The 6 Best Mobile Printers of 2021

These portable printers will help you create professional documents on-the-go

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The Rundown
Best Multifunction:
HP OfficeJet 250 at Office Depot
"The most feature-rich portable printer money can buy."
"Has a 3.2-inch LCD screen and lets you print using AirPrint, a USB card, or the Canon Print app on your smartphone or tablet."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Epson WorkForce WF-100 at Amazon
"Capable of printing directly from a PC, as well as iOS and Android devices through Wi-Fi."
Best for Home Office:
HP DeskJet Plus 4155 at Walmart
"Perfect for sticking into your car, setting up at a hotel or coffee shop and printing before that big meeting."
Best Smart Features:
HP Tango X at Best Buy
"Includes a truckload of unique, useful features and connectivity options."
"This brother printer has a 300dpi resolution, built-in memory, and an extremely compact form-factor to print on the go."

The best mobile printers are lightweight, can connect wirelessly to multiple devices, and don't make large compromises in speed. Printers like these are particularly good options for students and apartment dwellers who may not want to have a bulky printer taking up space on their desk.

Our top pick for the category is the HP OfficeJet 250 All-In-One Printer, It's an AIO, which gives it more functionality than smaller form-factor printers, allowing it to quickly handle printing and scanning. It also has great photo quality and has a rechargeable battery making it portable despite a somewhat bulky build. If you're looking for something more dedicated to the home, you should look at our list of the best home printers. For all others, our overview of the best mobile printers should serve your needs.

Best Multifunction: HP OfficeJet 250 All-In-One Printer

HP OfficeJet 250
What We Like
  • Feature rich

  • Fast printing and scanning

  • Great photos

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky compared to others

If you’re looking for the most feature-rich portable printer money can buy, the HP OfficeJet 250 is your best bet. While its price tag might cause you to do a double take, the OfficeJet 250 is portable printing whenever you need it. Just stick it into a backpack or suitcase and you’re ready for on-the-go prints. Beyond printing, the OfficeJet 250 takes the portable printer feature set to another level with all-in-one features such as scanning and faxing in package that’s just 6.5 pounds and 7.8 x 15 x 3.6 inches. Even with a small size, the OfficeJet 250 delivers added portability with a battery for up to 500 prints when disconnected from a power outlet and a two-inch high-resolution display for selecting the appropriate-sized print.

The HP has a 10-page automatic document feeder and 50-sheet capacity that produces both letter and legal-sized prints up to 8.5 x 14 inches. The included black cartridge is capable of 200 pages and the tri-color cartridge lasts for around 165 pages before requiring new ink. HP also sells a separately purchased XL version of the OfficeJet 250 ink cartridges bumping the page results to 600 and 415 pages, respectively. With added features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, printing from a smartphone or laptop is easy courtesy of HP’s native ePrint app available for both Android and iOS.

Best for Photos: Canon SELPHY CP1300

Canon SELPHY CP1300
What We Like
  • Geared for smartphone users

  • Small and light

  • Supports app

What We Don't Like
  • Requires some additional accessories

Geared toward smartphone snappers, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 might be mistaken as anything other than a printer. Under two pounds and small enough to easily pack into a bag or luggage, the portable, wireless device can print high-quality photos — up to 4 x 6 inches in size — on the go at a competitive per-print cost. The SELPHY CP1300 has a 3.2-inch LCD screen and lets you print using AirPrint, a USB card, or the Canon Print app on your smartphone or tablet. Thermal dye-sublimation, a type of printing technology, results in sharp, dynamic, water-resistant photos that can last up to 100 years. 

The printer is designed to not just help you remember the party but to be a part of it as well. You can use photo booth mode to get two strips of four photos each, opt to print on sticker paper, and even have all of your friends send photos to the SELPHY CP1300 to create a group collage. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Epson WorkForce WF-100

Epson Workforce Wireless Printer
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Can print from PC as well as mobile devices

  • Good capacity for black and color prints

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat larger than average

Like the Canon, Epson’s WorkForce WF-100 was released a few years ago, but has continued to outshine the competition as an excellent wireless mobile printer. At just 12.2 x 6.1 x 2.4 inches and 3.5 pounds, it’s as lightweight as the Canon, though slightly larger overall. Size aside, the Epson is capable of printing directly from a PC, as well as iOS and Android devices through Wi-Fi connectivity. Printing itself offers both black ink and color cartridges with a rating of 250 and 200 pages, respectively, which is more than enough for printing out the latest invoices, contracts or spreadsheets that might be required on-the-go.

When it comes to true portability, the 20-sheet capacity can handle life on the road by printing 100 black and white pages (and 50 color pages) while operating strictly on the battery. Prior to printing, the Epson requires a brief setup run-through via the small 1.4-inch color LCD display. It’s less than ideal sizing for a desktop printer, but, for a printer built for portability, the LCD display assists with all the necessary functionality.

Best for Home Office: HP DeskJet Plus 4155 All-in-One Printer

HP Deskjet Plus 4155
What We Like
  • Solid AIO capability

  • Supports mobile printing and app

  • High savings for ink costs

What We Don't Like
  • Not as portable as others

At just under 11 pounds and measuring 16.85 x 13.07 x 7.87 inches, the HP DeskJet 4155 won’t feel as mobile as our overall winners, but its positioning by HP as a compact all-in-one is worth noting. Far smaller than most traditional desktop printers, the HP won’t fit comfortably into a backpack, but if you’re on a road trip and want something powerful without compromise, the 4155 is perfect for sticking into your car, setting up at a hotel or coffee shop and printing before that big meeting. Additionally, printing using a smartphone or tablet is offered through a variety of methods, including Wi-Fi, HP’s Smart app, Apple Airprint, or via USB.

As an all-in-one, the 4155 allows you to easily print, copy, scan, or fax with minimal fuss. Setup out of the box is a snap, too. Just pull the printer out, power it on, connect to a device and print away, and the Smart app will guide you step-by-step to connecting to additional devices. As for prints itself, the 4155 offers a respectable eight pages per minute for black and white prints, as well as 5.5 pages per minute for color copies.

Best Smart Features: HP Tango X

HP Tango X Printer
What We Like
  • Smart home integration

  • Good print speed

What We Don't Like
  • Difficulties with restricted networks

Just about everything - from refrigerators to cars - is going "smart" these days, so why should printers remain behind? Say hello to HP's Tango X, a wireless printer that includes a truckload of unique features. The "all-in-one" (AIO) allows you to print, copy, and scan wirelessly from your smartphone, even when you're away from the former. This is made possible using a cloud-based, two-way network connection that works in tandem with the companion "HP Smart" app, ensuring a smooth user experience. In fact, the printer doesn't offer any wired connectivity options (e.g. USB ports) at all. There's only dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n, which is used for everything from completing initial setup to managing settings. Touted as the world's first smart home printer, HP Tango works with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa virtual assistants, allowing you to print hands-free using voice commands. It's rated for print speeds of up to 11ppm/8ppm (black/color), and has a monthly duty cycle of up to 500 pages. The printer is also eligible for HP's "Instant Ink" ink subscription service, and is backed by a one-year warranty.

Best High-End: Brother PocketJet PJ773 Direct Thermal Printer

What We Like
  • Compact size

  • High-resolution prints

  • Added battery

  • Built-in memory

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive and specialized

The Brother PocketJet PJ773 is a monochrome direct thermal printer. It prints in black with a resolution of 300dpi, rivaling larger printers in terms of clarity. The compact size and the inclusion of features like a replaceable battery and car charging port makes it a good options of workers in retail, enterprise, accounting, and other business uses. It supports Wi-Fi, AirPrint, in addition to a USB plug-in. You can also buy additional accessories like more batteries and a carrying/mounting case.

Final Verdict

The best mobile printer you can buy is the feature-packed HP OfficeJet 250. This AIO printer is a fully capable printer that is not only portable, but can also handle your home office needs. It has fast printing and scanning, great photo quality, and black and color cartridges that can last for hundreds of pages. For the more photo-oriented, we like the Canon SELPHY CP1300. At just two pounds, it's one of the best and most affordable portable photo printers you can get.

FAQs

How do inkjet printers compare to laser printers?
Inkjet printers are generally better at printing photos, while laser printers excel at document printing. Laser printers use toner instead of ink, which lasts significantly longer and is generally cheaper to replace, while inkjet printers tend to be less expensive upfront but cost most per page than their laser counterparts.

What size prints can portable printers produce?
Many portable printers, due to their compact size, can only produce 4x6 prints, but there are options available for printing "full size" 8.5x11 or larger photos as well.

What are the advantages of a photo printer over a standard printer?
Broadly speaking, photo printers provide much higher resolution (and thus image quality and fidelity) than most traditional printers. This means they're capable of rivaling even pro-style prints you'd get from a photo kiosk, but with additional control over things like centering and cropping.

What to Look for in a Mobile Printer

Photo printing quality - Are you primarily planning to print pictures? If so, you’ll likely want an inkjet printer (as opposed to a laser printer) to ensure the highest degree of detail in your photos. (Bonus: if those photos will be standard 4-by-6-inch shots, then you probably don’t need a full-sized printer, either — which means it’ll be even more mobile.)

Speed - When you’re downsizing your printer, you might need to make some sacrifices when it comes to speed. As opposed to full-sized printers, which can score you up to 50 pages per minute, mobile printers hover around five pages per minute for color and eight pages per minute for black and white.

Connectivity - Mobile printers don’t make much sense if they need to be wired to a computer or smartphone to print. Look for a printer that can connect to your devices via WiFi or Bluetooth.

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