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Dated: May. 17, 2013

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Product Reviews

Office To-Go

A mobile printer as an idea is certainly not something new. Although there are not many of them, in the last few years we saw a few examples. The same stands for portable scanners. There are various types, from manual, to those with a paper pull mechanism, all the way to a scanner built in a computer mouse. But, Hewlett-Packard went a step further than the others and introduced a device that combines these two portable devices into one – the Officejet 150 Mobile. Although it has far less size than the average multifunctional device, at first site it is clear that placing this device in a bag with a laptop is pretty impossible – together they weigh about 3,1 kg which makes it pretty uncomfortable for long carrying.

Under the storage lid that turns into a tray for placing paper when opened is a LCD screen in color with a diagonal of 6 cm that is sensitive to touch. Like the other HP printers navigation through the menus is pretty simple, and at the start screen you can see the classic functions like copying, scanning and current assignments. In the spirit of true mobility, the Officejet 150 is equipped with a lithium-ion battery that, according to the current specifications, can give up to 500 printed papers, which is more than enough for a multi day use on the field.

Connecting with a computer can be done through a classic USB connection, and there is the integrated Bluetooth module that covers a wireless network. There is no WiFi support, which is not a problem if you are printing with a laptop computer, but printing from a mobile phone is restricted only to Windows Phone and Blackberry devices because there is no official support for Android and iOS.
 
HP Officejet 150 mobileStandard extras like a reader of memory cards and PictBridge connectors are present, and if the printer is connected with a USB cable the files on the memory card can be accessed through the computer.
The speed of printing is modest, only 5.5 pages a minute in standard quality, but that is a price that is needed to be paid for a long battery life and relatively small dimensions. The quality of printing is in rank with full blooded HP printers so the quality of the printed text is usable even in the worst draft mode. The input tray takes 50 leafs of paper, and an unpleasant surprise is that there is no output tray, the paper freely falls on the surface below the printer, which can be very tricky if the printer is placed on an edge of a table, so papers start falling all around.
 
The printing of material in color is of average quality, with a solid saturation, but a bit too exaggerated  colors, which can be compensated  by buying a special purpose  photo-cartridge. The option of printing without margins is also supported, but only for paper that has dimensions of 10 x 15 cm.
 
Because of the small dimensions, the scanning is not done through glass, but instead there is a mechanism that pulls paper through it. It is possible to place only one leaf of paper in the scanner, so scanning of a larger number of pages can be a bit exhausting, but that is a limitation we are used to seeing in all mobile scanners.
 
When it comes to the consumable material, there is the familiar three color cartridge 343 and a black one with the mark 337, that give 330 pages in color and around 420 monochromatic. Of course it is possible to buy a bit more expensive XL version that gives far more prints , or you can decide for some Chinese compatible versions.
 
The price of the Officejet 150 is around 350 euros, which is pretty high. Still, when you take in account that this is the only device of this type in the world, and the quality manufacturing and possibilities it offers, we don't doubt that this concept will amaze many and finds its use.

M.B.

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