Selpic P1 hand-held printer hands-on: A tiny wireless inkjet printer for multiple surfaces

Hands on with the Selpic P1 hand-held printer: A tiny wireless inkjet printer for multiple surfaces zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    8.1 Excellent

Pros

  • Magnetic cap does not fall off
  • Can operate printer with either hand

Cons

  • Initial issues connecting to the printer

I liked the Selpic P1 hand-held printer as soon as I took it out if its box. Similar in size to a harmonica and weighing 92g (0.21 pounds), this hand-held printer connects to your smartphone and will print on a variety of surfaces in a range of fonts. 

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It is a really cool gadget.

It is a wireless inkjet printer that you draw across the surface like a pen and will print the image you require. The Selpic will print on a variety of surfaces including paper, textile, leather, and wood. it can even print on curved or uneven surfaces. You can also print on vertical surfaces, and change the printing direction from left to right or right to left -- a really useful feature for left-handed people like me who find right-handed defaults a pain.

The printer prints at 600x600 DPI and its inkjet head has 300 nozzles, each of which can inject 18 million drops per second.

It has a 7-volt lithium-polymer battery, which can provide 3 hours of working time. Charging is by USB type-C connection. Selpic says that the print capacity is sufficient to print up to 90 A4 pages from one charge, which uses 5% of the ink cartridge capacity.

It is easy to use. To power on, press the power button for three seconds. To pair to the app, press the print button and connect it to your 2.4G Wi-Fi. The app will then allow you to change settings such as the font, etc. You do not need to be connected to a Wi-Fi router after the initial set up.

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I did have challenges connecting to the printer. I tried a couple of different phones, which I'm reviewing in a couple of weeks, but had challenges connecting. However, my old Samsung S7 connected to the P1 perfectly.

The connection to the printer from your device is similar to connecting to a hotspot. Within the app, you can add text to the screen, convert voice into text, and customize the font. 

You can also change the orientation of the resulting print by rotating the pattern, enlarging, or reducing it. You can print, edit images, or use the camera mode to take a photo with the app. There are a few images in the gallery that you can preview and adjust. There are also icons to edit and print QR codes and customise barcodes.

Hands on with the Selpic P1 hand-held printer: A tiny wireless inkjet printer for multiple surfaces zdnet

Eileen Brown

Printing is easy. If you move the printer from right to left instead of left to right, the text prints backward.

Hold the printer with the print button at the bottom, and the image prints upside down. It will print on most flat surfaces (sorry Selpic, I wiped my graffiti off the box as soon as I had taken the photo).

I thought it would be fun to print my name on an egg, but the wheel did not get enough traction on the shiny surface of the egg to get a good print.

The Selpic P1 printer and cartridge are made with aluminum alloy and recycled plastics to minimize environmental impact. 

Initially, I thought that the cap looked like it could easily fall off the printer, but it is magnetic and has a single orientation so it does not damage the printer head.

The printer cap did not come off in my bag, which was a relief, as each time I touched the print head, my hands became inky.

It is supplied with a black ink cartridge, but there are eight cartridge colors to choose from, which cost $31 each. The P1 is available on Indiegogo for $99 at its super early bird discount offer.

Selpic also offers the Selpic S1+ -- a slightly larger hand-held printer for $149 (or $199 with a quick-drying ink cartridge). This printer was fully funded within 12 hours of release.

This is a fun printer that has many different potential applications for anyone who needs a mobile print service. Allow the printer to access files stored on the phone and you have a fabulous business tool that can print out anything you want -- providing you have a surface to print on.