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What is the Smallest Portable Printer from HP?
April 24, 2019
Reading time: 6 minutes
The people have spoken. Portable technology is the preferred technology for all their day to day tasks. It seems as if all modern technology is made portable to satisfy our lust for mobile tech. Desktop computers have given way to tablets and laptops.
Landlines have given way to cell phones. You can find portable external drives and portable gaming rigs and portable speakers. Now, there are portable printers, too.
HP® produces a variety of small, portable printers that are easy to take with you wherever you go. Some of these printers are small enough to slip into your pocket or purse. Others are just small enough to toss in the backseat or in a large travel bag. Here is an overview of the smallest printers that HP® builds.
But first, let’s define what makes a printer portable.
What constitutes a portable printer?
A printer is a very difficult piece of technology to shrink. First off, a printer must have its own computer system so it can determine the best way to print your desired image or document. That’s the easy part.
Cell phones, tablets, and laptops are all miniature computers. Computer circuitry can be made small. What’s difficult about a printer is that a printer requires rotating machinery to get things printed. Those are harder components to build in small sizes. Ink storage must also be accounted for.
HP® produces two kinds of portable printers, each in accordance with a different definition of what is “portable.”
1. Pocket-sized or backpack-sized printers
Most folks would equate “portable” with something that’s small enough to slip into your pocket or backpack. HP® does have a line of printers that run this small. But remember that many consumer printers are large and heavy.
2. Light- and compact-enough printers to transport without fuss
It’s fair to say that a “portable” printer is also one you can easily carry from place to place as long as you have sturdy arms or an empty seat in your car. In that respect, a portable printer is any printer you can easily carry up the stairs or down the street. You should be able to place it in luggage or on a small-sized desktop.
What are the advantages of a portable printer?
You’ll enjoy a portable printer if you:
If you travel frequently, especially for business, you might have to print work documents while you’re away from the office. You might be able to print at your hotel or at a nearby office supply store, but you won’t have any privacy if you print from those locations.
And there’s always a chance that your hotel might not have a working printer, or that you won’t find an office supply store nearby. If you want to avoid printer panic, it’s best to bring a portable printer with you on your travels.
Are a college student
Portable printers are made to be compact, so they’re optimal for anyone who has a very tight computer workspace. Some of these folks are college students.
Portable printers are perfect for a dorm room and they’re small enough to be packed in the van when it’s time for parents to get the student moved in.
Have a small workspace
But if you have a small home office or if you’re living in a studio apartment, you too will appreciate having a printer that doesn’t take up too much space.
1. What’s the smallest overall printer?
The HP Sprocket photo printer is the smallest and most portable printer that HP® produces. This might actually be the smallest printer, period.
Here are the specs:
Dimensions: 2.95 x 4.57 x 0.91 inches
Functions: Printing only
Resolution: 313 x 400 dots per image (dpi)
Borderless printing: Yes
Good for: College students, travelers, the socially-inclined
The original HP Sprocket is a small photo printer that’s no larger than your cell phone. In fact, it looks like a cell phone at first glance.
The HP Sprocket prints images on small, 2 x 3-inch photo paper. The prints are similar to those of Polaroid cameras, but they’re not flimsy and the image quality is superb.
Each print comes with a sticky-back, so you can peel away the film and stick the photo on your wall, on your belongings, or in a scrapbook.
The setup is easy, too. All you do is connect your cell phone or laptop to the printer via Bluetooth and you’re ready to print.
The HP Sprocket is small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can take it hiking, backpacking, or day-tripping.
You’re able to print out small and beautiful prints of your photos almost as soon as you take them on your cell phone. It’s a great way to collect mementos of your travels and your favorite memories with friends.
The HP LaserJet Pro M15w is the most portable laser printer by HP®. It’s also the world’s smallest laser printer in its class.
Here are the specs:
Dimensions: 13.6 x 7.5 x 6.3 inches
Functions: Printing only
Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi, black and white only
Borderless printing: No
Good for: Professionals, college students, office printing
Laser printers are built differently than inkjet printers. While inkjet printers utilize heat and ink to make prints, laser printers rely on electromagnetism and a laser mechanism. Inkjet printers are great at making high-quality color prints. Laser printers are usually only optimized for black and white printing, but they’re able to print a large number of pages very quickly.
You’ll find those qualities in the HP LaserJet Pro M15w printer. It’s a small laser printer that only prints in black and white, but it can print up to 19 pages per minute (ppm).
Most laser printers are large because of the larger size of laser printing mechanisms. This is one of the most compact laser printers that you’ll find anywhere. It weighs only 8.4 pounds and is easy to carry and fit into a small space.
Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi black, 4800 x 1200 dpi color
Borderless printing: Yes
Good for: Professionals, college students, home printing
TheHP Tango smart printer is marvelously compact and weighs only 6.79 pounds. It has a glossy, modern style that’ll look great in your home office. This would be a good printer for you if you want to print color photos.
Remember that the more dots you have in an image, the greater variety of colors and details you’ll be able to print.
The HP Tango prints at 4800 x 1200 dots per image, which means that you’ll be able to print color images at a very high resolution.
Even though it’s small, you’re still able to get professional-grade prints from it.
Small printers, big benefits
If you haven’t yet experienced the ease and convenience of portable printing, check out our smallest overall printer (the HP Sprocket), our smallest laser printer (the HP LaserJet Pro M15w), and our smallest all-in-one printer (the HP Tango).
You’ll enjoy quality printing at just a fraction of the workspace.
About the Author
Zach Cabading is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Zach is a content creation specialist based in Southern California, and creates a variety of content for the tech industry.
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