A portable printer is one of the most useful tools for traveling professionals and photographers. Whether you need to print from a home computer, laptop, or smartphone — portable printers provide you with accessibility wherever you go.
A portable printer is perfect for workers on the go who may need to print out a contract, photo, business report, or invoice. If you need a portable printer for work or to capture important memories, we have created a list of the top 10 best portable printers online to buy in 2020 to help you!
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Whether you are looking to buy a portable printer for work or a photo printer to bring along with you on your travels, make sure you understand how the following specifications will affect your purchase.
Your printer’s Dots per inch (DPI) determines the resolution and image quality of color-printed pages. Pixels per inch (PPI) is the alternative name for this measurement and is sometimes used instead of DPI.
Your printer is limited in how it affects the perceived resolution of a printed photo. The digital size of the image file, the quality of the camera, and file type also affect the DPI.
It's important to note that the DPI of your printer isn’t as critical if you are mainly printing text documents. Additionally, if you’re mainly using the portable printer to print photos to decorate your house, you want to make sure it can print full-bleed photos. These are images that are printed without white borders on the page.
The number of pages that can printed with a single ink cartridge is largely determined by your printer’s page yield. This number is always an estimate and is never 100% accurate. You will print an even lesser amount of pages if you're only printing in color or printing pages with a large amount of text.
Different printers use different sized ink cartridges, which also affects the page yield. The higher the page yield of the ink cartridge allows you to spend less in the long run. If printing in color is a high priority for you, you may consider buying a portable printer that has separate ink cartridges for each color.
If the printer is only compatible with one black ink cartridge and one mixed color ink cartridge, you will likely spend more money on replacements. Additionally, portable photo printers do not include a page yield measurement for their ink cartridges.
The duty cycle of a printer indicates how many pages it can print each month without any issues. Just as with ink cartridges, malfunctions can also add up to the total cost of your portable printer. When considering your budget, the price of your portable printer isn’t only one factor to consider.
There's a higher chance of a problem occurring once you exceed your printer’s duty cycle. If you plan on printing 500 pages a month, there would be no reason for you to purchase a portable printer with a duty cycle of 200. Keeping this in mind will help you maintain your portable printer for longer periods of time.
You'll also want to make sure your portable printer comes with a one-year warranty to maximize your budget. Unfortunately, just as with page yield, portable photo printers don't provide a duty cycle measurement.
When purchasing your portable printer, you also want to consider what extra features it may have. Some extra features include:
No one portable printer includes all of these features so, it is essential that you take the time to consider which features are important to you.
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Pixma iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer
The Best Overall Portable Printer
OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
A Portable Printer with a Ton of Extra Features
Workforce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer｜C11CE05201
The Simplest Portable Printer to Use
OfficeJet H470 Mobile Printer
A Portable Printer with Serious Printing Speed
Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (2nd Edition)
An Ink-Saving Portable Printer for Photos
Mini 2 HD Photo Printer｜KOD-MP2W
The Best Portable Printer for Your Smart Phone
IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer
A Light Printer That's Easy to Carry around
ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
Create Durable Photos, Cards, and Stickers with Ease
SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
An All-purpose Photo Printer with a Great Battery
Deskjet 1112 Compact Printer
The Best Printer for Your Budget
The CANON PIXMA iP110 tops our list at number one for several reasons. This printer comes with a rechargeable battery, it can connect to your devices by USB or Wifi, and it can show you print previews via its smartphone application.
The Canon PIXMA iP110 also has a compact size of 12.7 x 7.3 x 2.5 inches and weighs less than five pounds. You can travel with this portable printer by putting it in your luggage for air travel or within the trunk of your car.
Of all the portable printer's on this list, it also has the highest-quality printing resolution in both monochrome and color!
Some reviewers have mentioned that the printer's page yield is rather low compared to competitors. Other reviewers have mentioned that it is difficult to set up on your own and it's best to call Canon support to help with the startup process when you purchase the device.
The HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer boasts an impressive charge time of ninety minutes and it has a touchscreen LCD display. However, what makes the HP OfficeJet 250 one of the most impressive portable printers is its extra features.
This portable printer provides optional high-yield ink cartridges, 1-year warranty, mobile-device printing, and can print at 20-pages-per-minute (ppm)! It also has a silent printing mode which allows for printing in public spaces without disturbing anyone else.
Reviewers have reported that when setting up the Wifi settings, users should select self-managed instead of IT-managed. Selecting the IT-managed option will result in inactivity from this printer and the only way to reset the WiFi setting is via HP's support hotline.
If you are looking for a simple and easy-to-use portable printer, look no further. The Epson Workforce WF-100 is an amazing portable printer. It weighs only 4.6 pounds, making it very light for business trips. Print documents with ease using the companion mobile app. And the printer can be charged via USB or its AC cable.
This is the only portable printer on this list with Amazon Dash Replenish, which provides the option to automatically reorder ink. When ink is running low, the printer will automatically place an order via your connected Amazon account.
Reviewers have reported that the main issue with this portable is its maintenance box. It's important to make sure to use the printer often; after two to three weeks of inactivity, it will activate its self-cleaning mode, and that can cause the maintenance box to malfunction.
There is absolutely no need to worry about slow printing speeds with the HP OfficeJet H470. With max printing speeds of 22ppm for black and white prints and 18ppm for color prints, this printer ensures quality at any time of need.
This portable printer is very durable, surviving many HP drop tests. The printer is also compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Palm OS, and more.
It is one of the few portable printers that can connect to your device via WiFi and Bluetooth. Although reviewers have reported that the Bluetooth connection can sometimes get lost, but the Wifi connection is more reliable.
Reviewers also report that the ink cartridges sometimes get stuck, and it's important to take your time when installing and removing them.
We were surprised when we discovered the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer. This portable photo printer uses Zero-Ink technology to print its photos with no need to buy costly cartridges every month. It prints water-resistant photos, letting you print photos at the beach, pool, or when it's raining.
The 2 x 3 inch photos can be used as stickers and with the Sprocket mobile app, you can edit photos, too! The photo printer has a built-in sleep mode that, when combined with Bluetooth, is always ready to print from your connected mobile device at any time.
Reviewers have noted that even though this photo printer has many handy features, it does print rather slowly. It also cannot connect to laptops or home computers.
This photo printer connects to your smartphone via its app and doesn't require any cables. The photo printer's mobile application also lets you customize your photos with filters, stickers, and more. In addition, the Kodak Mini 2 is an affordable option among most portable photo printers.
This photo printer comes in five different color designs, can print a photo at an average of 80 seconds, and is very light. Reviewers have noted that there are some slightly visible lines when printing but, it doesn't take away from the overall usefulness of the printer.
Its 20-pack ink cartridges are a little pricier compared to other competitors, which is something to consider before purchasing.
Canon IVY is the lightest on our list, weighing in at just 5.6 ounces. If you are looking for a portable photo printer that is barely noticeable when you pack it for traveling, this is the best option for you!
It comes in three colors and with an optional 20-pack or 50-pack of photo paper when purchasing. Reviewers have noted that it is a great gift for teenagers, as it's easy to set up and print photos via Bluetooth or its mobile app. The main drawback is that photos tend to print darker than how they originally look.
The Polaroid ZIP is best for anyone who wants photos that last long. It prints tear-resistant, water-resistant, and smudge-resistant photos with ease in under 60 seconds.
This portable photo printer uses Bluetooth connectivity to print. It is easy to set up and is mainly managed through your smartphone.
The two negatives that customers have reported are that the companion app regularly has bugs and Polariod has not released the official dots per inch of this product.
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 is another good option to choose. Images can be printed via USB flashdrive or SD card. You can also use the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app to print images directly from your smartphone.
In addition to all of its features, it also comes with optional expert installation services at an added cost. If you want to avoid any issues when setting up this photo printer, this optional add-on is highly recommended.
Reviewers note that the optional battery pack, which makes this printer portable, is sold separately. It is also important to note that its LCD display does not support touchscreen functionality.
The most affordable printer on this list is the HP Deskjet 1112. Although it is compact, it is not portable. It lacks a battery, yet you can pair it with a mobile power bank to bring it with you whenever you travel.
It does not scan, copy, or fax documents, but it is extremely reliable. It is perfect for printing documents when you're in a hotel or at a client's office. Additionally, it is the most durable printer on this list with a duty cycle of up to 1,000 pages.
A portable printer may not be the only thing you need to make your life easier. Here are some other products you may want to check out.
No. 1: Canon｜Pixma iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer
No. 2: HP｜OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
No. 3: Epson｜Workforce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer｜C11CE05201
No. 4: HP｜OfficeJet H470 Mobile Printer
No. 5: HP｜Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (2nd Edition)
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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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