It can often feel like everything we do in 2020 is online, and it’s true that there’s usually a digital trail for every decision we make, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t need for physical documentation. Portable printers provide you with an ability to print documents wherever you are. That makes them a great choice if you’re a regular business travelers, a contractor who regularly have to invoice and make contracts on the go, and even just individuals who want the ability to freely print without having a bulky machine take up space in their home.
If you’re looking for the best portable printer of 2020, HotRate is on the case. Not only have we identified 10 great models, but we also have some smart shopping tips for you.
TL;DR - 10 Best Portable Printers:
- Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
- HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
- KiiPix Portable Photo Printer
- Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4×6” Instant Photo Printer
- CANON PIXMA iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer
- Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer
- Epson Workforce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer
- SereneLife Portable Instant Mobile Photo Printer
- Brother VC-500W Versatile Compact Color Label and Photo Printer
- Lifeprint 2×3 Portable Photo AND Video Printer
1. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
Looking for physical documentation of your friend group's crazy antics or your family's treasured memories? The Polaroid Zip is a pocket sized phone printer and one of the best portable models we know of, and it's available for less than $100. The Zink printing method removes the need for messy ink with its sticky peel back paper, and syncing this portable printer to your cloud photo gallery is as simple as downloading the free app to your mobile device. You don't even need to plug it into the compufter thanks to the fun filtering and editing features available right through the Polaroid app interface.
2. HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
More serious business users will find a lot to love about the HP OfficeJet 250. It's not exactly pocket sized, but that's actually an asset - giving you most of the functionality and features you'd expect from a traditional printer. That means this Injket printer has the ability to scan and copy documents in addition to full sized printing. The automatic document feeder can support up to 10 pages at a time, so you can go ahead and set your materials to print without having to worry about putting the paper in manually. The HP Officejet 250 uses traditional HP ink cartridges and can be charged through the USB port in your laptop.
3. KiiPix Portable Photo Printer
Users looking to transform their cellphone into a vintage instant camera will get a lot of enjoyment out of the KiiPix. It can turn digital photos from your phone into a forever memory in less than a minute. And in an interesting change of pace, it doesn't rely on wireless connectivity to capture quality photos from your devices. Instead, all you have to do is place your phone in the mount and let the frame replicate the entirety of your device's screen. It's an unconventional approach, but its $30 price tag makes it one of the best deals on a photo printer.
4. Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4×6” Instant Photo Printer
You won't find an easier to use portable printer for photos than the Kodak Dock. Whether you're looking to print black and white or color photos, you'll always get a vibrant print quality, and all you have to do is connect it to your device over Wi-Fi or load your phone into the dock and press a single button. The thermal transfer technology ensures that your photos will neither bleed nor fade. Kodak offers a whole host of companion apps for image editing and transformation purposes, and the dock can even be used as a charging station for your smartphone or tablet at the same time.
5. CANON PIXMA iP110 Wireless Mobile Printer
If you need an Inkjet printer that's portable and image quality absolutely matters to you, your best option could be the Canon Pixma iP110. It offers high speed image and document printing from your favorite cloud services over the proprietary Canon app, but it's also compatible with all the major computer operating systems if you'd prefer to use your laptop as a source. But the inclusion of a free, proprietary editing app means that you'll never have to use your computer if you don't want to. With this portable photo printer, Canon delivers a DPI of 9600 x 2400, undoubtedly impressive for a portable printer of this size and at this price.
6. Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer
Fujifilm is known for their instant photos, so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that their Instax photo portable printer is one of the best of its kind. It's compact and incredibly easy to use thanks to the minimalist design (available in either silver or gold). Image quality comes through with a resolution of 800x600 dots and 320 DPI, which is more than respectable for a portable printer in this price range, while recharging the battery can be handled by just plugging it into any powered USB port. It also utilizes a cool new laser exposure system that allows you to print a photo at a top speed of less than 10 seconds.
7. Epson Workforce WF-100 Wireless Mobile Printer
The Epson Workforce WF-100 is one of the most expensive options on our reviews list, but it offers a level of quality that confidently matches the higher price tag. Built with the needs of professionals in mind, the image quality is exceptional whether you're looking to print black and white documents or pristine color photos. Most of the basic features you'd expect from an Epson printer are here, but the fast drying ink in particular is a great and practical consideration for professionals who find themselves regularly needing to print out materials when they're on the go. It can charge via USB or the included power adapter.
8. SereneLife Portable Instant Mobile Photo Printer
The SereneLife is cheap, functional, and capable of fitting comfortably in the palm of your hand. The battery life isn't the greatest we've found, but it's a convenient choice that lets you share photos directly from the cloud. The paperless and inkless design means you don't have to worry about smears or smudging with your photos, and the results are laminated to really help the color pop. Both setup and the process of changing out paper is an absolute breeze. The compatible PickIt app includes the ability to both print and edit photos from a single intuitive interface.
9. Brother VC-500W Versatile Compact Color Label and Photo Printer
The Brother VC-500W relies on inkless printing for pristine results across the board, but it's also one of the most fully featured photo printers that we've had the pleasure of using. It's compatible with Windows machines, Macs, and both iOS and Android devices thanks to the Wi-Fi capabilities, and it's designed to double as a label printer as well. In that respect, it offers support for a variety of different tape types and sizes. The Label Editor app gives you a number of bright and colorful ways to spice up the look and design of both your photos and your labels as well.
10. Lifeprint 2×3 Portable Photo AND Video Printer
This portable Lifeprint printer is innovative in that it focuses the way printers can connect us more closely to the people that matter. If your friends are connected to the Lifeprint network, you can wirelessly let them know when you've printed out a picture and give them the option to automatically print it out themselves. For some users, that will be an extraneous feature, but there's no doubt it's a smart innovation. Lifeprint's photo editing app further goes well beyond the standards you'd expect from a mobile device by allowing you to create augmented reality photos that will play a video when you point your screen at your printed photos.
Portable Printers Buyer’s Guide
If you want to know what specs you should be looking for generally in a printer, we’ve already got you covered. Our guides to the top photo printers and all-in-one printers of 2020 cover the fundamentals, so we’ll instead focus our attention on a few particular qualities you should keep in mind when looking at portable printing technology.
- Dimensions and weight are obviously a big deal. If you want a full-sized portable document printer, you’ll have to opt for a model that weighs a few pounds, and most models offer print, scan, and copy functions. You can get a quality photo printing model that can fit in your pocket, but the features and capacity are significantly more limited.
- What are the connectivity options included? Built-in Wi-Fi is generally the best option because they make it easy to share photos and documents from the cloud, but it does require a dedicated wireless internet signal to work, so that’s not always going to suit you if you regularly find yourself in dead zones. Bluetooth printers instead tether themselves directly to your smartphone or tablet, but they need to be within 30 feet to properly work.
- Consider the image quality. The last thing you want is a photo that will bleed, and models that use thermal paper are the best in this regard.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Compact Printer?
We recommend you take a look at the Epson Workforce WF-100. The Epson brand is one of the best in wireless printing, and they’ve provided a model with some of the best and most capable output we’ve discovered in a convenient model that’s designed with portability in mind.
What is the Best Small Wireless Printer?
We’re a big fan of the Kodak Dock. It’s not the smallest or the most inexpensive product on our list, but the top shelf technology and high-quality performance earns it a rating as our top all around choice for a portable printer.
What is the Smallest Portable Printer?
The Polaroid Zip is the smallest printer we’ve discovered. It can fit comfortably in the front pocket of your jeans, but it still offers pretty quality performance. And you can save money thanks to the highly affordable standard price.
What is a Portable Printer?
A portable printer is simply a small printer that you can bring with you while you travel on the road. Most portable printers take the form of either a highly compact photo printer or a more traditional Inkjet printer at sizes significantly more smaller than their traditional counterparts (at the expense of features and sometimes image quality).
If you want the ability to print your digital photos wherever you go or deliver printed legal or professional documents to your clients even when you’re out of the office, there’s no better choice than a portable printer. We’re pleased to share our top finds with the people, and we hope that you’ll add HotRate to your bookmark list for whenever you need advice about shopping for tech.If you liked our article on portable printers, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.