You may have noticed that my last few posts have been on topics that lend themselves to working away from the office. If you did notice that, congratulations to you! Because, that’s exactly what the focus of these posts have been.
There are a few other areas to explore in order to have you set up to be a mobile or virtual agent, and I will get to them, but today I’d like to talk about printing.
If you are planning to work with your clients from anywhere that they happen to be, eventually you will want to print something for them. If you have a printer with you, then there won’t be any problem. But, who wants to lug along a desktop printer? Even the smallest and lightest of desktop printers are way too big and heavy to lend them to portable use. Lucky for us, both Canon and HP make printers that will fit in a laptop bag!
I have been using the Canon i80 since it first came out and I have to say that I have been totally delighted with it. One day while passing it around a room full of students attending my Mobile Agent class, one of the agents dropped it! Instantly I had a basket of printer parts and I thought that it was toast for sure. After class I was able to reassemble all of the parts and tried it out…it worked right away and has worked ever since!
Sad to say, Canon has discontinued the i80 in favor of the newer iP90V model (which will work with Vista). Happy to say, the price hasn’t changed. The base model still retails for $250.00. I did find a couple of i80’s for sale on eBay at http://tinyurl.com/38pvf9 in case you wanted one of those.
Some basics on the i80 and i90 are that it uses two ink tanks, one B/W and the other Color. It will print on plain paper and also photo paper. It’s no speed demon, but it is rugged (see above) and prints perfectly acceptable copy in a reasonable amount of time.
Go here for a detailed review of the iP90V:
ZDNet Review of the iP90V Printer
As I mentioned, HP also makes a portable printer that will fit into a laptop bag. I don’t have any personal experience with the HP model, but from the reviews (see below) it will also fit the needs of the mobile agent. It offers more connectivity options and also has the ability to operate from battery power. Go here for a detailed review of the HP 460 series of printers: ZDNet Review of HP 460 Series
So, to recap, if you are operating away from the office, or want the ability to print away from your desktop, either of these printers would be a good choice for you.
With a little careful online shopping, I found the i90 for as low as $170.00, and the HP 460 for as low as $180.00.
One of these belongs in your laptop bag.