Review: Printstik mobile printer

The Printstik aims at a small, niche market that demands printing. Most of us have moved past the daily task of printing, rather opting for paperless solutions. There is the traveling salesman and mobile general contractors though, people that still need to print will away from their desk. Therefore, the Printstik was developed. The tiny, self-contained printer does give up print quality, but for those people that simply must print on the go, it’s great.

The Printstik seems like the epitome of portability. The solid-feeling printer is self-powered, either by a battery or through USB, and receives data through USB or Bluetooth. The thermal paper (yes, thermal paper) even fits in its own compartment at the bottom of the unit. This printer is meant for the road with a dedicated case and retractable USB cable.

Installation was a breeze, even though I had to call tech support because I read something wrong. Surprisingly though, when you call the tech support line, a honest-to-goodness person answers the phone; surprised the hell out of me. She quickly corrected my mistake and I was immediately printing. Blackberry support is something that I never ended up testing it because the software bricked by phone – not to happy about that.

Users will have to ask themselves though if they really need to print. In this modern day of e-mail and even paperless airline tickets, does one really have to print something off? It might be once a month that I, as a blogger, need to fire up the printer, but I sit at my desk all day long. There is still the classic traveling vacuum salesman that could print off an invoice right there from his Blackberry. We only bring up the point because the Printstik uses dreaded thermal paper.

Yup, the type of paper used by fax machines for decades that still yields unspectacular results. I’ll just come out and say it; the print quality sucks. It does. There is no way that this printer is going to be a persons only printer.

Users can expect text-only prints on the thermal paper. Thankfully, the paper doesn’t curl when it comes out and lays flat easily. Printstik manufacturer also claims that the print has a seven-year life, but obviously, we cannot test that. The prints did seem to handle smudges fine and held up to a couple of drops of water. However, once again, given if this was the only option when traveling, the print quality would be good ‘nough for me.

Overall, the Printstik does impress. It’s solid, works well, and travels better than any other printer. I feel that many people should look at paperless solutions before spending the cake to get the Printstik, but if you absolute need to print while on the go, the Printstik is probably the best option.