Our review of the HP Deskjet 460wbt Mobile Printer shows that while HP's portable printer isn't huge and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the Deskjet 460wbt isn't as portable as HP would have you believe.

Nowadays you can work just about anywhere. All you need is your mobile phone and a laptop.

Of course, a comfortable chair doesn't hurt. You may also want food, water, and an occasional bathroom break. But what about a printer? At some point, you'll probably need a hard copy - whether it's a map with driving directions, a spreadsheet, or a photo of your boss drunkenly leading a conga line up a down escalator.

Is it worth the expense and effort to pack a portable printer? To find out, we tested HP's Deskjet 460wbt, the Bluetooth version of the Deskjet 460.

HP's Deskjet 460wbt is £217 inc VAT on HP's site, but you can get lower prices elsewhere (see below).

We tested an earlier version of the 460wbt, the Deskjet 450, back in 2003, so we were curious to see how the updated model compared. Here's what we learned.

Portable? Yes. Petite? No.

Before a recent trip, we packed HP's Deskjet 460wbt in a wheeled notebook carry-on bag, along with a computer - the ultraportable Sony Vaio TXN19P. It's not an experience we recommend.

The Deskjet 460wbt is about as hefty as its predecessor. At 2.22kg including a battery and two inkjet cartridges, it weighs more than many notebooks. Add its AC adaptor and the printer weighs even more. It's bulky, too, measuring 340x163x80mm. Once we put it in a carry-on bag, there was no room left for reading materials, files or other carry-on essentials.

HP's Deskjet 450 can connect to a computer wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, depending upon which model you buy. It can also connect via USB 2.0, though the cable is not included. By comparison, the Deskjet 450 offered Bluetooth but not Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Deskjet 460wbt comes with a CompactFlash Bluetooth card that you insert into a card slot on the printer's left side. Alternatively, you can buy the Deskjet 460wf, which includes an 802.11g CompactFlash card for making connections over a Wi-Fi network. As of the time of writing, both printers cost the same.

Whichever wireless configuration you choose, you can add the other via an optional CompactFlash card.


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