There are many reasons you would consider purchasing a portable printer (or some say mobile printer). Some of you may require printing capability while traveling, while some of you may not have the required permanent space to setup a printer device at your home. It is important that, regardless of the reasons you are considering a portable printer, you understand the needs and know which factors to consider.
For a start, a mobile printer is designed specifically for mobility. This means that the size of such printers would normally be small enough for a normal adult to carry around. However, do note that although the printer size is understandably smaller, the power adapter may not be so. More often than not it will be the power adapter of the portable printer that adds to the weight that makes people think that portable printers are too much a pain to carry around.
To make sure that you don’t suffer from this, you will need to ensure that alternative power options are available for that printer. Some printers allow USB connection to laptops for power, and a USB cable is definitely much lighter than a full AC adapter. Also, if you are sure that you will not require to print intensively on the move, you can consider going out without the power adapter, and rely solely on the built-in battery of the printer.
On the other hand, you would need to consider the purposes of you printing. Are you printing sketches or documents for your own use only? Or, are you printing a formal document for your potential client? Mobile printers for laptop users do not normally emphasize on the quality of the printout, as a better, stabler printer head would definitely increase the printer size and price. Color mobile printers for laptops do offer reasonable printout quality, but they are still short of stunning. High quality, sharp image printing printers are nevertheless available, but at a steeper price.
Finally, you might need to consider the placement of your mobile printer. Under the most normal circumstances, you will need to place the portable printer in close proximity with your laptop, so that the USB cable can be connected between the two devices. If such space is scarce (say, printing on the plane), then maybe you should consider getting a wireless mobile printer.