Price (RRP): $449
The Canon Pixma TR150 is the ultimate portable, battery-operated printer, yet it offers much more.
Our review of the Canon Pixma TR150 proved that
- Print quality is excellent and quite fast at 2ppm (colour)
- Battery capacity is 330 quality borderless A4 colour/text pages
- You can charge by both the DC 16V adaptor and USB-C (power bank or laptop)
- At 2.1kg (2.3kg inc battery) it is light enough to throw in a backpack.
During COVID-lockup, we needed a portable printer, and the Canon Pixma TR150 is was just the device to do it. It is barely the size of the A4 sheet it prints and took up little of the precious desk space found in so many homes. But even better it is Wi-Fi as well as USB, and you can fold it closed and pack it away ready for future use. Try that with most desktop printers!
Canon Pixma TR150 with battery
- Canon Australia Website here
- Online manual here
- Price: $449 but shop around online – we found it for $405 including freight from Ink Depot
- Warranty: 12-months ACL compliant instant replacement program
- Size: 322 x 210 x 66 x 2.3kg inc battery
- Country of manufacture: Thailand
- Canon is a Japanese multinational corporation established in 1937 and is famous for its printers, cameras/lenses, scanners and office equipment.
What is it?
A replacement for the Canon Pixma iP110 but updated with the addition of a clip-on battery, screen and USB-C charging.
The concept has stood the test of time. I have owned its pre-predecessor, an ip90 circa 2005 and later an iP100 circa 2008 that is still going strong. Interestingly the same CLI-36 Tricolour and PGI-35 Black cartridges are still in use (and I have plenty).
But you need to understand the limits of a portable printer.
- It is not blazingly fast – speeds are colour/mono 5.5/9 inches per minute. An A4 sheet (portrait) is about 11.6″ but in tests, we averaged 30 seconds per page (mixed media).
- The rear tray can hold 50 sheets of 64gsm A4 bond (about 35 sheets of 80gsm) but its best to under-stack the holder.
- Ideal paper stock is 80-100gsm for the sheet feeder. It can print labels, envelopes, and photo stock but don’t overstress it with heavier paper.
- Don’t try double-sided print unless you let the front side dry first!
- Borderless print is available on A4, Letter
- Its recommended duty cycle is 500 prints per month
Setup – easy
We won’t go into detail, but it is a Wi-Fi (dual band) connected or Wi-Direct (Wireless PictBridge for Canon Cameras) printer that you can print from a device without being on the network.
You can download drivers for Windows, Android, macOS and iOS. In Windows, it automatically finds and loads the drivers.
Print quality – excellent
The quality depends on the paper. If you use the typical $5 a ream (500 sheets) recycled bond (64/80gsm), it is like a sponge, and you get a matte finish.
If you use a premium paper like the Burrows 100gsm ($9 per ream), it has a silky finish that produces sharper and brighter prints.
As the printer does not handle over 105gsm, you cannot use speciality coated stocks.
As far as print quality goes, it gives sharp black text and adequate colours with no banding. You can get up to 4800×1200 DPI with dithering (overlapping printing of dots), but that uses lots of ink and slows it down.
We tested a 6×4″ photo, and it took just over a minute. Ink use increases substantially in the photo setting.
Ink – expensive
It uses the tried and tested (and expensive) CLI-36C Tricolour dye (260 pages) and PGI-35 Black pigment (200 pages) cartridges, but that is the price you pay for portability. You can check in levels via the OLED display.
Office Works has it for $37.98/22.38 (total $60.36). If you mainly print black, then that is 11 cents a page. If you print a mix of text and images that is 23 cents a page. If you intend to use this for more than casual printing shop around for bulk deals. We saw two-pack for around $45 and a six-pack (three each colour black) for $135.
Battery – handy and long lasting
It uses a Canon LB-70 Lithium-ion 10.8V/2.17A/24W battery that adds 190g to the overall weight. Canon claims it will print up to 330 pages from a full charge (not tested). It has a four-stage LED charge indicator.
Battery recharge time using the Canon 16V/1.3A (21W) plug pack is just over 2 hours. The pack powers the printer and charges at the same time.
USB-C charging is 5V/1.5A (7.5W) PD 1.0 and takes a little under six hours with the printer off. Expect far longer charging times with the printer on. You can use any USB-C PD charger or power bank.
There is no print speed difference on battery or mains power. The nice thing is that it can use two power sources, so you can leave the plug pack at home. A quick 5/10-minute charge with USB/Plug pack gives 4/36 sheets print.
A genuine replacement battery should cost under $200. It is Japanese made, and we would expect it uses high cycle cells so expect somewhere between 800-1000 charges.
Canon apps – huge variety
In Windows, you can create and save up to five templates, such as applications, consent forms, and flyers, that you can call up and print directly from the printer’s control panel. This is uber handy for Doctors prescriptions or standard forms that you need to print on the go – think courier delivery forms. One can even be a leaflet with graphics so tradies may see an advantage of printing out quotes on the spot.
It supports Apple AirPrint, Canon Print App, Canon Print Service, and Canon Print Plug-In. Also included is Creative Park (a collection of calendars, greeting cards, and other festive templates), the cross-platform Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria Print Services.
It also supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT with an appropriate external speaker and skill.
Maintenance – simple
There are no user-replaceable parts (except the battery), so it is important to run the maintenance programs to align the heads occasionally. If you have not used it for a while, you may need to perform a deep head clean. This uses a lot of ink!
It is a portable, and apart from standard handling provisions, you do not need to worry about ink leaking out. If you move it around a lot look for a small padded cover/case or transit box.
GadetGuy’s take – The Canon Pixma TR150 is an excellent portable printer if you have a use case!
I originally bought its predecessors to take onsite to conferences we ran. They were perfect for printing out name badges, last-minute speaker’s papers, correspondence and signage. All were use cases where we did not care about print speed or cost – it was portability.
We can unequivocally say the Pixma TR150 is the best portable (battery operated) printer of 2020 as it has improved on the iP110 and iP90 in subtle ways that enhance usability.
We are rating it as a portable so ink cost and duty cycle are not as critical.
You can catch up on the other Canon 2020 printers here.