HP Officejet 200 Mobile Printer

A new roadwarrior, HP's Officejet 200 Mobile Printer prints anytime, anywhere

HP's Officejet 200 Mobile Printer
HP's latest roadwarrior, the Officejet 200 Mobile Printer. Photograph courtesy of HP

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • High-quality prints
  • Removable battery
  • Decent print speeds
  • Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi Direct and standard Wi-Fi

Cons:

  • A bit high priced
  • High cost per page

Bottom Line: Designed for the road warrior, this little printer is all about convenience and productivity, and it does deliver decent prints where ever you go, but the Officejet 200 mobile, like its predecessor, is priced a little high, and the cost per page could definitely be lower.

There are small, compact printers, such as Epson’s Expression XP-430 Small-in-One Printer, and then there are mobile printers, such as HP’s Officejet 100 Mobile Printer About.com looked at back in May of 2011. Here we are a few days short of five years later, and HP has released a replacement—the $279-MSRP Officejet 200 Mobile Printer.

At that price, the Officejet 200 Mobile, just like the Officejet 100 mobile before it, isn’t for everybody, but if you do have an application for it, it’s a well-built and well-behaved little portable inkjet. If you need additional functionality, such as a mobile multifunction printer (MFP) for scanning and making copies, HP also offers the Officejet 250 Mobile All-in-One. About.com will be looking at it, too, before too long.

The Officejet 250 is, of course, an upgrade to the Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One Printer About.com looked at a little over a year ago.

While all of the mobile machines mentioned throughout this review are remarkable miniaturization engineering in their own right, the reflects all R&D required to perfect products this small. The all-in-one version of this mobile printers lists for just under $400. 

Granted, this may be comparing oranges and apples, but you can buy a lot of multifunction printer for that kind of money, even if it's not likely to be anything close to something you can carry around with you...

Design & Features

HP’s Officejet 200 isn’t, of course, the only mobile printer on the market. Canon offers the Pixma iP110 Mobile Inkjet Printer, and Epson has the WorkForce WF-100 Mobile Printer, both of which have been around for a while. While there are some slight size and weight differences, for the most part these three mobile printers are roughly the same size and shape.

At 2.7 inches high, by 14.2 inches wide, by 7.3 inches from front to back, and weighing 5.5 pounds without the battery and 5.9 pounds with the battery installed, it’s slightly larger and heavier than the Officejet 100 predecessor’s 13.7 x 6.91 x 3.32 inches; 5.1 pounds without battery, 5.5 pounds with battery. Even so, the differences are small enough to make the size and weight variances virtually unnoticeable.

Connectivity options include Wi-Fi (802.11n), USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Direct, and HP’s All-in-One Printer Remote mobile app, as well as several cloud sites and other recent mobile features. Missing, however, is Near-Field Communication, or NFC, for touch-to-print capabilities. Wi-Fi Direct, of course, allows your Android smartphone or tablet to print to this (or any other compatible) printer without either it or the mobile device being connected to a network or router.

You can configure this Officejet, or perhaps print from the cloud or a USB thumb drive, via a 2-inch black-and-white display panel, technically known as Hi-Res MGD. All it displays is white-on-black text (or vice versa when an item is selected), though, with no graphics. In other words, it’s helpful when selecting filenames from your USB drives, but you can’t display file contents, such as JPEGs and PDFs—that would be asking a lot of this little mobile printer. Keep in mind, though, that this is nearly a $300 machine; expecting a color graphical display doesn’t seem at all unreasonable.

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

HP rates this printer at 10 pages per minute, or ppm, for black-and-white pages and 7ppm for color, but keep in mind that these scores are gleaned from printing (and timing) test documents that consist primarily of one size of unformatted text in a font default to the printer—in other words, ultra-simple.

When you start adding graphics, images, text formatting, the ppm plummets, in this case down to about 1 or 2 pages per minute, and depending on the complexity of the test pages, as low as 1-and-a-half-minutes per page.

Even so, the Officejet 200 is about twice as fast as the Officejet 100, and that’s a lot; it’s still too much to expect a would-be client or colleague to stand around and wait for more than a page or two. As for output quality, frankly, there was nothing about it that suggested that it came from a mobile inkjet. For most part, the near-typesetter quality text was plenty black enough, well-formed, and highly legible. The graphics I printed were well-delineated, images looked detailed and brightly colored—not exactly as clear and bright as you might expect from a photo-centric inkjet printer, even the Pixma mentioned above. Overall, print quality is good.

Paper handling is simple. Everything goes in the 50-sheet input tray, which can also be configured to hold 20 sheets of 80-pound photo paper, up to 5 number 10 envelopes, or up to 20 110-pound card stock. Most standard paper sizes, up to letter-size (8.5x11 inches), are supported, and at least one size, 5x7-inches, allows borderless printing, which you really do need for printing photographs.

Cost Per Page

Not only does the Officejet 200 Mobile’s purchase price suggest that this little printer is a convenience, perhaps even a luxury, but then so does the cost per page—it’s one of the highest I’ve seen. HP offers two cartridge yield sizes, HP 62 and HP 62XL.

The black XL tank sells for $35.99 on HP’s site, and it’s rated by HP to be good for 600 pages, while the second tank, a three-color (cyan, magenta, and yellow) cartridge sells for $39.99 and lasts for about 415 prints.

Using these numbers, we calculated the Officejet Mobile 200’s CPPs as follows: 6 cents for monochrome pages and 15.6 cents for color prints. With these CPPs you wouldn’t, of course, want to print more than necessary, using another (perhaps a desktop) printer for most of your documents and copies, or maybe a photo printer for printing, well, photos—although you may not find a photo printer that can print them cheaper. If you need to print on the road, none of the mobile printers mentioned here have good CPPs. (Canon’s Pixma iP110’s CPPs are, for example, 9.5 cents black-and-white and 24.5 cents color.)

The End

If you’re in one of those occupations where having the ability to whip out a small printer and churn out a few pages on the fly is useful, maybe even impressive, HP’s new Officejet 200 Mobile Printer is as good as or better than the other mobile printers out there. It would be a lot easier to recommend (and more fun to print) if it didn’t cost so much to use, though. But, unfortunately, all of the truly mobile printers I've looked at have inordinately high CPPs.

Whether it's worth it or not is up to you. Otherwise, this is a fine printer.