As we all know, printers are pretty bulky, taking up a bunch of room in your office. However, as portable tech becomes the norm, some manufacturers have been able to pack in most, if not all the features you’ll need to do the printing you need. This buying guide will feature the best portable printers around and will hopefully help you in choosing the top device based on your wants and needs.
How We Picked
Due to their portable nature, these printers come in a few shapes and sizes which, therefore, influence what printing they can do. You can get portable label printers, portable photo printers, and the more traditional portable printers that do a similar job to their larger counterparts so narrowing down the best portable printer on the market is a tricky task.
To simplify the process for you we’ve attempted to choose a variety of the best portable printers that cater to different needs in an effort to have a pick for everyone. We’ve also provided three of our best portable printer selections with awards – best overall, best for photos, and best connectivity which will aid you even further, giving those with specific needs an even easier route.
Best Portable Printer 2020 & 2021
Up to A4 print size
Compact and lightweight
The Workforce WF-110 portable printer from Epson offers a very similar printing experience to that of your standard inkjet printer taking up the corner of your desk. Looking first at the most important aspect of any printer its printing capabilities. We can see that it boasts professional looking A4 and borderless 6×4 photo printing which are the two key methods for the majority of individuals, potentially making this portable printer a replacement for your cumbersome machine. Moreover, it’s pretty speedy too spitting out up to 6.7 pages per minute meaning you won’t have to be waiting around to collate those larger documents.
Moving to the portability of this device, it’s quite clear to see that it’s more compact than the average printer with dimensions of 9.1 x 12.2 x 8.5 inches and weighing just 4.6 pounds allowing you to carry it around in a backpack or holdall with ease. In addition, the built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows you to ditch the AC cable and do your necessary printing without needing access to an outlet, an impressive feature considering the aforementioned size. Enhancing the portability further is the inclusion of wireless connectivity. You’ll be able to send your files to this portable printer over WiFi, removing the need to plug your device in thus getting rid of yet another cable. It’s hands-free too, with voice-activated printing via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, boosting ease of use.
All in all, the Epson Workforce WF-110 is a portable printer that is a direct replacement for those who own your run of the mill printer detailing stellar printing capabilities and solid connectivity. Due to its size, weight, and the inclusion of an internal battery, it’s very easy to take it on the go whether that be from your home office to your business office, hotel room, or potentially even while traveling. With all these plusses it’s obvious why this portable printer makes the list of best portable printers and why it deserves the award of the best overall portable printer.
9600 x 2400 maximum color dpi
Up to A4 print size
Fantastic accompanying app
No internal battery
Canon has a really solid range of printers ranging from budget to high-end so there’s no surprise why they’ve similarly manufactured a portable printer that’s of exceptional quality. Taking a look at its printing capabilities, it boasts 9600 x 2400 maximum color dpi pages producing incredible resolution and detail in both business documents and photos. Speaking of documents, you’re looking at dimensions of up to 8.5-inch x 11 inch, making this A4 capable while also supporting smaller document sizes.
This portable printer also has extremely impressive connectivity allowing you to take advantage of the Canon PRINT app which easily lets you print photos or documents from your mobile device. Additionally, with the cloud print function, you can print directly from select online cloud services with your mobile device. Moreover, for you Apple users, Airprint is also a function, allowing you to print directly from your equipment without any additional software.
If you would like to take the Pixma iP110 out and about, not having access to an AC outlet you can. Sadly, no internal battery is included but what you can do is slot in a D size battery and get your printing done with no wires connected at all.
Pooling these pros and cons together, the Canon Pixma iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer comes out as a really attractive choice. It prints in very high detail as well as supporting a range of paper sizes. The connectivity is where it really shines though with it being able to print wirelessly via the proprietary app, available on the majority of today’s devices, in conjunction with the Airprint, removing the need for any extra software if you’re using an Apple device. While it is really portable it is unfortunate that there’s no internal rechargeable battery included but with the ability to slot in a D size battery, it’s not all bad, allowing you to still get your printing done without an AC outlet.
High quality photo prints
50 prints bundled-in
Great accompanying app
Prints are a little on the small side
If you’re solely looking for a portable printer that can print some top quality photos, the 2nd edition of the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer is the way to go. It offers a much smaller form factor than most portable printers allowing you to drop it in a backpack, or even your pocket, and take it round to your friends to print off some memories instantly. Due to its size, you won’t be able to get the standard 6×4 you usually see photos in but what you do get are high resolution 2×3 inch sticky-backed photos that you can put right on your wall. Moreover, if you are using the Sprocket Portable Photo Printer with your friends, you can connect multiple devices and the printer will intelligently form a queue without any input from the user. Speaking of connectivity, everything is wirelessly connected, meaning you don’t have to carry any wires around to hook up your phone to the portable printer, enhancing its carrying ability.
A big standout feature apart from the photo print quality is the bundled in app. This app allows you to decorate, design, and print your social media photos as well as view a virtual photo queue of print jobs and more. The app is also constantly updated with new features being added as soon as they’re developed. Another bundled extra is the inclusion of 50 prints to get you started which is reasonably generous from HP and more than enough to last a few parties.
Overall, the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer has to be your go-to portable printer for photos. Because of the small form factor, it’s extremely easy to transport, eliminating the need for any extra bags as well as being wireless thus allowing you to leave those annoying wires at home. The printing quality itself is pretty fantastic and if you’re not bothered by your photos being a little on the small side compared to the standard prints you might be accustomed to, there’s little reason to look elsewhere.
Multiple print sizes available
Compact and lightweight
The HP OfficeJet 200 offers similar advantages to that of the Epson Workforce WF-110 being a portable printer that offers the capabilities of your larger, desk-based printer that you can take out and about. You’re able to print in color on a plethora of sizes including letter, legal, statement, executive, envelopes (No. 10, Monarch, 6 3/4 in), cards (3×5 in, 4×6 in, 5×8 in), and photo (8×10 in, 5×7 in, 4×6 in, 3.5×5 in) which is incredible since you’re getting a compact machine and would expect sizes to be a little lackluster. The paper capacity levels aren’t too shabby either ranging from five envelopes all the way up to a paper sheet capacity of 50 ensuring those larger documents will be printed without a hitch.
The one aspect you want a portable printer to excel in is how easy it is to transport and use on the go. Thankfully, the OfficeJet 200 has dimensions of just 2.7 x 7.32 x 14.3 inches and weighing only 4.85 pounds which will allow you to throw it into a backpack or satchel and take it to your place of work or print while traveling. While we’re on the topic of traveling, you’re able to get your printing done without an AC outlet thanks to the internal battery, perfect for those who are constantly on the go but want to get their stuff printed before their next destination.
Taking a look at the connectivity and functionality of this portable printer its easy to see that HP hasn’t cut any corners allowing you to print from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet with the free HP ePrint app and not have to worry about connecting your devices via wires. Moreover, with 2” display and buttons, you’re able to see exactly what print jobs are being undertaken while also allowing you to edit your settings on the fly. To get you started, HP has generously included ink with the purchase of this portable printer so you can print your documents, photos, and more, right away.
Taking into account all these factors, HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer definitely deserves its place in this buying guide. It boasts some pretty impressive printing sizes as well as having decent paper capacity levels. These plusses in addition to the fantastic portability thanks to the printer’s dimensions, weight, and internal battery mean its a great traveling companion, especially for those who work while on the train and need to get their printing done before their next stop.
Bundled-in starter kit
Tiny form factor
Limited to labels
The Brother P-Touch Cube Plus is probably the portable printer on this list that you’ll be most surprised by. It’s a handheld printer that’s specifically designed for labels and can connect to most, if not all of the devices of today thanks to its Bluetooth capabilities. While some may think that being limited to labels is a bit of a shame, those who are looking for that label printing while on the go or in a device that can be carried pretty much anywhere, will be extremely impressed.
For the label sizes, you’re able to print pre-designed or custom labels up to 24mm which is impressive considering the size of the portable printer. The pre-designed labels you’re able to take advantage of feature a wide assortment of home and office templates along with templates created for retail stores and crafting businesses to aid those who aren’t familiar with crafting labels or simply streamline your process. Brother has also bundled in 1 Black on White Starter Tape and 1 Black on Premium Glitter Gold Starter Tape to get you going instantly or test out your labels before they’re finalized.
To sum up, the P-Touch Cube Plus is a brilliant choice for those who are seeking a portable printer solely for labels. It has a tiny form factor, allowing you to carry it in just one hand as well as having the connectivity to sync up to all of today’s devices. Moreover, with the inclusion of the pre-designed labels as well as the starter tapes, you’re able to get label printing as soon as you set the device up.
Things To Consider
With portable printers, they are of a smaller form factor thus influencing the size of printing at your disposal. You can get portable printers that can push out full-size A4 but also some that are limited to A5 or even smaller. This means you need to consider what you want your portable printer to do. Will you be using it more as a document printer thus needing A4? Or are you simply wanting to print your favorite memories off? These things need to be taken into account and will influence the feature requirements you have of your portable printer.
Color vs Monochrome
Again, like print size, portable printers can similarly suffer when it comes to printing in color. There are options that offer color printing on the go but if you’re extremely budget conscious or simply want a portable printer specifically for labels, for example, monochrome portable printers are similarly available.
As with all portable tech, having the ability to take it out and about and not have to carry around a plethora of wires is a big plus. This is similarly true with portable printers, especially since you’ll likely be wanting to print wirelessly from your phone, off an SD card, or over your WiFi connection. Some portable printers sport all of these connectivity options while some support none, so always worth considering how you will be using your portable printer and in what situations to maximize your usage capabilities.
As all our portable printer selections are stand out in their own way it is difficult to nail down the absolute best portable printer on the market. However, if we were to choose one, it would have to be our best overall pick – Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Mobile Printer. This is due to the fact that it offers printing versatility allowing up to A4 pages as well as photo printing while being compact and lightweight. The addition of the internal battery is also a huge selling point as you won’t even have to plug it into an AC outlet, allowing you to use it literally anywhere. On the other hand, if you’re looking to solely print photos, the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (2nd Edition) is your answer. It allows you to connect wirelessly to your phone, edit photos with the bundled in-app, and includes 50 prints as well as being pocket-sized, great for those looking to get instant photo prints while out and about with your friends.