Introduction & Design
Print, Copy & Scan On the Go
While there are a number of portable printers (such as the Canon Pixma iP100 and HP Officejet 100) and portable document scanners (such as the Brother MDS-600 and Doxie Go) in the market, we struggle to remember one that does both functions. The HP Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One Printer is one such device, and HP went as far as claiming it the world's first portable all-in-one printer. Besides cramming print, scan, and copy functions into a relatively compact unit, the inkjet-based Officejet 150 comes with a 2.36-inch color touchscreen, a 500-page monthly duty cycle, a 50-sheet paper tray, built-in Bluetooth-wireless technology (so that you can print from mobile devices), and a lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 500 pages.
Indeed, if you happen to be a business traveler who spends much of your time in hotels, cafes, or other commuting spots, the Officejet 150's specs certainly sound appealing. But how does it perform in actual use? Let's find out.
First things first: Because of the Officejet 150's inkjet and multifunction nature, it will never be able to match the compactness of single-function printers or scanners or direct thermal printers such as the Brother PocketJet 6 Plus. But apart from size, owners of the Officejet 150 make fewer compromises. For one, it prints in mono as well as color, uses plain paper, and offers (in theory) the high quality associated with inkjet printing. So, instead of seeing the Officejet 150 as a slightly larger portable printer, think of it as a very much shrunk down desktop inkjet AIO printer.
Now, the Officejet 150 itself weighs 2.9kg and that's hardly considered mobile judging by the weight of common tech gadgets like tablets and notebooks. With the aid of its lithium-ion battery, you can print from just about anywhere, but it will bring the total weight of the unit to 3.1kg. Alternatively, it can draw power from a wall outlet; but because the power supply isn't built-in, a small external power brick is needed.
Popping up the Officejet 150's top flap reveals the paper input path which sits up to 50 sheets of paper (the flap now becomes the input tray). To load standard-size media such as A4 paper, the control panel has be to tilted upward first (there's a latch at the right side to accomplish this). Navigation of the Officejet 150’s functions is done via the small resistive touchscreen on the control panel. Be warned though, it does require a slight bit of pressure before a command gets registered. If you're used to capacitive touchscreens on modern mobile devices, you might feel a tad disconcerted with the experience initially.
As can be expected of a mobile printer, there's no automatic document feeder (ADF) on the Officejet 150, nor is there an output tray to speak of. As such, take note to set aside some space for the printouts when they come dropping out of the Officejet 150.
It also isn't endowed with a flatbed scanner, so scanning of books and magazines are obviously out of the discussion. What you can scan are single page documents. The scanner's input path is actually the gap underneath the control panel when you tilt the latter upward. To scan a document, you've to manually feed the document into this slot; for a multi-page document, this has to be done one page at a time. When you slide the document to be scanned into this slot, you'll feel the scanner gripping the paper, and hear a tone when the document is detected.