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Tools of the Trade: Treat Yourself to a Portable Printer

By Robyn Hagan Cain on March 14, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Paper is passé.

You no longer need a legal pad to track your favorites during jury selection. You can do doc review from your tablet. Printing cases? What is this, 1994? You don’t even have to lift a pen to record the six-minute-intervals of your work day: There’s an app for that.

But in a time where the trend is to go digital, law remains tactile. Sometimes you need to kill a tree to help your client. That’s why you should consider a portable printer.

Yes, the whole point of all this digital wizardry is to lighten your load, but picture this: You're meeting with a judge/arbitrator/opposing counsel. He wants a document. He wants it NOW. A digital copy simply won't do. You need a print out.

And here's where the portable printer comes in handy. You pull your printer from your tasteful attaché. You print the requested document. Everyone's happy. You win the case. The local bar association names you Lawyer of the Year. (Okay, maybe the last part is a stretch.)

Of course, technology-on-the-go doesn't come cheap.

You can expect to pay around about $400 to $500 for a portable printer, depending on the model, battery, and Bluetooth options. Thermal paper for one of these bad boys costs more than regular paper, so don't plan to use this as your primary printer.

On the up side, thermal portable printers are lightweight and don't require ink cartridges. The Brother PocketJet 6 Plus -- a PC Magazine editor's choice -- weighs 1.1 pounds, (add 0.2 pounds for the rechargeable battery), and measures 1.2 by 10 by 2.2 inches.

Do you think a portable printer is worth the money? Do you have one that you love/hate. Tell us about it on our Facebook or Google+ pages.

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