- Reasonably quick print
- Easy feed of plain and photo paper
- Pictbridge socket
- Variable black text quality
- Comparatively large size
- Relatively high black print cost
- Review Price: £215.00
- Bluetooth connection
- 500-page battery pack included
- Full colour photo print
- Fully portable
- 50-sheet paper feed
This is a silver and black box, where the lid lifts to become a 50-sheet feed tray and a small flap folds down from the front, to let pages out onto the desktop. Under the lid are four silver buttons for power, paper feed, job cancel and Bluetooth. In front of this control panel is a flip-up cover which provides access to the twin ink cartridges: one black and one tri-colour.
Two of the key features of a mobile printer, you’d think, would be size and weight. While the Officejet 100 Mobile is certainly smaller than a typical office inkjet, it’s too big, at 348 x 175 x 84mm, to fit in most laptop bags, unless they’re the backpack type. With its supplied Lithium ion battery, it weighs 2.5kg, so an extra bag of sugar to carry, too. HP sells a purpose-made carrying case as an option.
There are two ways of connecting to this printer, via the USB socket on its back and using Bluetooth. There’s also a PictBridge socket for connecting enabled cameras. Bluetooth support is provided for Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, webOS and Symbian operating systems. Can you see what’s missing, there? In fact, although not specifically mentioned in the spec sheet, basic support for photo printing is available to iPhone and Android devices, too.
Printer drivers are provided for Windows, OS X, Windows Mobile and Linux and HP also includes its toolbox, which provides basic head cleaning and alignment, as well as ink-usage displays.
The two ink and head cartridges clip into carriers, though insertion is a little more fiddly than normal, due to small spring arms which have to be depressed by the cartridges as you’re pushing them into place.
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 https://www.trustedreviews.com/HP-Deskjet-3000_Printer_review 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 https://www.trustedreviews.com/Canon-PIXMA-iP100-Portable-Printer_Printer_review 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.
Score in detail
Print Speed 7
Print Quality 6
|Extra Features||Battery power, portable|
|Number of Catridges||2|
|Sheet Capacity||50-sheet tray|
|Print Resolution (Dots per inch)||600 x 600dpi|
|Rated Black Speed (Images per minute)||(draft) 12ipm|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||(draft) 18ipm|
|Max Paper Weight||200g/sm|
|Print Without PC||Yes|