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Pentax PocketJet 3 Plus: Print anywhere, at a price

The Pentax PocketJet 3 Plus lets you print anywhere and doesn't even need an ink cartridge, but you will need to buy special paper and the printer certainly doesn't come cheap

It's incredibly frustrating when you're in the middle of a field or wandering through urban streets and you suddenly realise that you need to print out a document. Admittedly that situation doesn't arise often, but there are times when having a portable printer would be very useful.

Fortunately Pentax has come up with a portable printer called the PocketJet 3 Plus. This diminutive printer measures 255mm by 30mm by 55mm and will easily fit in a rucksack or glove compartment.

It works using direct thermal printing, which means it doesn't need an ink cartridge, but you will need to buy special paper separately. It will print around three pages per minute and can be attached to a computer or a mobile phone via a USB cable, infrared or Bluetooth (drivers are required and available on the Pentax website).

There is an AC adaptor included with the printer but there's also a built-in battery so you can use it on the go. When we tested it out with a PC it printed out quicker than expected and the print quality wasn't bad either.

The PocketJet 3 Plus comes with or without Bluetooth and is mainly aimed at industrial applications -- RAC uses them to print out documents out on the road and it was also recently fitted on yachts during a race so the crew could print out weather reports. This doesn't mean, though, that if you need a printer on the go you can't buy one yourself. It's currently available at BDS Computer and RGI Mobile Solutions for around £400 to £500 depending on Bluetooth functionality. -AL