This guest post was submitted to The Anywhere Office by Joel Arnold of InkPal.com
Mobile computing is quickly changing the way that most people work. Because of their slim form factor and snappy speed, tablets are coming closer than ever before to making the paperless office possible. But it’s still a basic reality that there is sometimes no substitute for printing things out. Unfortunately, mobile computing has only complicated things, since now it has become necessary to print on the go. So if you’re looking for a printer you can tuck in a bag between your laptop and your iPad, what are some of the best options?
1) Epson PictureMate Charm
If you need a way to print full-color photos while traveling, you’ll have a hard time beating the PictureMate for quality and cost. You can get your pictures to the printer through CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD card, or XD-Picture Card, or of course connect it to your computer with USB. Bluetooth will cost an extra $39.
The PictureMate only prints in 4×6, but it is incredibly simple to use and the quality of the result is outstanding. Best of all, if you buy specially designed printer packs that include both ink cartridges and paper, it works out to around 25 cents per picture—not as good, obviously as color laser toners, but better than any other mobile printer.
2) HP Photosmart A646
The Photosmart A646 is a close competitor to the PictureMate Charm and performs the same basic set of functions. For a very reasonable price, the A646 delivers impressive versatility and reasonably good results. The printer body is quite solid and the carrying case is made of recycled bottles. The interface is fairly easy to use and the printer has the same media card slots except for CompactFlash. Bluetooth is built in, however. Very nice is the ability to print in 4×6, 4×12 or 5×7—a rare extra feature for most mobile photo printers. Unfortunately, the cost of replacement ink and paper is a little high and print quality leaves some serious room for improvement. Depending on your needs, this may or may not be a viable option for you.