HP Takes a Stab at a Portable All-in-One Printer

Bay Area company shows off new gadgets at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in China.

By Raymond Wong
|  Thursday, May 10, 2012  |  Updated 1:50 PM PDT
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HP Takes a Stab at a Portable All-in-One Printer

HP showed off an all-in-one portable printer in China this week.

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Shanghai, China — Printers generally don't spark much excitement. Most modern printers already do triple duties printing, scanning and copying, so who cares for another paper-feeding machine? Well, the Officejet 150 has one thing going for it that most other printers don't: it's portable.

HP isn't technically using the word "portable" with the Officejet 150, opting to market it as a "mobile all-in-one," instead. So, what's the difference?

A printer that weighs 6.8 pounds and that won't fit in any purses or briefcases with its 13.8 by 6.73 by 3.54-inch frame isn't exactly painting a triumphant picture of mobile printing satisfaction in my mind. I get that it still beats the 15-pound-and-upwards clunker that you might have at your desk, but the Officejet 150 is supposed to be something you carry around, right? If we've got a five pound business laptop and a seven pound printer, that's not going to be friendly on anyone's back.

That's not to say the printer is not impressive — it is. On its rear is a lithium-ion battery (similar to those found in laptops) that has the ability to keep the thing printing/scanning/copying up to 500 sheets of paper. The pop-out paper feeder can hold 50 sheets of paper, there's an SD card slot for direct printing and it can even scan documents to flash drives. All controllable via a 2.36-inch color touchscreen, too.

You're probably thinking this is a Wi-Fi-enabled printer. Wrong. It uses Bluetooth so it can print directly from Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Unfortunately, iOS devices aren't supported (at least, not yet).

Here's what it really boils down to, though: HP's pricing this mobile printer at $400 with a June 15 release. The savvy shopper can easily find an HP all-in-one printer for under $150. At $400, it's amobile system, one that's probably going to fall into its own niche. Something about calling it portable would have implied that it's for everyone, and not just business users.

Maybe the company doesn't need a truly portable printer, though. HP announced that it has now expanded its "ePrint Public Print Location" initiative that lets users send their printing directly to UPS stores for pick-up to over 4,300 retail locations. Who needs to lug around a printer when you can just have them sent to a local UPS store for printing and then drop on by it when you're free?

All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE. Posted on location at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in China.

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