HP quotes two speeds for the OfficeJet 100 Mobile, one for ‘laser quality’ print and the other for draft mode. The printer's default print mode sits somewhere between the two and is what we used for speed measurement under test. Our five-page black text print gave a speed of 4.6ppm, but this rose to 5.4ppm on the 20-page, longer document.
HP quotes 5ppm for laser quality black print, and since there's little difference in quality we could see between laser and normal modes, this speed is a good match to the spec. Colour print is quoted at 3.5ppm but our five-page test only gave 1.8ppm, so quite a bit slower. In objective terms, though, these speeds aren't too bad for a portable printer. A 15 x 10cm photo print completed in 1:55, which is also fair.
Black text print quality isn't that good, harking back to printers which used the same print engine several years back. Black text pages show variable inking and quite a bit of feathering of edges, where ink has bled along the paper fibres. Our sample also showed several instances where consecutive passes of the print head were not properly aligned, giving slight breaks to lines of characters.
Colour print was much better, with smooth colour fills and accurately placed black text overlays. Even the black text on these pages was smoother and more together, though reversed text, white on black, showed some very thin descenders and ascenders. The colour photo print was good, with plenty of shadow detail and strong colour reproduction, though true blacks looked a little pale.
The two ink cartridges are not cheap and the only way to keep costs down is to buy them in twin packs, which HP offers for both black and tri-colour. Using these packs produces page costs of 4.1p for black and 8.0p for colour. While the colour cost is reasonable for this type of printer, black print cost is still high, though neither are is high as from, for example, HP’s Deskjet 3000.
This is a well engineered little printer, though it's a bit big to be a truly mobile machine. If you need to have print facilities with you when travelling, you may not have much choice between this machine and the Canon PIXMA iP100. Print quality is variable, speed is generally good and the inclusion of a Lithium ion battery means you’re not tied to mains power.