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Canon iP100 Mobile Printer ReviewCanon ip100

Reviewer: Tim Benson  
Printer Type: Mobile, Photo Inkjet        
Overall Rating: 3/5  

For people who need to print on the go, a printer with mobile functionality such as the Canon iP100 Mobile Photo Printer is a must.  The iP100 is a good value choice as far as mobile printers go, as it’s priced significantly lower than some of the competing models, like the HP Officejet mobile printer series, but the variety of functionality in the iP100 is somewhat reduced.

The first thing you’ll notice about the iP100 is its sleek design.  This model is very compact and truly “mobile” in a physical sense; you won’t have trouble or feel awkward carrying it around, with its pretty metallic finish, small dimensions (it’s not much bigger in terms of length and width than a sheet of legal paper), and weight of about 4 ½ pounds.  Despite its small size, the iP100 has a respectable 50-sheet input, which is generally adequate for the sort of on-the-spot use you’d expect from a mobile printer.

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Print speed is one of the iP100’s major advantages over other mobile printers.  In fact, the iP100’s print speed is comparable to the print speeds of standard mid-level inkjet printers, at over a page per minute for photos and seven pages per minute for text.  Text and graphics print quality are also comparable to those of standard inkjet printers, and more than suitable for business purposes.  The iP100’s photo print quality is also beyond passable, although some people have reported problems printing black and white photos to their satisfaction.  Also, the compatible photo paper doesn’t result in the most durable photos, so users who are particular about the quality of their photos might not want to overvalue the mobility aspect of the printer.

There are a number of areas in which the iP100 comes up a bit short, though.  It can’t handle quite as wide a variety of tasks as some other mobile printers.  The iP100 isn’t compatible with even some fairly common media types such as glossy or matte paper, labels, high-res paper, or transparencies (the competing HP Officejet mobile printers do handle these formats).  The iP100’s graphics print quality is less than spectacular on any paper.  Also, the iP100’s cartridges don’t last as long as those of other mobile printers, which can be a very unwelcome problem for business users who are, in all likelihood, the target demographic for this type of printer.

The mobility of the iP100 also has its limits.  With no Wi-Fi or other built-in networking support, the iP100’s versatility in terms of impromptu and long-range use take a hit.  Canon does offer a Bluetooth adapter for some of its printers including the iP100, which will set you back an additional $50.  An external battery unit is priced at $100, so the iP100 may not be such a great choice for people who don’t expect to have access to an AC outlet.  Canon also might have considered coming up with a carrying case for this model.  There’s no built-in memory card reader, either.

The reasonable price point in comparison to other mobile printers is the main advantage of the iP100.  It is a decent choice for people who need a reliable, competent mobile printer for business purposes.  However, it lacks some key areas of functionality such as media reading and Wi-Fi.  For a mobile printer, the iP100 is altogether too reliant on wires.  You’re essentially paying a premium for mobility, as a non-mobile printer with otherwise similar features would be about half the price, but since the iP100’s mobility comes with so many provisos, it’s hard to recommend fully.

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