Welcome to our picks for the best portable printers. We've gathered together the very best printers that are small, light and easy to carry around with you.
If you think, then, that a printer has to be a big bulky beige box that sits in the corner of an office, then the best portable printers should change your mind. These handy devices are completely wireless, and are ideal for printing direct from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Just because these portable printers are compact, it doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice print quality, or lose out on many features. Modern portable printers are more versatile than ever, and thanks to their combinations of compact size and wireless connectivity, it means they are impressively convenient little devices that you can take almost anywhere.
Also, some of the best portable printers are battery-powered, which gives you even more scope for using them when out and about. So read on, and we’ll show you all the best portable printers you can buy today – while our very own price comparison tool scours the internet for the top deals.
Best portable printers at a glance:
- Brother PocketJet PJ-773 portable printer
- Epson WorkForce WF-110 portable printer
- Canon Pixma iP110 portable printer
- HP OfficeJet 200 mobile printer
- HP Tango X printer
Best portable printers:
By using inkless thermal print technology, which relies on fewer moving parts, Brother has reduced this portable printer to the size of a small baguette. What’s more, the only consumable you need is the special thermal paper itself, making this pocket-sized device perfect for taking on the road, or carrying onto a plane. It comes with both power adapter and battery pack, so you can use it anywhere and while Wi-Fi is built in, you don’t need to rely on finding a network to connect with your device because it also offers Wi-Fi Direct and a mini USB port. It prints, quickly enough with the black and white pages emerging as sharp and detailed as any laser printer.
Epson has managed to distill all of the elements of a colour inkjet printer into something small enough to fit in a briefcase and possibly even a handbag. It uses four smaller-than-usual ink cartridges to produce up to A4-size prints at a very crisp and colourful 5,760 x 1,440 dpi resolution. The plastic casing is textured for grip and when unfolded, it becomes the paper input tray which can hold up to twenty sheets of plain paper. The lithium-ion battery can be fast changed with the bundled charger, or by connecting the supplied USB cable to any powered USB port. It doesn’t print quickly and unsurprisingly there’s no auto duplex mode, but for mobile printing, this is excellent quality.
Read the full review: Epson WorkForce WF-110
This inkjet printer is small enough to fit in a bag or large briefcase and comes with a battery pack as well as power cable so you can print colour documents on the road. You can connect to it via Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, or USB and it supports AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Canon’s own Pixma Print for easy cloud operation. There’s no auto duplex mode, but in other respects, this miniature printer is uncompromising. It uses five ink cartridges to achieve superior colour fidelity when printing photos, for instance and at nine pages per minute, it’s not too slow at printing black and white pages either.
HP has managed to shrink the inkjet printer to the size of a cigar box while adding a battery compartment. The result is a highly portable device that can turn out crisp colour documents at a rate of 10 per minute in mono, or 7 in colour. There’s no duplex mode, unsurprisingly, but it can handle envelopes and photo paper and photo paper of any size up to A4. With Wi-Fi Direct and a USB port available, you really can print from anywhere with this ingenious device.
This small and stylish inkjet requires a power point as there’s no battery option, but in all other respects, it’s the perfect portable printer. Weighing just 6.5kg, it fits easily in a bag and the ‘X’ edition seen here includes a fabric cover to protect it in transit. It also acts as a mat to catch your printed paper. There’s no inbuilt scanner but the excellent companion app can harness your smartphone’s camera to grab, straighten and copy documents. It’ll print on envelopes or photo paper of any size up to A4 and turn out pages at reasonable rate of 11ppm. HP has dispensed with the USB port altogether because its wireless skills include everything from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, to AirPrint and Google Cloud Print making it perhaps the most flexible device for cloud printing that we have come across.
This (almost) pocket-sized printer is probably the easiest way to turn photos on your smartphone, or your Instax camera, into physical prints. Using an evolution of the technology used in Kodak’s instant cameras, Fijifilm’s inkless system sears the image onto square format photo paper. Neither the printer, nor the paper are cheap and the printer itself has few features other than Wi-Fi. Nonetheless, the photos it produces are colourful and accurate, if a little soft and pale. It has to be the most rewarding way to turn a great photo into a physical momento that can be passed around and stuck to the wall.
Read the full review: Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3
Polaroid’s Zinc (zero ink) technology is used to great effect in this highly portable and well thought-out printer. It is slim enough to slip into a shoulder bag and weighs only 162g and most of that weight belongs to the 900mAh battery. The Polaroid photo paper is rather expensive and limits you to 2x3-inch prints but the results always look colourful, detailed and charmingly retro. And no, shaking does not make the image develop faster.
The latest in HP’s portable photo printer line ditches ZINK for an inkjet-based system and prints on the slightly larger 10x15cm format. That makes the Studio, the Sprocket that won’t fit in your pocket, but also the one with the best image quality. The proprietary ink/paper packages are rather pricey, but the system yields vivid results and it is lots of fun to use. Up to three users can connect to it over Bluetooth and use the excellent companion app to print from. The app offers lots of templates and stock images with which to spice up your photos.
HP Sprocket Plus turns out slightly larger prints than its Sprocket predecessor and its immediate rivals, while the device itself actually got thinner and lighter. By using Zink technology, you don’t need ink, but you are dependant on HP’s thermal photo paper which has a sticky backing and come in packs of ten. With the Sprocket app and a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone, you can print colourful and creative photos wherever you are. The lithium-ion battery is good for about 30 prints at over 300dpi resolution.
This portable printer could almost slide into a jacket pocket and yet it is capable of printing onto A4-sized paper. By using thermal imprinting, instead of impact printing which requires ink and many more moving parts, this battery-powered device requires no consumables other than the special thermal paper. What differentiates this model from most portable printers is the addition of MFi (Made For iPhone) making it easier to sync with Mac and iOS devices over Bluetooth. With a battery that lasts for 100 prints and no ink limitations, you really can print from anywhere with this rugged and highly portable device.
- Check out our picks for the best photo printers