HP’s OfficeJet 150 is an ultracompact colour inkjet printer, with integrated sheet-fed scanner. With paper tray closed, it measures just 350 x 171 x 90mm, and weighs in at just 3.1kg. What really makes it special, though, its the included Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Fully charged, the OJ150 will print up to 500 pages without the need for mains power.
A portable colour printer, scanner and copier can be an amazingly useful tool for mobile professionals. If you run your business out of the back of a van, or from a site office, even more so. In the most basic example, you could use the OJ150 to churn out invoices on-the-spot. It prints monochrome at five pages per minute, for around eight cents per page. A perfectly reasonable use, but it feels like a waste of the printer’s capabilities.
The OJ150 also prints in colour at 1200 dpi, up to 3.5 pages-per-minute, for around 22 cents pe page. Full-page illustrations and photographs take upwards of two-and-a-half minutes, which is about average.
What’s really surprising, however, is just how good the print quality is. When printing on photo paper, results were indistinguishable from some of the top photo printers we’ve tested. There’s no banding or other common printing artefacts, colours are true and the ink dries quickly to prevent smudges. when printing text and line-art, the print quality is comparable to a basic colour laser – very impressive. Borderless printing is supported for 4x6 photos, but not full A4.
The printer’s duty cycle is 500 pages per month; coincidentally, 500 pages is also the stated capacity of the black ink cartridge. If you’re printing around 20-25 pages each workday, it’s a fair load for something so small.
The scanner is sheet-fed and accepts a single page at a time, up to A4 size. Scan quality is high, and we didn’t experience a single jam or alignment problem during our extensive testing.
Connection to a PC is supported over USB 2.0 and Bluetooth. There’s also a PictBridge host USB port for direct printing from compatible cameras, and an SD card reader. The OJ150 will act as a standalone copier, without a PC attached.
The printer is operated via a 2.4-inch resistive touchscreen. It’s a great design, with easy-to-press onscreen buttons. The menu system is painless to navigate, without a whole lot of unnecessary functions that you may find on some consumer models. Certainly, it’s one of the easiest printers I’ve come across in terms of both setup and day-to-day use.
The downside to the OfficeJet 150 is the price. Yes, it’s an amazing device, and easily compares with the print quality of good desktop photo printers in the $150-$200 range. However, its compact nature and battery power push the OJ150’s price up to a slightly cringe-worthy $579. So, you’re paying a 200–300% premium for mobility. If you’re a business user who can make use of that mobility to its fullest, the cost is justifiable. If you simply need a black-and-white invoice printer for the back of the van, you may be able to find yourself a better deal on a simpler device.