How do you feel about having to go to the office every time you need to print something? It can be a taunting and tedious experience that you would love to do away with. What if there was an alternative and no, it is not emailing the intended prints to your printer and picking them at the end of the day. But more like something that you could take virtually everywhere you go. That would be cool right? Luckily, that doesn’t have to be a wish anymore. It is actually something that you can easily achieve by just getting a great portable printer.
Compact and portable inkjets have been around for quite some time but the need to get a portable printer did not arise until we decided it was better to sit around and have everything done for us. Now, they might be the hottest commodity on the market and it might be a good idea to grab yourself one (and save yourself the trouble of having to walk back and forth) and print on the go.
Like always, we acknowledge that you work hard for your money and the last thing you want is to flush it down the toilet by buying crappy equipment. Even for a portable printer, you want nothing but the best. So, we went researching again and came up with loads of information and reviews that will help you make the right choice. So, here we go!
- 1 How does a portable printer work?
- 2 Best Portable Printers 2018
- 2.1 Kodak Mini Portable Mobile Instant Photo Printer
- 2.2 HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
- 2.3 Epson WorkForce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer
- 2.4 HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
- 2.5 HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer with Wireless & Mobile Printing
- 2.6 Canon MX492 Wireless All-in-One Small Printer
- 2.7 HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
- 2.8 Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer with Zero Ink Printing Technology
- 2.9 Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi 4×6 Photo Printer
How does a portable printer work?
To make the printers smaller and more portable, they use inkless technology. Without the ink cartridges, the printer can be radically smaller. To use the printer, you will need to download an application that that allows you to pair the printer with your other devices like a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet.
You will also need a special type of paper called a thermographic paper. This works for the inkless printers and instead of using ink, these printers use heat to print which is why you need the special type of paper.
Most of the printers are connected to the source device by Bluetooth so you don’t have to worry about fighting with loads of wires. Once you have everything in place and the printer is powered on, all you have to do is set up your preferences for the printing then sending the document to the printer and you within no time, you will have it.
It is more important to note that there are two types printers you can buy. We will cover more on this later on in the buying guide. But, for now, we need to mention real quick that depending on your intended use, you can buy portable printers built for the business class that is looking to get something that allows them to print all their documents on the go or, you can pick something for the photo enthusiast who wants to have their hard copies right there and then.
With that said, let’s jump into the reviews and have a look at some of the best portable printers you could consider buying to make your life much easier.
Best Portable Printers 2018
Kodak Mini Portable Mobile Instant Photo Printer
Let us start with something for the photogenic people that would rather have their photos on hard print for one reason or the other. This right here is a really portable solution that will make printing on the go really easy. It comes with easy print technology and does not require any cable or buttons to work.
The printer uses NFC one touch to launch the Kodak app to get your photos printed inone-year. The printer is compatible with android, iOS platforms. You can use NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity and you are guaranteed of getting high quality black and white and color portraits that dry instantly. The printer is easy to maintain and the cartridges are easy to refill and the companion application is free!
- Highly portable
- High quality photo prints
- Easy connection through NFC and Wi-Fi Direct
- Free companion app
- Ideal for photo printing only
The PIXMA iP110 is a printer that is built for on the go use. It is fitted with plenty of features which guarantee easier use and comfortable setup with quality results every time.
The printer uses Airprint technology which requires your devices to be running on some of the latest software but this is only essential in making sure that you are able to enjoy the best results only. The connection to the printer is wireless with the aid of some selected cloud services and aided by the Canon PRINT app.
To make your on the go printing life much easier, the printer comes with the option of a battery to allow you take the printer every where you go. The incredible print detail for both documents and pictures on this printer ensures the best quality. What’s more, you can also print from your Facebook, Twitter, Google Drive or Dropbox among other common online platforms.
- It is highly portable and compact
- Comes with battery for mobile use
- Wireless connection
- High quality printing
- The initial pairing of the wireless device can be a little tricky
HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
A good number of mobile photo printers that you will find are zero ink which means they don’t come with cartridges. If you want colorful and realistic looking photos, an ink ready printer is essential. This one gives you that option without milking your pockets dry.
This mobile printer is more than just a photo printer. It can do a lot more like copying, scanning and wireless printing. It takes the impressive features even further by having two-sided duplex printing and a touchscreen that makes printing easier and more convenient. There is nothing not to love about the HP 4520.
The printer is not all about getting you great results but also helps to save you ink and paper while maximizing on its benefits. Two-sided printing allows you to make more out of your paper while HP instant Ink allows you to save more than 50% of your ink and replace your cartridges less frequently.
- Easy setup
- Two-sided printing
- Multiple functionalities (Printing, copy and scanning)
- Larger photo prints
- It is a little slower on the printing
Epson WorkForce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer
If you prefer to work with a cartridge driven printer, this is going to be the perfect fit for you. It is has excellent print quality among other features and allows you to print from multiple devices like an iPhone, tables, iPad and smartphones.
The printer comes with a USB or AC adapter charger which makes charging a smooth experience while the built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery helps to hold charge longer so you can keep printing even when you are out of the office.
The printer weighs about 3.5 pounds yet it is able to print pro-quality documents and photos in both black and white and colored. It is an extremely functional printer in a deceptively small design that may lead you to think it is useless.
- Highly compact and lightweight
- Uses cartridges for printing for better quality
- Wireless connection
- Easy and convenient charging options
- The cartridges are small so you should expect them to run out faster
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
Back to the lovers of Photography, the HP Sprocket offers you the fastest way to get your photos from your smartphone and on to a paper. The printer also makes sure that the method is not only fast and convenient but, it is also very easy and the print is of high quality.
To achieve, the photo printer is fitted with a couple of features that you are going to find to be very handy. For connectivity, the printer uses wireless and highly reliable Bluetooth connection. You can connect different types of devices which is very convenient because you can also invite your friends to connect and print their own photos using the same printer.
The printing process is surprisingly fast and takes only a couple of seconds. You can also use the HP Sprocket app to customize the printing process and the photos a little to make them more attractive once they are printed. However, you should be fully aware that the printing app requires that the connecting device meet some certain operating system requirements so you need to make sure that your device has this capacity before you make the purchase.
Other features that you will be able to enjoy include the portability of the printer, zero ink technology and exceptional image quality. With such features, you should expect to dig a little deeper into your pockets to land this one.
- Easy Bluetooth connectivity
- Extremely portable printer
- High quality 2×3 photo printing
- Zero Ink technology
- The printer is a little pricey
HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer with Wireless & Mobile Printing
When dealing with portable printers, you always have to be weary of the fact that they don’t come with displays. Well, if that is your main concern, this particular one solves that. It comes with a 2” display. It might not be the biggest you come across but it definitely gets the job done.
The printer is built for the business mogul that is always on the road and prefers to have hard copies at an instant. With charging options that include charging it in your car, at home or in the office, you can always depend on this little jewel to churn out printed papers when and where you need them.
It is also a very efficient option that is capable of doing up to 200 pages of black prints and 165 pages of colored pages on one cartridge set. If you are more aggressive with your printing, then you also purchase the larger cartridges that are offered HP to increase the production.
For connection, the printer uses both Wi-Fi and USB options and it can pair with bot computers and mobile devices which gives you a lot more flexibility. If you are going to use the mobile devices for printing, you will need the ePrint app which is readily available on multiple platforms.
The printing process is quite simple and the performance is of the printer is quite surprising especially given that it is not HP’s most expensive option.
- Long lasting battery
- Very durable and compact design
- High cartridge yields
- Wireless printing
- You will need to keep buying cartridges as they run out
Canon MX492 Wireless All-in-One Small Printer
If you are running a serious business, then, you also need a serious printer that will take your business seriously. In most cases, with the need to print, you will also need to scan documents and if your printer cannot be able to do that, you might have to buy a portable scanner. That means you have a more crowded workspace and your mobility reduces.
The Canon MX492 is the best option for people that are looking for more than just printing from their mobile printers. It will print and also scan documents that you can send to your friends, clients and colleagues. The printouts and scans are high quality so you shouldn’t be worried about splurges and blurriness that can bring you embarrassment.
The printer comes with the AirPrint feature that allows you to print wirelessly and effortlessly from all compatible iPhone and iPad and other mobile devices and you don’t need any drivers for that. You will need the accompanying Canon PRINT app which is readily available.
The printer also has an automatic document feeder that saves you time and comes with a one year warranty and one year toll-free technical support in case you face any challenges. Simply put, we thought this is a great printer for virtually every person that wants to print on the go and might need to do some scanning once in a while.
- Printing and scanning features
- Wireless printing
- 1-year free warranty and technical support
- Automatic integrated document feeder.
- It is a little chunky for use in the car
HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
Here is another serious option that works perfectly but requires deeper pockets. It can scan, copy and print. It is everything you need for the ever moving CEO and business mind that likes taking their work wherever they go. If you have to prepare for a presentation and you are worried that you don’t have enough time, this baby will help you use every last second on the road to get everything ready.
The printer even comes with a small display screen to help make using it much easier and has an auto-document feeder and you can easily connect to it using Wi-Fi Direct. The compact printer fits in your car, home, office and can be charged for either of the locations including in your car without any problems. It also has a fast charge feature that gets the printer ready and fully charged in just 90 minutes when the printer is off.
With this printer, you also have flexibility of the type and sizes of documents that you can print which has not been the case with most of the other options that we have already reviewed. It is truly the perfect partner to the average car office person.
- Prints, scans and copies
- Auto-document feeder
- Wireless connection (Wi-Fi Direct)
- Easy setup
- Long lasting battery
- It is costly
- It is slightly larger than some of the other portable printers
Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer with Zero Ink Printing Technology
For great quality photos on the move, the Polaroid ZIP mobile printer has everything that you need to bring your soft copy images to life.
With the purchase of the portable printer, you get a download of the Polaroid ZIP app for Android and iOS so you don’t have to worry about paying for the application separately. The printer in its part promises great results among them full color photos that are smudge proof and have a peel back sticky paper to guarantee longevity.
The printer only weighs 6.6ounces and is small enough to fit in most pockets with a capacity to churn out 2×3 photos. You can print directly from your phone or tablet by connecting your device to the printer via NFC or Bluetooth. Because the printer uses the Zero Ink Technology, you don’t have to worry about cartridges. Just buy the right type of printing paper and you are good to go.
- High quality photo printing with protective layer
- Free companion application with the purchase
- Zero ink technology
- Compact and highly portable design
- The photos are relatively small
Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi 4×6 Photo Printer
Mobile photo printers can also have a mean look and hoard of features that are quite impressive. Mobile photo printing can be confusing with plenty of directions that you need to follow. The Kodak Dock Photo Printer makes this much easier with one-touch printing which is convenient and lets you print photos straight from your smartphone.
The system is not only easy to use but also fast and provides high quality photos. The best part is, you don’t have to deal with the small 2 by 3’s anymore. This one puts out an impressive 4×6 size photos with astonishing color and detail that does not bleed or fade.
With its simultaneous charging you will never miss a magical moment as the printer powers up your mobile devices as you wait making it the perfect addition for your home, office or business. To get your photo printing started, you get a free companion app.
- You can print from multiple sources including digital cameras and USB memory sticks
- High quality photo printing
- Multiple wireless connection options including Dock and Wi-Fi Direct
- One-touch printing
- Simultaneous charging
- It will cost you significantly more than the other options
after trying out a bunch of different options, lots of printing, researching and some more printing these are a the options that we came up with that we thought were worth your money and were practical enough. Keep in mind, there are plenty of other options that might be better but cost way too much to consider unless we are helping to flush your money down the toilet. Given that it is not every day that you will be buying a mobile printer and the fact that they cost a pretty penny, we decided to throw in an extra layer of protection and offer you more information with a buying guide.
Best Portable Printer Buying Guide
There are a number of features that you must consider if you stand any chance of getting yourself a good portable printer. Here they are;
- Construction – in the construction, you are looking at the size of the product, the durability and its ability to handle life on the road. You will also need to consider the weight and dimensions since you don’t want a product that is a pain to carry around.
- Battery life – without plenty of battery life, your portable printer becomes a power hungry, AC outlet loving printer that can never go anywhere. The life of the battery will depend on how you use the printer but we advise that you go for the longest option possible within your price range.
- Output – you don’t want to enjoy portability at the expense of quality so the output is going to be an essential part of your consideration. The Image resolution should be solid and the printing quality should be a priority when you are comparing the different products. If your budget is on the lower side, you should take more time considering the output to make sure you get the possible deal.
- Speed – if your use is not time sensitive or you are not printing many documents, the speed might not factor in as much. But, if you want something fast and does not compromise the quality of your print-outs, then you need to have a closer look at how fast the printer gets the job done.
- Connectivity – the more connections at your disposal the better. There are even printers that will offer online storage which can be useful. Different connectivity options will make it much easier for you to use the printer with fewer challenges.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
As a quick recap, remember that there are hardly any portable printers that are optimized for all applications so you need to choose your poison and pick what you need most. If it is a photo printer, pick one that is optimized for that or other alternatives as you might prefer.
With that, our review of great portable printers is done. We hope you find something that piques your interest and don’t forget to use the buying guide when making the selection.