Mobile printers are still a very niche segment, but they can be very handy for professional users travelling to areas with no printing options. Epson’s mobile printer, called Workforce WF-100, is well placed as it works with both PCs and smartphones. Priced at Rs20,999, the printer works wirelessly and is meant for professionals with occasional printing requirements.
Portable and well-built
The WF-100’s unique point is its compact and light form-factor. It weighs just 1.6kg and takes up as much space as a lunch box. It is also made of good quality plastic and is available in matte black finish. The printer’s fundamental design language is the same as regular-sized printers. The paper tray and the control panel are placed on top and there is a separate compartment within the printer for the ink cartridges. Overall, it feels very well-built and can be carried in a bag with ease. The paper tray, which also serves as a lid for the printer, comes with an adjustable clip, but has limited space and can hold only 30 sheets at a time.
What can you print and how it looks
Though small, the WF-100 can deliver high-quality colour and monochrome prints at a resolution of up to 5,760x1,440 dpi. It can churn out an A4 size print in all relevant paper types such as glossy, ultra-glossy matte, envelope and plain paper. It is an inkjet printer and uses pigment ink which doesn’t fade off easily and has a longer print life than dye-based ink. The printer is not very fast and can take several minutes if you are printing a colour photo from your smartphone or tablet wirelessly. Printing with the PC is a lot quicker, though. It can deliver a 4x6-inch photo in 1 minute 30 seconds and black and white A4 print in 30 seconds. It also has a quiet mode which reduces noise when the printer is in use, though the print speed slows down slightly.
How to use it
The WF-100 can be used with all Android smartphones, Android tablets, Apple iPhones and iPads through Epson iPrint app or WiFi Direct technology. The former is available on the Play Store and App Store for free and the latter is a built-in feature on most modern day smartphones. It also works with Windows PC or laptops on the same WiFi network. With PCs, it also works offline as long as the PC is connected to the printer through a micro USB cable. Once connected via USB, it shows the drivers on the printer’s built-in storage that need to be installed on the PC.
The printer also has its own control panel which includes a 1.4-inch colour LCD display, a physical key for select, one for going back and four navigation keys. These keys come in handy during printer set-up. The display is a neat addition. It shows everything from print status, battery level, ink status, paper settings, colour adjustment and network settings. Overall, the printer is easy to set up even for wireless use.
Another highlight is its built-in battery which makes it usable even if there is no power supply available. The battery backup is not very impressive, though. A full charge lasts 100 black and white prints.
Epson WF-100 is small in size, but it doesn’t compromise on features and print quality. Its printouts look as good as that of a regular printer, and it works with both smartphones and PCs. It comes with a hefty price tag, but it belongs to a niche segment with a small user base. Also, there are no alternatives that can match the feature and flexibility it offers.