Portable printers can come in handy not only for on-the-go business transactions but also for your home. You may have limited space in your house and you may want a printer that you can put away when not in use. In that case, a portable model is a perfect solution! However, these printers can be limited in functionalities due to their reduced size. If you need a multipurpose one that would fit in small spaces, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best all-in-one portable printers below.
Inside this article:
- What Is a Portable Printer?
- 11 Best All-in-One Portable Printers
- HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
- Canon Pixma TS3320
- HP ENVY 6055 Wireless All-in-One Printer
- HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer
- Canon TS202 Inkjet Printer
- HP Envy 6075 Wireless All-in-One Printer
- Canon Pixma iX6820 Wireless Business Printer
- Canon TS5120 Wireless All-In-One Printer
- Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-in-One Printer
- Epson Workforce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer
- HP ENVY Pro 6455 Wireless All-in-One Printer
- Things to Consider When Choosing a Portable Printer
- Why Buy a Portable Printer?
- Tips When Traveling With Your Portable Printer
What Is a Portable Printer?
If you do a quick search online for portable printers, the first results you would get would be mobile photo printers. But there are plenty of small printers that can also print documents and even have scanning and copying features. Some of them can even fit in travel-sized carrying cases that you can bring on your flights if you travel by plane. Ideally, they should be wireless so you don’t have to worry about plugging them into your laptop or desktop. Some models can also print directly from mobile devices or the cloud.
But how do portable printers work if they’re so small? These machines have their own computer system and miniature rotating components to get things printed. They’re great for people who travel frequently, professionals who work from home, and students who live in dorms.
11 Best All-in-One Portable Printers
We’ve selected these portable models based on their performance in comparison to their size and versatility. These printers are all multipurpose—they can print photos and documents, though some of them are limited from scanning or copying.
The HP OfficeJet 250 is a powerful and versatile portable printer that lets you print photos and documents from your smartphone or computer. With this premium pick, you can also scan and copy documents from anywhere using its free mobile app. It features wireless printing through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as a fast-charging battery. What’s great about this compact printer is it’s compatible with Alexa devices like the 4th Gen Echo Dot. You can command Alexa to print your photos and documents with voice commands once you’ve set up your Alexa Smart Home with your printer. It’s priced higher than other compact models, but it’s a great investment in the long run.
It has a print speed of 10 pages per minute (ppm) for black-and-white documents and 7ppm for colored ones. It also has a 10-sheet auto document feeder. The unit weighs less than 7lbs so it’s easy to lug around in your bag or suitcase.
For the best value, we picked the Canon Pixma TS3320. It comes at an unbeatably affordable price with all the features you need in a portable printer. You can print wirelessly from your laptop or desktop with its built-in Wi-Fi connectivity feature or you can use the mobile app from your phone. It also works with Apple’s AirPrint system. The printer supports a dual FINE cartridge hybrid ink system. It is also compatible with the Alexa Smart Home.
It has a print speed of 7.7ppm and a color resolution of 600 x 1200 dots per inch (dpi). The unit weighs less than 11lbs.
Our top overall choice is the HP ENVY 6055. Weighing less than 12lbs, this device can scan and copy documents, and features mobile printing. It also features double-sided printing so you can save on paper. You can easily set up the printer through your phone with the HP Smart mobile app. Just plug the printer, launch the app, and you’re ready to go in a few taps.
Another unique feature of this model is you can share or upload printed documents directly to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. This printer has been certified to work with Alexa devices. It may be heavier than the previous two above, but it has the best features overall and is still very portable.
It can print with a speed of up to 10ppm, features borderless photo printing, and has an input capacity of up to 100 sheets.
Print from anywhere thanks to this 5lbs HP OfficeJet 200 by using your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. You can use the HP ePrint mobile app or use the wireless direct printing feature to accomplish your printing tasks. This is one of the most compact portable printers that can fit in your backpack. It features a long-lasting and fast-charging battery. This model does not have a scanning feature but it allows you to print both photos and documents. It also has a borderless printing function.
The OfficeJet 200 has up to 10ppm printing speed for black prints and 7ppm for colored prints. It is one of the lightest on this list.
The Canon TS202 is an incredibly compact printer that can print highly detailed photos and documents. Weighing only 6lbs, it’s the perfect model for those who travel a lot and need to print documents on-the-go. It is designed with a rear paper tray for easy refill. The printer has a FINE hybrid ink system but is also compatible with XL ink cartridges.
Another excellent compact printer from HP, the Envy 6075 lets you print, scan, and copy documents and photos, all wirelessly. You also have the option to print directly from your PC using by connecting it via the USB port. It prints up to 10ppm and has a 100-sheet input capacity.
It features two-sided printing so you can save on paper. It also lets you print borderless photos. As with the above HP models, you can use the mobile app to customize your print settings from your phone or tablet. This model is compatible with Alexa.
The Canon Pixma iX6820 does not only feature wireless printing but also lets you print directly from cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Weighing less than 18lbs, it has a printing speed of 14.5ppm. It also works with Apple AirPrint. It features FINE printhead technology so it’s great for printing high-quality photos.
This model also has an auto-sheet or auto-document feeder which can hold up to 150 sheets of paper. The print resolution is up to 9600dpi. Aside from wireless connectivity, you can also connect the printer to your computer using an Ethernet cable or a USB.
This portable printer lets you print from your computer as well as your smartphone or tablet. It also features direct printing from the cloud, social media, or via Bluetooth. Weighing less than 15lbs, it can print up to 40ppm.
The Canon TS5120 has impressive energy-saving features like auto power on/off. You can program it to power on before you start work in the morning so it’s ready for printing. It also has enlargement and reduction features from 25% to 400% for both photos and documents.
The Canon Pixma MG3620 features mobile printing from smartphones and tablets. It’s also a great portable desktop and laptop printer. Weighing 12lbs, it has a printing speed of 9.9ppm. You can print directly from cloud services or use Apple AirPrint or the official Canon Print.
It also has a near-frequency connection (NFC) feature. It features double-sided printing. This is a versatile printer that can scan, copy, and print photos and documents. What’s unique about this model is it can also print on envelopes which is not very common in portable printers.
The Epson WF-100 is another super compact document and photo printer although it does not have a scanner. The unit is one of the lightest on this list, weighing only less than 5lbs. It is so compact that it can fit into a laptop bag.
It’s designed with a built-in fast-charging battery but can also be plugged in with its AC adapter. You can print wirelessly from your mobile devices or your computer. Note that this model only supports Epson ink cartridges. It can print up to 3.5ppm and has an auto-duplex feature.
The Envy Pro 6455 is an upgraded version of the Envy 6055. The latter remained our overall top choice due to its enhanced portability. Weighing less than 14lbs, it features up to 10ppm printing speed and allows borderless photo printing.
This model has all the features of the 6055 above—it can scan, copy, and print but is redesigned with an extra 35-sheet auto-document feeder. It also features a self-healing dual-band Wi-Fi which means it will automatically try to reconnect if it loses connectivity. The purchase also comes with a free 24-month subscription to HP mobile fax services. It lets you fax documents directly from your mobile devices.
Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Printer
Choosing a portable printer can be tricky because you have to consider its size above all but it also has to be versatile enough for your needs. The key is to determine what you need most out of a printer and the amount of space you can allot for it in your home. If you intend to use it when traveling, you need to be very selective when it comes to the weight and dimensions of your printer.
Ideally, portable printers should weigh no more than 18lbs. As you’ve seen above, some of the models weigh as low as less than 5lbs. These are perfect for those who need to print photos and documents as they travel. However, there’s more to portability than just the weight and dimensions.
For a small printer to be truly portable, it should have convenient wireless features so you don’t have to worry about connecting wires or cables when you need to print. It’s even better if you can print from your smart mobile devices as well in case your laptop runs out of battery. Are there compatible carrying cases available? Is it safe to put it in your car’s backseat or passenger seat? These are two questions you must ask when assessing the printer’s portability.
You should also consider the printer’s power options. Even if you intend it for home use, you may have to rely on battery power if you really have limited space on your desk or printing area. This is especially more important if you are traveling. Check if the printer can run on optional batteries. Make sure that it can charge fast and that the battery lasts long enough for your needs.
We’ve mentioned the importance of wireless printing features in connectivity. But aside from Wi-Fi printing and direct printing from mobile, you should also consider other wireless printing options such as Bluetooth, cloud printing, and NFC. You might also want to check if it can print from cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or the printer’s own cloud storage system.
Being able to print via voice command is a huge convenience. If you have set up a smart home system in your home or office, make sure that the printer is also compatible with it. A lot of the models on the list above work well with Alexa. Some of them may still work with other home systems like the Google Home Hub.
It would also be a great advantage if you can control your print settings from mobile. This is especially necessary for those who want to travel with their portable printers. However, it’s a good idea to take some time to read reviews from the App Store and Play Store as to how intuitive the app is. Sometimes, it may be more inconvenient to use the app if it frequently lags.
Depending on the nature of your work or business, you may need features like scanning and copying to perform your tasks successfully. Portable printers that have scanners are typically a bit larger and heavier, but the above ones are still quite portable. If you need to regularly print high-quality photos, then make sure that the print resolution is also good.
Even if it features wireless printing, it’s still good to check if the unit has a USB or SD card slot. You might need to use it in case you lose connection or if you need to print an urgent document that you haven’t saved on your device yet.
What kind of documents can it print? Can it print on legal paper? This would, of course, highly depend on your printing needs as well. If you need to print borderless photos, make sure that it supports that format. The same goes for envelopes and other paper sizes.
The average printing speed of portable printers is between 7-10ppm. Some models that are ultra-compact may have lower printing speeds such as 5ppm. As always, you need to balance this with the print quality among other considerations. However, anything lower than 5ppm may be a bit too slow.
The quality of the print output is usually measured by dpi. You may not need incredibly high resolution for your documents but it’s safe to go with a printer that can print up to at least 600dpi. This would ensure that even plain text prints are crisp and clear.
Consider the brand of the ink cartridges and the ink system that the printer is designed for. This should be in relation to how many pages or how many colored photos you need to print per month. Do you need to print more photos than documents? If you only need to print a few photos occasionally but you need them to be of good quality, then investing in a printer that supports superior and more expensive ink could be the best decision. You should also check the availability of these replacement cartridges. Where can you get them and can you get them delivered if you run out?
This refers to the input and output paper trays that come with the printer or are designed with the printer. It can be easily overlooked but it’s very important to consider for portable printers. You don’t want to be picking up paper from the floor when you are printing outside or be constantly putting paper into the feed. It’s a good idea to check how many sheets the paper trays can hold. You might also want to check if it has an auto-document feeder. This allows the printer to automatically feed paper from the stack so you don’t have to manually place it.
These portable printers don’t originally come with carrying cases, but you can check if there are manufacturers making cases compatible with them. An example of this is the Adada Hard Case for HP OfficeJet 250.
You might also want to make sure that the printer comes with at least a one-year warranty. Check what type of repair services are included after purchase and the service center locations. You don’t want to have to ship your printer to a far-off state if anything goes wrong.
Why Buy a Portable Printer?
Even if you don’t intend to regularly use your compact printer for traveling, it is still a great investment now that we’re still in a pandemic. It saves a lot of space in your home or office and is often very versatile. Some important documents that you can print on these small machines while you’re traveling are invoices, contracts, and the all-too-common business reports.
These types of printers also usually have more wireless connectivity options than your standard printers. They are equipped with advanced mobile technology which allows you to print directly from tablets, laptops, and smartphones. They could be of great use when you suddenly have to travel unexpectedly but still have to print work documents!
Tips When Traveling With Your Portable Printer
If you want to bring your printer on the plane, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows compact or mobile printers both in checked and carry-on luggage. However, take note that you would have to remove it and put it in a separate bin for x-ray screening when you go through security if it is in your carry-on. If it is in a carrying case of its own, you would have to remove the printer from the case as well.
Portable printers truly provide a lot of conveniences whether you intend them for personal or business use. They are a great investment especially if you travel a lot. Take your best pick from our list above and get yours today!