing device to use in such times of emergency or need.
Despite their functionality and great features, small wireless printers are not advisable for everyday general printing purposes because of their printing mechanisms. Dye-sublimation printers used for compact photo printers use up a fair amount of dye panels every printout and using them up too much can mean a huge expense in replacing them. Portable inkjet printers only have limited duty cycles and you can’t print more than the assigned number every month, or else the printer can have problems. Thermal printers may not require ink or ribbon replacement but they can only print in monochrome or two-color schemes, so they aren’t as versatile as most consumers would want them to be.
Another drawback about these devices is their wireless connections, although this is not a printer problem since these printers can still be used for high quality printing even with wires. However, if you use the wireless function frequently, it may be a concern for you that the signal or the visibility of the device is not always consistent. Especially if the wireless capability is only Bluetooth, the distance between the printer and the device from where the file to be printed is saved should be short enough to maintain the connection. If your mobile phone is moving especially if you’re inside a moving car, the connection may not stabilize and the printing process can become difficult. Infrared, most of all, is very demanding when it comes to distance since you need to keep the device no more than an inch away from the infrared of the printer to keep the connection stable.
Finally, the prices of these small wireless printers are not too expensive, but as compared to most standard printers, they can be costly. If an ordinary inkjet printer costs around $50-$80, these small wireless printers cost around $100-$350 depending on the features and printing mechanism. When you consider the cost of the two different printer types, it may seem unfair especially since small printers are not as versatile as ordinary ones, but the facts that the printing mechanism is more complex and the device has wireless connectivity make the price somehow reasonable.
Small wireless printers have benefits and drawbacks just like any other device, but what’s important when you buy one is that you consider its importance in your printing activities. If you really need a small wireless printer, there’s nothing wrong with investing in one good model. But if there’s no immediate need for the device, it may not be very practical to buy one.