HP Officejet Mobile 150 All-in-One

The HP Officejet Mobile 150 is a useful travel companion for professionals, but you can spend half the cash on the touchscreen-free previous model that performs just as well.


7.5
CNET Rating

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The HP Officejet 150 Mobile is ostensibly the same chassis as the HP Officejet 100. The new model includes a touchscreen that doesn't actually add value to the printing functions, although it does skyrocket the retail price up to an unreasonable AU$449. While Bluetooth connectivity and multiple scanning options are certainly beneficial to anyone needing printer access away from the office, the Officejet 150 isn't worth the cost when the previous model retains its core functionality at a fraction of the price.

Design and features

The HP Officejet 150 mobile printer's physical composition is nearly identical to its predecessor, with the exception of the 2.36-inch touchscreen that folds back flush into the machine while in transport mode. A series of virtual buttons for menu navigation surround the display immediately to the left and right, while the other side of the control panel features four backlit icons that illuminate to indicate the status of a Bluetooth connection, as well as your print, copy and scan job monitors.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The Officejet 150 retains the exact same silver colour scheme, with a large lid that extends over the entire machine. Like the older version, the corners are contoured and the output bay, lid and ink cartridge cover all fold neatly into the body of the printer for streamlined transport.</[p>

Two cartridges load easily into the ink bay that sits in the centre of the unit: one for tricolour inks and a separate black cartridge. I won't quibble too much about the dual inks since this HP correctly assumes business travellers will conserve ink while travelling. Also, the page yields for the standard-size HP 95/98 cartridges listed on the site factor to about US3 cents per colour page, about average for a single-function inkjet. HP also cuts you a deal with its extra-large capacity cartridges and combo packs that cost slightly more up front but save money in the long term.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The Officejet 150 is compact for easy transport, measuring just smaller than a single-function inkjet printer at 13.98 inches wide, 6.95 inches deep and 3.52 inches high. With the included lithium-ion rechargeable battery, rated to last 500 pages (unverified) with a full charge, the printer only weighs 2.9 kilos or roughly the weight of an older laptop computer.

The top of the rectangular printer pops up to reveal an integrated 50-sheet paper input guide with an adjustable slider to fit a short range of media sizes, from regular 8.5-inch-by-11-inch paper down to 3-inch-by-5-inch index cards. You'll also find another slider in front of the control panel that lets you adjust the size of an original document feeding into the single-sheet scanner.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Using either the on-screen control panel or the driver software that comes on the CD included in the box, you can specify the destination for the scan job — directly to an attached PC, embedded as an attachment to an email message, to a USB key or directly to an SD/MMC expansion card that sits on the side of the machine. The USB port on the back is also PictBridge compatible for printing snapshots directly off a digital camera.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The Officejet 150's appeal is its versatile connectivity options, and Bluetooth is its latest tool for integration. You can also set it up using a standard USB cord, although it's worth noting that HP doesn't include one in the box. The manual recommends going through the Hardware Wizard to add the 150 as a Bluetooth device, and my experience proves this to be the easiest installation method. Just be sure to keep the driver disc handy so that your system can install both at the same time during installation. Frequent jetsetters would also be wise to drag the driver files on to a thumb drive to have them readily accessible on new systems.

Performance

The Officejet 150 continues to demonstrate the impressive print speeds of HP's mobile line, with results that compare similarly with the older version. It printed 5.86 pages of text per minute, 2.3 presentation slideshow pages per minute and just under two full graphic sheets a minute — for slightly faster metrics over the Officejet 100. I'm also impressed with the lack of latency issues for transferring a file over Bluetooth, in addition to the printer requiring little to no warm up when you switch it on; I imagine this asset will prove useful for print jobs where time is a factor.

The Officejet 150 also deserves praise for qualitative performance. Where I expressed disappointment with its predecessors' inability to produce clean character formations and jagged-free edges, this generation exhibits near laser-like qualities in black text with graphic pages that expose accurate colouration and seamless shading transitions.

My only issue is that the snapshot photo prints on HP's own photo paper lack the vibrancy I'm used to seeing in HP's desktop printers, but that's likely a symptom of the dual-ink cartridges. Regardless, I wouldn't recommend this printer as a go-to accessory for hard-core digital SLR photographers, and the quality of snapshot photos prints will easily meet the needs of an amateur shooter.

Service and support

HP supports the HP Officejet 150 with a one-year limited warranty. Troubleshooting is also available by phone 24/7 or by email, and the HP website also offers a host of services, including documentation, drivers downloads and updates and a list of frequently asked questions.

Conclusion

The addition of the single-sheet scanner and the trendy touchscreen don't represent enough design improvements to the previous model to justify the HP Officejet 150's drastic price jump. If you're a travelling business professional shopping for an easy-to-use device to output documents, presentations or handouts, I recommend the Officejet 100 — available for a fraction of the cost.

Via CNET.com



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