In this guide we will therefore show you the best models of portable printers we can buy, also indicating the characteristics that these models must possess. Once you have chosen the right model you will not be disappointed: the printer will satisfy you to the point that you will hardly go back to using large printers for photographs or for some documents to be printed on the fly.
READ ALSO: What are the fastest printers
Portable printer: which one to buy
As mentioned in the introduction, we will first illustrate the characteristics that a good portable printer must have, so as to avoid buying models that are too cheap or models lacking some important functions. After reading the features it is the turn of the inevitable buying guide, with the best inkjet or thermal sublimation models which you can buy at a good price on Amazon.
A good portable printer must reflect the following technical characteristics:
- Printing technology: these printers have technologies capable of printing quickly even with small devices; in fact, the most used technologies are inkjet printing and thermal sublimation printing. If we have to print mostly documents, the advice is to focus on portable inkjet printers, which are also suitable for printing in color or for photographic printing. If we want to get the most out of color photo prints we must focus on thermal sublimation printer models, a process that uses heat to subliminate the ink, which passes from solid to gaseous state reproducing the image on special paper. .
- Connectivity: for this type of printer, make sure that the model chosen has wireless connectivity, practically essential given the manageability of these devices. Many printers also support technologies to be able to directly connect your smartphone or tablet to print wirelessly even in the absence of a wifi network (printing via WiFi Direct network or via Bluetooth). The presence of Ethernet connectivity does not hurt, since we can use the Ethernet cable to connect the portable printer to any router and print via the LAN.
- Doors: portable printers often offer slots for microSD or SD cards, so you can also print using this type of memory media. The presence of a USB port will allow us to connect the printer directly to the PC so that we can control each printing process.
- Supply: given that portable printers can also be used outside the home, it is necessary to focus on models equipped with an internal rechargeable battery, so as to be able to print even away from a power outlet. Not all models have a standard battery, some models are designed to accommodate a battery which is sold separately: we carefully check this possibility before proceeding with the purchase.
- Management costs: of the two technologies available for portable printers, the most expensive is thermal sublimation printing; this type of printing does not require ink cartridges but compatible specialty paper can be very expensive. On the other hand, inkjet printing is much cheaper, but you have to regularly spend on black and color cartridges and if they run out it is no longer possible to print until the cartridge (or cartridges) is replaced.
Best portable inkjet printers
After seeing what are the characteristics that a good portable printer must have, let's see together the best models with inkjet technology, i.e. printers reserved for professional or semi-professional use.
The cheapest model we can bet on is the Canon IX6850 Pixma, available on Amazon for less than € 200.
On this printer we can find a paper module for A3 + sheets, ultra compact design, system with 5 separate and individually replaceable inks, support for Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint, fast black and white and color printing system and 9600 print resolution x 2400 DPI.
A good alternative to the Canon model is the HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile, available on Amazon for less than 220 €.
This printer offers fast color and black and white printing, an LED display to control all functions without a PC, Wi-Fi connection that can be managed directly from the printer, Wi-Fi Direct connection for smartphones, cameras and reflex cameras, dedicated HP Smart app to print quickly from smartphones and tablets and a USB port to connect it to a desktop PC, laptop or Mac / MacBook if necessary.
If we are looking for a portable multifunction printer we can also focus on HP OfficeJet 250 CZ992A, available on Amazon for less than € 300.
Despite its small size, this MFP allows you to scan, copy quickly like a copier and function as a fast black and white or color printer. To these unique features it also adds a high contrast display, a Wi-Fi module and an integrated Bluetooth module.
The best inkjet printer is without a doubt the Epson Workforce Wf-110W, available on Amazon for less than € 300.
On this portable A4 printer we find Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, 3.7 cm color display to control all functions without PC and without smartphone, weight of 1.6 kg and integrated battery, so you can print even without having an electrical outlet nearby.
Best portable thermal sublimation tampons
After the inkjet printers we will show you the thermal sublimation printers, more compact and easy to transport and designed for fast photo printing.
The cheapest model is also the one that presents the most interesting news: we are talking about the Xiaomi Pocket Mini AR, available on Amazon for less than 70 €.
This mini printer allows you to print small photos as big as a hand and is ideal for immediately printing photos taken with your smartphone or shared on social networks such as Instagram. The AR (Augmented Reality) function is also available on this printer which, thanks to support apps such as Mijia, allows you to create creative photos on custom backgrounds and also add audio and video, which can be played simply by bringing the printed photos close to the device. It can be connected via Bluetooth up to four devices at a time and the internal battery will offer you the autonomy necessary to print over 50 photos.
Another very small printer is the Canon ZoeMini, available on Amazon for less than € 100.
With this small printer we will be able to create fantastic posters consisting of 4 or 9 different prints and download the photos directly from Facebook, Instagram, Google Photo, Dropbox or iCloud, so that we can have our favorite photos on paper with lots of special effects and hashtags following.
But if we are looking for a printer that prints professional quality color photos, we will have to focus on HP Sprocket Select, available on Amazon for less than 110 €.
This small printer has a really nice design and, despite its lightness, allows you to print photos immediately from the HP support app or from the most famous social networks, so you have the best memories at your fingertips. Also very useful is the feature that allows you to scan pages and books into small photos in sticker format.
Also in the category of small printers we also find the Canon SELPHY Square QX10, available on Amazon for less than € 200.
With this printer we will be able to take photographs with a very high level of detail, transferring them through the dedicated Canon app or sharing them from social networks and choosing the printer connected via Bluetooth, so as to immediately have the best photos of the web in paper format complete with effects and hashtags.
As we have seen in this guide we can find portable printers reserved for professional use (inkjet) but also small-sized thermal sublimation printers, designed for young people and regular users of Instagram or similar social networks who they want to have the best photos in paper format (on photographic paper that is smaller than the photos that could be printed up to a few years ago).
If we are looking for classic multifunction printer models for home or to set up a small office, we can always read our guide Types of multifunction printers for home.
Are we undecided between laser or inkjet printers? We can put an end to your doubts by reading ours Guide to buying a printer: laser or ink?