We already have a good color inkjet printer in the house - but we've been wanting something portable for the last year or so. The main use for this printer is for my wife to take to 'scrapbook weekends'. A little printer is very useful when scrapbooking, but it's just too big of a hassle to lug the full-size printer around with her.
This Officejet 100 mobile printer fits the bill perfectly! Although we ran into some unexpected problems, the overall experience was far better than we expected for a printer of this size. (I will go over some of the issues we've run into during this review.)
Before I get into the specifics of this printer, I should mention that we replaced the included black HP98 cartridge with a photo-color HP99 cartridge. The documentation doesn't mention whether this is possible, and the inside of the printer doesn't list it as being compatible - so I was a bit nervous. Honestly, the only reference I found to the HP99 anywhere was an obscure reference on the HP support sight (and that wasn't very clear). Fortunately, the printer picked up the new cartridge just fine and is using it as expected in combination with the, also included, HP95 color cartridge.
Another thing I did was to download the 'Basic Print Driver' package directly from HP instead of using the included install CD. This was a simple process, and the wizard walks you through setting up a Bluetooth printer connection if you haven't done it before.
Now, let me cover the things that we like about this printer:
1) The output is truly photo quality when using the HP99 cartridge, and the black output looks great as well (when using the HP98 cartridge). I will admit that the photos from our full-size ink-jet do look a bit nicer, but not by a lot. This truly is 'photo quality' output.
2) The Bluetooth connectivity absolutely rocks! When using Bluetooth, this printer is truly wireless - which makes it absolutely simple to pull out of a carrying bag and use. There is no worrying about cables getting lost, or in the way...
3) The overall footprint is very compact (it seems smaller in person than in the product photos). Because of that, you do give up a paper capture tray and the paper feeding isn't the best either - but those are compromises that most portable printer users should be willing to accept.
4) The battery life is excellent! The battery itself looks like a laptop battery, and just plugs into the back of the printer. The charge time from completely drained to fully charged is about an hour - which is pretty good. My wife has taken this on 2 overnight scrapbook retreats and it hasn't needed a charge while she was away; although, she does keep the power cord handy just in case.
5) The print speed is a bit slow for photos - but not overly slow. Once again, I was expecting this, and I felt like it was fast for such a small printer.
6) We have been using it with the borderless 4x6 HP paper, and that works great! We have to feed it one sheet at a time, and also have to push down a bit when it starts feeding; but, once again, I don't mind having to help it along in exchange for the portability.
7) Because of the small size, this printer is incredibly simple to operate. No fancy LCDs or flash memory slots, it just turns on and works as expected without any hassle.
If you've made it this far, I hope I've made it clear that this is a great little printer - but there are some limitations that we expected because of the size. Aside from those issues, we have run into a couple of problems that really do count against the printer:
1) The battery life is good, but the battery itself drains quickly when not in use. For example, we fully charged the battery after using it and then turned off the printer and placed it in a cupboard. The next time it was needed (only a couple of weeks later), we pulled it out and the battery was completely drained - to the point where it wouldn't even turn on. Because of this, you need to be careful to fully charge the printer before you load it up to take it with you. Don't assume the battery is still charged, even if you used it recently...
2) Some people will love this, but I can't believe how long the power cord is! It measures in at longer than 12 feet - and doesn't wrap up that compactly as a result. Honestly, the wrapped up power cord takes up about 1/4 of the space of the entire printer...
Overall, if you're looking for a portable printer, this is the best one I've found and I highly recommend it. On the other hand, don't make the mistake of thinking this will be your main printer at home. Although, at this price, I doubt many people will be thinking that! ;-)