portable printer
Take them with you on vacation or a nearby cafe - these productivity tools refuel from any power source. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Have you ever wished you could print on the go? Even though we live in a digital-first world, printed documents offer travel convenience, allow annotations and don't rely on devices to be shared. All you need is a small gadget to produce big results in the car or at a cafe, without making a stop at the print shop.

This is exactly what portable printers do for the frantic student or worker looking to make last-minute copies. Unlike full-size machines, these wireless, rechargeable units take on a limited number of tasks to make quick work of printing jobs, wherever you are.

How are portable printers different from regular printers?

Ullas Aravind, a senior service engineer with 16 years of experience in the copier section of Justrepair.ae in Dubai, tells us that portable printers are primarily inkjet models. "I've mostly repaired the HP OfficeJet 202 Mobile Printer, and it carries two ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-coloured. They're limited by capacity, so each would give you around 250 pages," said Aravind.

In terms of maintainence, these are not too different from their desktop counterparts. Aravind only advises users to replace the cartridge when the time arrives. "Once the indication for low ink pops up on the screen, replace the cartridges. If the printer continues to work past the alert, then it starts affecting other parts of the machine," he explained.

Besides inkjet portable printers, you could also get a thermal printer for monochrome printouts, especially if you run a small business. They use heat instead of ink but do require special paper for that technology. Aravind said: "Thermal printers are so easy to use. We use the Zebra printer here mostly for printing out bills and barcodes."

canon selphy printer
If you want to create instant physical copies of a special moment, portable photo printers are a useful travel item. Image Credit: Amazon

Regular home or office printers often come with built-in scanners. Very rarely will users find an all-in-one (AIO) portable printer, since most in the market are designed to take on a single function at a time. If scanning is a necessity for your purposes, then these rare AIO portable units are naturally pricier than print-only models.

Given a portable printer's compact size and rechargeable battery pack, you could bring one home to save on space, too. But, think about how much you're ready to pay for portability, in place of a faster full-size inkjet or laser printer.

Our list features trustworthy printer manufacturers, from HP to Epson, along with best-rated options for portable photo and thermal printing. Find these on Amazon, where a Prime membership will get the printer to you as soon as today.

1. Best Overall: HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer


  • Prints in colour, scans and copies
  • Can be plugged in or used on battery power
  • Prints at a speed of 9ppm
  • Colour touchscreen


  • No paper tray to catch the printed sheets
  • Manual duplex printing

We're starting off with the only AIO portable printer on the list. HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One prints, scans and copies no matter where you are. It's also a brand you can quickly get a hang of, says Aravind, whose customers find HP to be the most user-friendly. Recharge the unit in 90 minutes via an AC power source, then pair it to your laptop or smartphone to print, all without Wi-Fi. It runs on a speed of 9ppm (nine black pages per minute), while the feeder tray can hold up to 10 pages at a time. Even the portable model has a 2.65-inch colour touchscreen to control all three functions easily. Remote or on-field employees leave five stars in the reviews, and are satisfied with the print quality. At this price point though, duplex or two-sided printing is done manually. 

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh145.83 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh103 and two years for Dh169.

2. Best Compact: Canon PIXMA TR150 Portable Printer


  • Compact and easier to pack away on trips
  • Charges via USB-C cable
  • 330-page battery capacity
  • App and app-free connectivity


  • Manual duplex printing

More compact than our HP pick is the Canon Pixma TR150 portable printer. Weighing just over 2kg, this unit even charges with a power bank in your bag via a USB-C cable. It goes without saying that you can plug the TR150 into the car's power outlet so that it's ready to go when you arrive at your destination. A full battery prints up to 330 pages, and you can select your files from the Canon PRINT app or do it app-free through AirPrint and Mopria. Like the HP 250, you're getting speeds of nine images per minute, and a 1.44-inch OLED screen on the printer helps you keep track of the battery, connection status and ink levels. On-the-go users have put it to use while driving and flying. It's especially handy for printing out travel documents on the road, they add. 

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh105.33 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh74 and two years for Dh122.

3. Best Value: WorkForce WF-110W Portable A4 Inkjet Printer


  • Only weighs 1.6kg
  • USB or adapter charging
  • 100-page battery capacity
  • Print from Google Cloud Print, Epson printing app and Wi-Fi


  • Manual duplex printing
  • Slightly slower print speeds

Epson features a portable unit in its range, as well. The WorkForce WF-110W printer is the brand's smallest and lightest A4 inkjet machine. With a weight of 1.6kg, the wireless printer can be brought along in briefcases and bags easily. It's best suited for emergency printouts, since the built-in battery has a 100-page capacity. But, if you're out of charge, simply plug it into a power source via the USB cable. The print speed is also slightly slower here at 7ppm in black. Like the Canon Pixma TR150, this unit holds onto 50 sheets at a time so there's less time spent reloading. Reviewers admit that the print quality isn't as good as full-size units, but the printer is far more portable than many.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh63.72 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh46 and two years for Dh75.

4. Best Thermal Printer: Phomemo M08F A4 Portable Thermal Printer


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost-effective in the long run as it's inkless
  • Connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired via USB cable
  • Comes with a few thermal pages


  • Needs special thermal paper
  • Some reviewers note connectivity issues

If you're not too concerned with colour prints, get an A4-size thermal printer like the Phomemo M08F-A4. Resembling a sleek sound bar, this portable unit slips into any crevice vertically and can be wielded with just one hand. It connects to your devices via a simpler Bluetooth technology or a USB cable to send the printing material. Considering you don't need ink refills, the thermal printer only stops when the battery runs out after the 130-page mark. You will need Phomemo's thermal paper to do the job. Reviewers make the switch to save on cartridge expenses and get unlimited printing in the long run. They also appreciate the included sheets of thermal paper to get you started right out of the box.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh59.17 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh46 and two years for Dh75.

5. Best Photo Printer: Canon Selphy CP-1300 Compact Photo Printer


  • Smudge-free high-quality images
  • Prints from camera, smart devices, computer, USB stick and more
  • Many layouts to choose from, including ID-sized photos
  • Battery lasts up to 54 postcard printouts


  • Costly supplies
  • Works best with Canon photo paper

In the photo printing business, Canon's Selphy takes the cake. When we spoke to a printer engineer for photo printers previously, the Selphy device came up as one of the best wireless units for this purpose. Besides making physical copies of your favourite memories, the printer works great for ID photos of various sizes and postcards, too. All you have to do is select the right photo layout on the Canon PRINT app. What's even better is that you can print from a wide range of devices, including your camera, memory card and USB stick. According to reviews, the Selphy printer easily tags along to special occasions and photos are of exceptional quality, enough to be given out as gifts or compiled into an album. But, as is with all photo printers, replacing the special ink and photo sheets could get costly.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh38.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.