The 10 Best Portable Printers

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This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Whether you're a student, a traveling business professional, or just want the convenience of something compact and easy to take with you on the go, one of these portable printers will keep you both productive and mobile. We've included models specifically-designed for printing photos, documents, or both. A few are small enough to fit into your pocket. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best portable printer on Amazon.

10. Polaroid Mint Pocket

9. Lifeprint LP001-3

8. Kodak Mini

7. HP Tango

6. SereneLife PickIt21

5. Epson WorkForce WF-110

4. HP Sprocket Select

3. Canon Selphy CP1300

2. HP DeskJet 3755

1. HP OfficeJet 200

Special Honors

Brother PocketJet 773 This pick is the latest addition to the PocketJet-7-series. It has USB as well as WiFi connectivity, and can handle a maximum media (paper) width of 8.5 inches for both cut sheets and continuous rolls of paper. While thermal printers like this are pricier than their inkjet counterparts, they are significantly trimmer and are ideal for carrying around to print sizable volumes of legal documents or (anything that requires a non-color format). Measuring only 10.04″ x 2.17″ x 1.18″, it's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to deliver a printing speed of around 8 pages-per-minute at a resolution of 300 DPI. brothermobilesolutions.com

Editor's Notes

December 26, 2019:

For this update, I wanted to prioritize adding newer models as much as I could, without compromising on quality. This was a balancing act, because some of your older options released within the past couple of years are still recommendation-worthy. I naturally introduced newer models that were as good, if not better than their predecessors.

For instance, the Epson WorkForce WF-110 doesn’t really add any noticeable improvements to its previously-listed predecessor, the WF-100. However, I have retained and updated it here for the following reasons: Firstly, it’s still a great model that’s definitely worthy of recommendation, and I would easily list it in my top 5 portable printers for larger documents currently on the market. Secondly, newer versions in the electronics categories usually introduce improvements to previous models, even if it’s not transparent as to what these improvements basically are. It’s likely that Epson has fixed any bugs that the WF-100 had in this newer model– even if they haven’t outrightly stated this anywhere.

By contrast, the update I made from the OfficeJet 250 to the HP OfficeJet 200 was not novelty-based. The OfficeJet 200 shaves off over 1.5 lbs and about over 100 cubic inches in volume, making it by far the smallest A4 printer on the list – the OfficeJet 250 was already the smallest and the 200 is even smaller. You do sacrifice the all-in-one functionality (meaning no scanning), but you also save a lot in price, and obviously portability. Plus, I find that the basic monochrome user interface on the OfficeJet 200 is actually much simpler to navigate than the OfficeJet 250’s fancy LCD. All things considered, I definitely feel that this is the best A4-scale printer on the market.

Aside from updating some of the older models to newer versions, I wanted to avoid exclusively including tiny pocket printers in the list here, which can inevitably happen if you’re not really thinking about practical product choices, since models like the Lifeprint LP001-3 and SereneLife PickIt21 are significantly more portable. Many people however may be in the market for a handheld printer when they think portable, and I’ve included some good options, like the above-mentioned ones, as well as the Polaroid Mint Pocket.

The World Still Needs Printers

The average laser printer produces standard black and white documents such as contracts and written research reports.

Some form of printing is necessary for nearly any business to run smoothly. In today's fast-paced business world, it is often necessary to be mobile, but still be able to perform all of the functions as an average, stationary office. Maybe you need to print receipts or reports while you're out of town on business or perhaps you don't work in the same place every day.

The most common types of printers you're likely to encounter are laser and inkjet printers. The average laser printer produces standard black and white documents such as contracts and written research reports. Many Xerox machines use laser printing. Inkjet printers perform the same functions as laser printers with the additional advantages of printing full color photos and being compatible with photo paper.

While the modern business world is rapidly moving toward electronic documents, email, and file sharing services to send these to recipients, many businesses are still in need of printed copies for a number of their files. Design and photography businesses need high quality printers that accurately reflect the beauty of their work.

Some try to say that printers are becoming an obsolete piece of technology, but they are still necessary in many areas of life and business. For example, consider a document requiring a signature. Even if that document is sent electronically, it must first be printed and signed before being scanned into a separate electronic document and returned to the original sender.

Many of the portable printers you will encounter are inkjet printers that are designed to perform a wide variety of functions to help you keep your business running smoothly. They can be easily transported from one place to another, take up very little space, and often have Bluetooth capabilities so you can work from nearly anywhere.

Print On The Go

If you own a laptop, then you already know why it's great to be able to move from one place to another and still be able to do your work. You can go from room to room, from your office to the coffee shop, or from one country to another taking along all of your necessary files and contact information using one compact piece of technology.

A portable printer will allow you to do just that from your hotel room or even the airport lounge.

The same idea applies to investing in a portable printer. The right portable printer is going to connect to your laptop or mobile device and allow you to print documents, photographs, and presentation reports from anywhere you might be. Are you on a business trip and just realized that you forgot to pack the handouts for your presentation? No problem! Just use your portable printer.

Aside from its obvious portability advantages, a portable printer will help you stay organized. Regardless of all the mobile technology available to us today, many people still prefer to hold paper in hand to review documents. A portable printer will allow you to do just that from your hotel room or even the airport lounge. Additionally, many portable printers also double as scanners, so you can save any written information you receive directly to your laptop and the cloud. Gone are the days of losing important documents during travel.

A portable printer allows you to keep a more flexible schedule. If your office is mobile, then you don't have to be tied to your desk to perform certain work activities. You can schedule meetings far away, you can hit up the local coffee shop, or you can stay home with your sick child and still maintain your productivity. Because you take your office with you wherever you go, you're always prepared for the next big occurrence.

A Brief History Of The Portable Printer

The first computer printer was invented in the 19th century by Charles Babbage. Babbage was a mathematician who also invented a computer to help calculate equations. He used metal rods imprinted with characters and paper pressed against the rods for printing. Subsequent printers then used a system similar to the typewriter - pressing symbols against paper.

He used metal rods imprinted with characters and paper pressed against the rods for printing.

In 1984, HP presented the first affordable laser printer to the public. These printers eventually eliminated the need for archaic typesetting systems, and by 1990, many paper office products were being created on personal and office computers and being printed with a laser printer.

This streamlined the production of contracts, brochures, fliers, and other important documents, resulting in improved file organization in offices. It also improved the functioning of home offices where families could better track their books and finances using computer programs and printing.

By the turn of the 21st century, printers had become common household and office items and were being sold for under $100 in many office supply and department stores. Today, inkjet printers are most commonly used for printing photographs and artwork that is electronically generated. While they may not be completely necessary in all business settings, portable inkjet printers have become especially popular among designers and businesses that still rely on paper documents for appropriate filing.

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Kaivaan Kermani
Last updated on January 01, 2020 by Kaivaan Kermani

Kaivaan grew up in a little town called York in the north of England, though he was whisked off to sunny Jamaica at the age of 14, where he attended high school. After graduating, he returned to the UK to study electronic engineering at the University of Warwick, where he became the chief editor for the engineering society’s flagship magazine. A couple of uninspiring internships in engineering later however, and after some time spent soul-searching and traveling across Asia and East Africa, he he now lives and works in in Dubai.


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