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Our modern mobile tech has moved us farther and farther away from physical photos with each new generation of gadgets. But while screens of all sizes have increasing resolution, pixel counts, and easy digital sharing, nothing can ever truly replace the feel of something physical. That’s where a good portable printers comes in.
The best portable printers go far beyond photos too – letters and envelopes for your small business instantly look more professional when printed with your logo and design. You can also quickly print out an invoice or contract to a client that requests a physical piece of paper to sign, print last minute packages for a work presentation, or even custom invitations for parties, events, and holiday cards too. A portable printer can also come in handy while traveling, say, when you need to print out official documents for border crossings.
These printers aren’t the traditional dinosaurs that used to dominate most of the space on your desk either. They’re compact, weighing only a few pounds, built to travel and fit into a laptop bag (or a desk drawer when not in use) along with your other gear. But they’re still perfectly fit for home use, and able to do most of the things their bulky ancestors did, while at a fraction of the size.
Lithium-ion batteries give these printers their instant portability, and the best portable printers can even be charged up by USB power on the go, with a car port or spare battery pack. These can also easily go wireless too, meaning that it doesn’t need to be in your small workspace at all and can be freely moved around wherever there’s WiFi. Some receive commands right from your mobile devices as well, often with voice compatibility like Alexa and Google AI.
And when you need to digitize an already physical document, some of the latest portable printers also include a scanner function too, allowing you to edit images for easy emailing.
We’ve highlighted four of the best portable printers that deserve a place in your office accessories kit, whether you’re taking your work on the go, prepping documents for travel, or printing out your favorite photos to frame at home.
1. Canon Pixma TR150 Wireless Mobile Printer
For a top-quality printer to take along with you on your job or travels (or just a discreet printer that can sit in your office without taking up much space), consider this Canon wireless printer.
It fits easily into a backpack or briefcase, and is unlikely to leak cartridge ink when being tossed around in a travel bag.
PhotoPrint+ allows you to edit photos anywhere you have internet access, and you can print over USB, WiFi, even AirPrint or directly from Google Cloud.
The printouts pop with color and look absolutely gorgeous, whether as photos or even frames from HD movies. The 9600 x 2400 max color dpi goes deep into detail, and is able to handle full-sized, 8.5 x 11 pages as well as 5 x 7 photos.
2. HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer
At 4.8 pounds, this light and portable printer is convenient to take along and print from anywhere – no network required. Setup barely takes any effort, and wireless printing is simple with HP’s free app.
The unit operates from a clear two-inch screen, giving you full control over your printouts. Print speed is super-fast and smooth, as this little device can print out even double-sided pages, supporting numerous formats like letters and legal, envelopes and executive, sometimes up to 50 at a time. It’s also quiet too, a nice perk while taking Zoom calls without distracting noises in the background.
The battery charges up fast, thanks to HP Fast Charge, and lasts a decently long time compared with its competitors. It’s also Energy-Star certified too.
3. Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Mobile Printer
Prints from this unit come out smooth and fast, especially for a printer of this size, at almost seven pages per minute (when printing in black and white). And while it only accepts Epson ink cartridges, the pages dry quickly and look crisp and professional, whether as documents or photos.
This printer quickly connects with 5G WiFi, and is controllable by the 1.4-inch built-in color screen, multiple external devices, or even by voice command.
The battery life here isn’t as strong as some of the others, but they’ve designed it to conserve power at every instance, such as an automatic shutoff when not in use. However it can be charged back up pretty quickly using USB, a power bank, AC power, or the optional extra external battery as well.
4. Kodak Dock Plus Portable Instant Photo Printer
If you’re just looking to print only photos, this Kodak printer can take you back to a time before digital cameras, when getting an instant print was a game-changer.
This little printer fuses the tech of today with the nostalgia of yesteryear, except this time you can pick and choose which photos get printed, rather than having all of them print out before even knowing how it looks.
It can handle photos up to 4 x 6 inches (as well as smaller), with an optional border and other aesthetic settings. The free Kodak app lets you add even more visual options, like stickers and frames too.
Connection is fast through Bluetooth or wired, and thanks to Kodak’s 4Pass technology, photos are printed in ribbon layers, then run through a laminating process. The result is a fingerprint-proof and water-resistant print, ready to be shared, framed, or held onto for the long-term.