to top 10 table

Best Portable Printers Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Mar 08, 2019

When on the go we often find ourselves either capturing moments we wish we could frame in our house, or even as writers, finishing stories or scripts we want to print. For those on the go for work, you will often also find yourself finishing something that desperately needs to be printed out by morning in your hotel room. None of us want to have to drag a 15 pound or more printer everywhere we go. But, is there such a thing as the right size printer that can easily be taken with you where you need it to go and do what you need it to? In short-yes!

We hunted all over for portable printers of various kinds, from picture to receipt and even full-size paper printers that are easily placed and carried in the right sized computer bags! We found a great solution for this top ten list and we know you will find what you need in the lineup! So, feel free to print this one at home just so you can keep each one in mind, or even share our list with friends!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 23 hrs of research

icon
HP Sprocket
98.6/100 our score
Ease of Use
98.2
Advanced Features
99.1
Apps
97.7
Connectivity
99.3
Value
98.7
HP Sprocket
Why is it better?

1-year limited warranty

24/7 web support

Blue tooth (v. 3.0)

Customizable picture print-out software through the web

Makes photo stickers as well

Easy and fun to use

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
HP Sprocket
Test Winner: HP Sprocket
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
21
Researched Sources
Total Readers
23K
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
18
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
23
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
63
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Ease of Use Advanced Features Apps Connectivity Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
Ease of Use
98.2 %
Advanced Features
99.1 %
Apps
97.7 %
Connectivity
99.3 %
Value
98.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$119.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Ease of Use
97 %
Advanced Features
98 %
Apps
96.7 %
Connectivity
97.2 %
Value
96.0 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$56.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.9
Ease of Use
96 %
Advanced Features
95.7 %
Apps
96.7 %
Connectivity
95 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$99.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Ease of Use
93 %
Advanced Features
94 %
Apps
93.9 %
Connectivity
94 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$199.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Ease of Use
92 %
Advanced Features
91 %
Apps
92 %
Connectivity
93 %
Value
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$349.89
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Ease of Use
90 %
Advanced Features
89 %
Apps
88 %
Connectivity
87 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$94.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Ease of Use
86 %
Advanced Features
86 %
Apps
87 %
Connectivity
85 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$99.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Ease of Use
84 %
Advanced Features
85 %
Apps
83 %
Connectivity
83 %
Value
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$89.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
Ease of Use
81 %
Advanced Features
83 %
Apps
80 %
Connectivity
80 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.2
Ease of Use
78 %
Advanced Features
79 %
Apps
78 %
Connectivity
77 %
Value
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (27.06.19)
Amazon Link
$30.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • HP Sprocket HP Sprocket
  • Fujifilm INSTAX Fujifilm INSTAX
  • Canon SELPHY CP1300 Canon SELPHY CP1300
  • Epson WorkForce WF-100 Epson WorkForce WF-100
  • HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One
  • SereneLife PICKIT20 SereneLife PICKIT20
  • Prynt Pocket Prynt Pocket
  • Kodak Mini 2 Kodak Mini 2
  • PowCube Officelead PowCube Officelead
  • KT-PRASE 3D Pen KT-PRASE 3D Pen
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Portable Printers

1. HP Sprocket

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.6
HP Sprocket
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
98.2
Advanced Features
99.1
Apps
97.7
Connectivity
99.3
Value
98.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.95
Pros:

1-year limited warranty

24/7 web support

Blue tooth (v. 3.0)

Customizable picture print-out software through the web

Makes photo stickers as well

Easy and fun to use

Cons:

Color is slightly off

Poor paper quality

This beautiful little device will easily slide into your pocket with your phone or into the case next to your tablet. Its beautiful printouts will no doubt amaze you and your friends so that you will never be without a hard copy of your favorite moments in time.

Read more

Stick-em up!
Want to have fun with your photo’s? Why not print them as stickers? With this device, you can print normally and get a good quality photo, or you can print it out as a sticker to decorate your journals, place easily in albums or add to your scrapbook of adventures with ease. If you are looking for a little more than your normal photo, this is definitely the pocket printer for you!

I need support over here!
Whether or not you use the warranties on items you have purchased, you have undoubtedly needed to call for technical support. With this product, you can be rest-assured that no matter where you are- or what time it is- you will get an answer and the help you need to quickly resolve the issue. HP promises you 24-hours, 7 days a week support ready to help answer all of your questions.

Cost and value
With this little device, you are looking to have fun with every picture you take. Instead of your typical picture where you have to find a way to put into your memory books, you can print it out ready to be placed anywhere you like. With the one-year warranty you are covered if something just doesn’t go right, and with the live technical support, you can get answers to any and all of your questions. It is easy to use and doesn’t take much to set up right out of the box. We feel that all of this in one package is definitely worth every penny, and the rest of its features are just icing on the cake!

2. Fujifilm INSTAX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Fujifilm INSTAX
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
97
Advanced Features
98
Apps
96.7
Connectivity
97.2
Value
96.0
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$56.00
Pros:

USB rechargeable

Comes with a free share app for your pictures

Can adjust the brightness of the picture via the share app

Reprint with a button press

Nostalgic of old photograph appearance

Cons:

Does not connect via wi-fi

A true on-the-go printer, this product is easily used at a moment’s notice and creates pictures you can treasure in an old-style flare that anyone can enjoy. If you are looking for a portable printer that can not only go everywhere with you but is easily recharged, this is the one for you! Read more below to get more details!

Read more

Recharge!
Rather than requiring you to hunt down an outlet to recharge your printer, Fuji thought ahead and made this little beauty rechargeable via USB. If you have your laptop on handy, or the charger cable for your car, you are all set to go, no matter what! Never be without enough power to enjoy printing your pictures on the go again!

Nostalgic look!
Remember the old instant print photography of the Polaroid era? Well, now you can get that all over again- only with your phone or tablet as the source of your pictures! Print your pictures and have that pretty white frame to write a message or date so you never forget when and where you took that picture. Make your memories always at the tip of your fingers with this Fuji product!

Cost and Value
With everything we have already mentioned this device is already well worth its price. You also get a great app that lets you adjust your pictures in many ways to get that perfect print quality image. Add new designs, change it into chromatic images, or just brighten or darken your image as you like to print just how you want- or send it with your touch ups to other devices for free!

3. Canon SELPHY CP1300

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.9
Canon SELPHY CP1300
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
96
Advanced Features
95.7
Apps
96.7
Connectivity
95
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.95
Pros:

Comes with paper, a sample cartridge, adapter, USB connector, and a cleaning cloth

Wi-fi connection

USB and memory card compatible

1-year warranty

Great customer support

Cons:

Battery comes separately

Canon is a name we all know and since it has such a knowledge base we know it has a following, which means it has trust. With that in mind, we look at this portable printer below to see what it has in store for us that keeps this company on the edge of technology while still producing great products.

Read more

Ready, set…
Cannon again impresses us with its quality. The pictures are crisp and print with great quality so that you are rarely if ever disappointed. On top of that, they also supply you with the cords and a sample set of the cartridge and paper. Great news for those who prefer normal picture paper over stickers too- this portable can do both! No more having to mess with the sticker paper that may or may not work right in your household!

Connection?
Being able to connect wirelessly is wonderful, but sometimes you have pictures you want to print that weren’t taken on your iPhone and you don’t think of it till you are already on the move and can’t print from your laptop. Well, no more of that! This printer lets you use a USB cord from your phone, a USB stick and a memory card as well to retrieve and print the image you want.

Cost and Value
It isn’t surprising to know that a Canon printer is worth every penny you pour into it and more. With everything this company does to ensure that their products are a high quality, you are almost guaranteed to get a great printer when you buy one of theirs. Speaking of, they also shower their loyal customers with great customer support and offer a warranty on almost every product they sell- so even if for some reason yours isn’t up to par, you know they will help you fix things ASAP.

4. Epson WorkForce WF-100

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Epson WorkForce WF-100
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
93
Advanced Features
94
Apps
93.9
Connectivity
94
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.99
Pros:

Charges both via adapter and USB

Prints from iPhone, Tablets, and Smartphones

Uses Amazon dash to auto order ink when low if set up

Uses wi-fi connectivity

Works with computers

Auto shut off

1-year warranty

Cons:

Printhead clogs when not used for a while

Need a real printer for full-size images or work documents, but need it to be small enough to carry in your computer bag? This is the printer designed with on-the-go- businessmen in mind. It’s compact and light but still prints full-sized documents so that you can work on that resume, informational packet or novel you’ve been working on all week.

Read more

All-in-one!
So, you need a printer that can handle every task you throw at it, from every wireless information device you have? Not a problem! This gorgeous product connects via wif-fi which allows it to connect to phones, tablets, and even computers! It’s great for any need, whether you want a full-size picture, or if you are looking to print out text! This pretty printer has you covered from all angles! Despite its small size when packed up, it uses traditional sized printer paper to give you that high-quality job everywhere you go!

Low on ink?
Ever wish you didn’t just have to rely on your memory to recall that your printer was screaming low ink at you while you were working? Maybe you wish you didn’t have to stop everything just to order ink, so you didn’t have to hold onto that bit of information till later? Well with the Epson you don’t need to worry! You can set it up with Amazon Dash and as soon as your running low, your printer can send in the order for just the right cartridge, so you don’t even have to recall which thing it is you needed to order!

Cost and Value
If you are on the go a lot and need a printer you can keep with you for documents and other printouts, then there is nothing more valuable you can get. This printer is small enough that if you are already bringing a laptop, it can slide right into the case and you’d barely notice! Considering that it also can charge both via adapter and by USB, you also don’t need to worry about not having a way to charge it. Add to that the one-year warranty against defects and you have a printer that exceeds its cost in value.

5. HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
92
Advanced Features
91
Apps
92
Connectivity
93
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$349.89
Pros:

Prints, scans, and copies

Fits into large size computer bags, backpacks, etc

Prints via a wi-fi connection

Can be used with smartphones, computers and even androids with its app set up

‘Plug-and-play’

1-year hardware warranty

Only 90 minutes to charge when off

Cons:

Uses an AC adapter

Here is another full-size print-out that fits into tight places, this time brought to by HP. Many of us have a love for one brand or another, but there is a definite trust with HP customers that they can rely on this company to serve them well!

Read more

It does it all folks!!
Don’t just need your portable to print? Well, we have the answer for you then! Say hello to the printer/scanner/copier generation of portable devices! The HP OfficeJet 250 covers all your bases and can even email too! It connects to your wireless devices right out of the box and is charged after only 90 minutes. To think, you can do it all from this pretty portable machine. HP certainly knows it’s stuff and has a market cornered with this one!

But… how?
When you think about everything this machine can do, you can’t help but stop and wonder how it can be portable- but it is. While still bigger than other portable printers, it can be slid into large computer bags and backpacks easily. With most of us who would use it already having a laptop, this isn’t an issue- and it is still lightweight! The fact that it has its own battery that charges in only 90 minutes I also just as incredible!

Cost and Value
You can’t really beat an all-in-one deal like this one on value. When you simply need to have an on-the-go office, this truly surpasses expectations. So what else can we add? How about a one-year warranty on the item as well? Just in case you run into technical difficulties with your all-in-one, you know you can get things repaired easily, which can be a real weight off of anyone’s shoulders.

6. SereneLife PICKIT20

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
SereneLife PICKIT20
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
90
Advanced Features
89
Apps
88
Connectivity
87
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$94.99
Pros:

Connect-and-Play

Wi-fi connection

Fits in your pocket

Easy to use

Easy to change cartridge

Cons:

Cartridge only good for 10 prints

Want a painless way to print from any phone on the market? Try out the Serenity Life printer! This little guy can go to work right from the box and will give you gorgeous pictures to boot! Want to know more about what features this product has to offer? Read more below!

Read more

Play now!
Many of the portable printers might require an app set up for at least one type of phone, but this one is as easy as open, charge and use! The apps come already with the printer, so you don’t have to go hunting it down and it works on all phone types that are wi-fi! This pretty machine is a no hassles creation that fits right into your pocket too!

Wi-Fi
While blue tooth seems wonderful, many tablets and phones are more dependable with their wi-fi connections than they are with blue tooth. Why go with something that may or may not connect with your phone? Be sure to quickly use your printer when you want with the wi-fi connection instead. Less hassle, less frustration, and more fun memories!

Cost and Value
While some of our products can only connect with certain phones, this one can connect with any that offers wi-fi connectivity. That makes this valuable already to us. Add to it the no hassle instant set up and its cost is covered. A lot of us have issues with our messy the cartridges can be so knowing that this is a completely quick and clean cartridge change which deals both the ink and the paper, so you don’t have to worry that you loaded anything wrong- it’s already loaded in one single click out, click in, process!

7. Prynt Pocket

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Prynt Pocket
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
86
Advanced Features
86
Apps
87
Connectivity
85
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.99
Pros:

Makes videos out of pictures

Prints pictures as stickers

Compact

Zink paper requires no ink

Holds your phone in its case

Cons:

Doesn’t fit in your pocket

Have to remove any phone shell/casing

Only works with iPhones

Want to have the feeling of holding a Polaroid, but the quality of your phone? This printer combines your phone with the printer, so you aren’t having to hold each separately to use it. Like a transformer, it feels like you are taking your phone to its next form! Read below for more!

Read more

Live pictures!
This unique idea is only really available with this particular printer and its app. When you take a video with your picture, it can be taken to the app and viewed as a video through another iPhone. This means your photos can literally come to life! Imagine not just taking a picture of what happened and talking about the events around it but being able to show off your picture and have it come to life through anyone’s iPhone! Now you can with this amazing printer product!

Camera phone?
While most portable printers connect with your phone via wi-fi, this one directly plugs into your phone, or rather your phone plugs right into it! Suddenly your phone is transformed into a polaroid camera and you don’t have to worry about not being able to press the button to take the shot! Now you can instantly take your picture, and have it print without having to mess around with connectivity problems!

Cost and value
While this device has more cons than most, it is a new technology. The idea was invented by people who saw a great idea in their heads and decided to go with it and not give up. The value steps into overdrive when you realize your images are like mini-DVDs and can be used to relive a memory in action instead of a simple recollection you talk about. It’s also added in with the growing ‘no ink’ cartridge design and the fact that you no longer have to worry about how to put a picture into your album- it’s already a sticker. Overall, we feel this camera’s value still places it on our list.

8. Kodak Mini 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.4
Kodak Mini 2
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
84
Advanced Features
85
Apps
83
Connectivity
83
Value
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$89.99
Pros:

Multiple ways to connect to your device

Colors true to images

Vivid images with layers of color and dimension

Photos can be printed from multiple different electronics

Cons:

Pictures are a bit small

Pricey for the size of the printer

We are talking about a company here that definitely knows pictures. If you are not sure that a printer can handle optimal quality images the way a camera can, then maybe a company like this can change your mind! Check out the information we found to see if Kodak can make you reconsider a portable printing option for your phone over buying a film-based camera and waiting for the day you can see what you took for memory shots!

Read more

Connect your way!
This printer doesn’t just connect in one way, unlike many of its competitors. Instead, it uses both wi-fi and blue tooth so that no matter which way you connect easiest. Sometimes life is just easier to enjoy with such a choice, and you never know when one way of connecting will be better than another. With this option, it is also easier for both newer and older phones and tablets to both be able to find the connection and allow you to print pictures that you took before you even had the option!

Layers are better
Anyone who is an artist and who has worked with any type of electronics to do artwork will tell you that a layered image is better. The colors are truer, and the end result is stunning. The same is true about pictures. Even the old camera film was done in layers of work rather than all at once, which is why they were more vibrant and lasted longer than today’s simple one-layer printouts often look. Kodak knows this, so even with something as small as the portable printer, they wanted to ensure better quality.

Cost and Value
It’s hard to outdo a picture company with printing images- even ones taken electronically. The quality of pictures this printer gives certainly among the best. Kodak is still a bit new at the computer style of things, but they managed to pull great work with what they do know and implement it here. They even provide you with two options for the end result and added a lamination process, so your photo will last. All in all, we think they deserved to be on this list along with the rest and certainly think we’ll see them producing even better equipment in the future!

9. PowCube Officelead

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.6
PowCube Officelead
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
81
Advanced Features
83
Apps
80
Connectivity
80
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Uses thermal printing

Smaller than the traditional receipt printers

Connects to smartphones via blue tooth and USB

Battery display light

Supports network printing

Comes with everything needed to use it

Cons:

A bit heavy for the size

If what you are in need of isn’t pictures, but receipts or coupon labels, this might be the option for you. Instead of trying to print out a scannable receipt on printers made for pictures, this portable printer was built for your desired task.

Read more

Quiet print
With its state of the art thermal printing system, this printer is extremely quiet so that you don’t have to feel like your ‘making your presence known’ when you print coupons or receipts. This little machine is quick and easy to use and can connect to allow for a transfer of information so that you never lose track of what needs to be done in order to print on the go.

Never wonder
A lot of receipt printers don’t warn you when your battery is low, and you may end up in mid print when it goes out. Not so with Livepow. With an LED battery indicator, you’ll know when you need to recharge before it quits printing. That means you can work with the peace of mind that you know when you’ll need to head off to recharge.

Cost and Value
For as little as this printer costs, it certainly packs a punch for what it does. The fact that it is quiet, fast and connects to other devices easily makes this a steal. It deserves not because of all the products in its line, it has no real downside to it. Livepow knew what it was doing when it built this one.

10. KT-PRASE 3D Pen

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.2
KT-PRASE 3D Pen
Amazon Link
Ease of Use
78
Advanced Features
79
Apps
78
Connectivity
77
Value
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$30.99
Pros:

Temp control

Speed control

Mobile power supply

One click control to start and stop

Cons:

Limited instructions

If what you are looking for is fun, portable and 3D, then our final list option is where you want to look. Ever wanted to draw a 3D model and just didn’t want to deal with being in the room with a large printing device, or connected to some outside computer to do it? Check this entertaining little device out and see if you might want to add it to your ‘wanted’ list!

Read more

Fun for creating
This pen will definitely stimulate the imagination and can be fun for both kids and parents. Instead of simply printing something or only getting a flat image result- you can create new 3D crafts and spend hours designing things to be as you want them. This little 3D print-pen is great for parties too!

Mobile power supply
Most 3D print creations are forced to remain near an outlet- this one isn’t! Although it doesn’t have an auto-print, it does allow for you to get great ideas and create them on the go. Some might not consider this a printer device, but in the new age of technology, 3D concepts are becoming more and more prevalent, so we felt that mentioning this one on our list was a necessity to bring to light the option of 3D print even if it wasn’t connected to anything other than your hand.

Cost and Value
This can’t have a tag put on it for those of us in the creative fields- there simply is no price too big for the value of imagination. Even so, this 3D printing pen is actually cheaper than most everything else we could mention. It gives such a wide array of fun activities that in all truth- we feel everyone else will agree that it deserves it’s place here.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Anything you plan to take with you consistently on trips, no matter how close or far, you want to know can survive the journey easily. So when we went looking for the different types of products on this list, we made it one of our first items on our ‘things to know’ list. We always look for this to some degree with long-term use items, but with portable electronics, it really does get tested a lot more. These items are more likely to be squeezed into tight places like suitcases, purses, and pockets. On top of that, there is a good chance of getting tossed around or dropped, and because of that, they need to be strong enough to last in situations they might naturally end up in. Of course, we don’t expect it to survive anything abnormal, like being thrown or shoved onto the floor or crushed under heavier objects. So, if you are looking for that kind of durability we can’t guarantee it- and we would be the first to point out warranty stipulations often don’t cover that either.

Value

Many of the devices on this list have a warranty or at least a money back guarantee. A few even have Satisfaction guarantee’s, which are definite pluses to their value. The convenience of these items also adds to their value and many of the other features they have. So when weighing them against their costs, we feel all of these definitely hit the bar for what we expect and then some. We strive with every list to make sure the items we give you are worthy of a top ten, and by being such, tip the scales more towards value than their actual cost.

Size

Portable means portable, right? And while at least one on this list may not meet everyone’s idea of that word, truth is that it does. When wanting a true printer that is portable, you can’t get something that fits in your palm and can still print full-size sheets. You can, however, get a lightweight machine that fits in a computer travel bag and not is carrying something that could definitively throw your back out. That being said, everything on this list is a perfect size for being what they are and still being portable. A major necessity to be on this type of list.

Ease of Use

Some devices are easy to take with you but are complicated to use. You buy it thinking all you have to do is plug it in, charge it, and turn it on when you want to use it, only to find out that there is some huge set-up process that even with the manual is almost impossible to decipher and get to run correctly. We buy these things so that we can remove difficulties- not add to them. When choosing our lists for electronics we try to make sure that the manuals are easy to understand, and the product as easy to use as it is to take with you. We feel that every item on this list meets that need and should be easy to set up to work with your computer, iPhone, Android, etc. However, the next thing on our criteria is a very important part of this process.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
ico Durability
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#2
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#3
ico Size
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#4
ico Ease of Use
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expert tips icon
Consider what type you truly need

When you go to decide on any electronic the first thing you should consider, of course, is the intended use versus what you may be expecting it to be able to do. With these types of devices especially you may run across the problem of compatibility with your device as well as what you want from it. Some electronics can be used for multiple purposes, but most portable printers don’t give that luxury. You usually have to decide what you need before choosing the type. We had 3 main types on this list- photo, receipt and a compact printer.

The hand photo printers are typically intended to be used with phones and tablets. They are literally only meant to print photo’s you take with other small hand-held devices. They are a way of not having to take a camera with you that prints on its own, or a way to avoid having to wait to get normal cameral pictures printed elsewhere. Stereotypically these machines have specific IOS’s that they work with and may not even work with every type of phone and tablet, let alone with a computer. There may be drivers you can get and install or special apps that allow them to work with your picture taking device, but we suggest you look into this quite deeply before jumping on a purchase. Just because a driver or app is supposed to work, doesn’t mean it works or works well. You may just want to stick with something originally intended to work with yours.

Portable receipt printers are only intended for taking inventory and may not be very useful for much else. If you need a way to keep track of things quickly and on small printouts, this could work easily, however, try to look at these as more like a calculator that prints. This is not intended for use as a computer style print out and only tends to print in black and white.

Compact printers are not handheld though they are considered portable. Most compact printers are designed to be about the size of a flatbed scanner and can be slipped into a large laptop bag. The things you may want to consider with this type are size, your needs, and where you can set up. Portable doesn’t mean wireless in this case. You still need to be able to plug the printer into a power source. Some are able to use USB recharge and others need to be plugged into a wall. In either case, they are not portable in the sense of running on batteries and being set up in a public park or diner for use. They are still intended to be used in a stable place for printing. When out on business or vacation these can help because they are easily taken with you and set up in another house or a hotel room without being overly heavy or taking up a lot of space.

Keep in mind the kind of ink your new printer uses

Another consideration you might want to keep in mind is what the product uses for ink. This can easily play into the value of an item because the price and quality of the ink can affect how your picture, receipt style print, or general print out ends up looking.

Other Factors to Consider

Compatibility

Each device on this list will tell you what it is compatible with. If you have a specific machine you are purchasing for, make sure that the printer you are getting works with the IOS you have. While most of the picture printers work with any smartphone, some don’t. Information on each can be found in the manuals and in product descriptions when you are looking them up. Double check too to make sure your apps it runs off of are up to date and will be able to help properly set your phone up with it. We tried to make sure the products work with most of the IOS’s that are out there, but sometimes a great device that makes the list simply isn’t built with everything to run on multiple IOS’s. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a good device- just that it was specialized.

Weight

Again, this is a major part of being able to be carried. Even when something is small enough to fit somewhere, it doesn’t always mean it weighs a small enough amount to be easily transported. When looking over every product, we found that all of the ones we put up are not going to cause issues and can be easily transported from one location to another with little effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can I use the same ink in a different printer?

a:

The long and short of it? No. It is never a good idea to buy one type of ink and just inject it into a different type of inks cartridge just because it seems cheaper. This can shrink the life expectancy of both the cartridge and the printer, especially if you put the wrong type of ink in.

q: Is there a difference in quality between a laser printer and an ink jet style printer?

a:

It depends. This is a very controversial question because there are people on both sides of the fence on which is better. Different printers and brands can affect the quality as well as the different brands and quality cartridge you put in the printer. Always check if what you are getting for ink is what the device calls for. Even the same type of ink from the same company can come in different types of cartridges and it’s never a one size fits all.

q: Will my portable printer work with my laptop?

a:

Always check the information provided on each one. Some portable printers can, while others can’t. It all depends on what IOS they are designed for.