Updated September 15, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

The 8 Best Portable Printers

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in April of 2015. Whether you're a student, a traveling business professional, or you 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. Many of them are also small enough to fit right into your pocket. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best portable printer on Amazon.

8. Canon Pixma IP110

7. Kodak Mini

6. SereneLife PickIt20

5. Epson WorkForce

4. HP Sprocket

3. Canon Selphy CP1200

2. Lifeprint LP001-3

1. HP OfficeJet 250

The World Still Needs Printers

Design and photography businesses need high quality printers that accurately reflect the beauty of their work.

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.

Additionally, many portable printers also double as scanners, so you can save any written information you receive directly to your laptop and the cloud.

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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Jeff Newburgh
Last updated on September 15, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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