Super-small; lots of connectivity options
The Brother PocketJet PJ-663 is a direct thermal printer that is incredibly small and portable. In fact, when Brother sent it to us we thought they’d just sent a toner cartridge or something by mistake. We wondered how a printer could fit in a box so small.
Thermal printers differ dramatically from inkjet printers and require a special thermal paper that turns black in the areas where it is heated by the thermal print head. Unlike an inkjet printer there’s no ink cartridge zipping back and forth. This means manufacturers can squeeze thermal printers into smaller packages.
The PJ-663 weighs in at less than half a kilogram and is under 6cm deep and only 3cm high. It’s really small, but it’s got a full set of I/O options including Bluetooth, IR and USB. Print speeds are relatively slow; the PJ-663 pages can print around six sheets per minute (and remember, that’s on spe- cial thermal paper that will cost you more than regular paper).
Like the other mini printers in this review, you’ll need to use either Bluetooth or USB to print from your Mac, and without AirPrint support you won’t be able to use it to print from your iOS device which is a real shame, because you could easily see this as a must-have accessory for your iPad.
It’s clear from the description of the PJ-663 on Brother’s website that this printer is targeted as an in-car printing solution for services like police and ambulance, in situations where physical printouts can be useful.
But I think as an occasional printer for business travellers, the PJ-663 is a great option. It would be even better with Air- Print support – something you imagine will come in time once Brother realises the demand from the iOS set.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
If size matters and you only need to print documents, this is the printer to choose. However, it’s also the most expensive printer in our review, and you’ll need to spend more buying all the acces- sories to get this working. Also worth noting is that this is the only printer in the review that doesn’t print in colour – so skip it if you need that option.