Canon Pixma TR150 on desk
Elizabeth Henges / How-To Geek

What to Look For in a Portable Printer in 2023

Home offices, small businesses, and household computer rooms have been forced to give up vital real estate to bulky printers for years. So, the first thing you’ll want to consider is size. Just how portable do you need your printer to be? Do you have room for something just a little bigger, or do you need to condense the device down significantly?

There may be limitations on just how small you can go, though. Portable printers and scanners will likely occupy more room than a standard portable printer. Of course, the function of the printer will matter most. If you need a standard printer, you don’t want to look at label or photo printers.

Consider the functions you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your next portable printer. Will you need to print in color, or does a monochromatic option work? Does your printing require special paper or even a specific type of ink? How about connectivity, specifically to mobile devices? Is Bluetooth enough, or do you need a Wi-Fi-enabled printer?

While most portable printers will easily connect to your desktop or laptop, you may need it to offer a bit more when it comes to connectivity. If you’re traveling with the printer or are using it on a photography job, you may want it to support an SD card or USB flash drive. Some advanced options may even connect directly to your camera via Bluetooth.

If you’ve ever shopped for a printer, you know it’s not as easy as buying the first you see. The process is no easier for a portable printer, so we’ve aimed to simplify it with this list of the best portable printers you can buy today.

Best Portable Printer Overall: Canon Pixma TR150

Canon Pixma TR150 on desk
Elizabeth Henges / How-To Geek


  • Decently priced compared to other models
  • Reliable Wi-Fi and Airprint
  • Rechargeable battery for true portability
  • Prints in vibrant color


  • Rechargeable battery sold separately
  • Slower print speed
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

What should you expect from your portable printer? How about reliability, transportability, and clear text, all of which the Canon Pixma TR150 delivers? Canon fits the most important features of a printer into this small device, which measures 7.3 x 12.7 x 2.6 inches, weighs only 4.6 lbs, and features a 1.44-inch OLED display.

There are smaller ones on the market, like the Epson Workforce WF-110, but the Pixma TR150 makes up for not being the smallest by being well-rounded for a decent price. While its print speed of nine pages per minute is a little slower than the HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One’s 20 per minute, being half the price tag of the multipurpose portable printer makes up for it.

The Pixa TR150 connects to your devices via the included USB-A to USB-C cable, or you can use a direct wireless connection. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support a Bluetooth connection, though it does work with Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria Print Service for convenient printing from your smartphone or tablet.

Despite its smaller size, the TR150 can hold up to 50 sheets of paper. The portable printer can also connect to a cloud to save up to five custom-made templates. Just a little more storage on the cloud or the option to save more for a small monthly fee would have been nice, but just having the option is helpful.

When not in use, the Pixma TR150 folds up and stores nicely. If you don’t have a drawer to stow it in, its overall design is aesthetically pleasing and won’t throw off the flow of your desktop.

Canon Pixma TR150

The Canon Pixma TR150 is an efficient, compact printer that delivers on quality, performance, and convenience for an all-around positive portable printing experience.

Best Budget Portable Printer: HPRT MT810 Bluetooth Printer

HPRT MT810 printers lined up in different colors


  • Uses Bluetooth 5.0
  • No ink or ribbon required
  • Built-in rechargeable Lithium Ion battery
  • Prints documents of all lengths


  • Black & white printing only
  • Documents prone to fading
  • One-sided printing only
  • No Wi-Fi compatibility

Portable printers don’t come cheap, so finding a budget option that is still functional and efficient does require you to make some concessions. To get in the $100 range, HPRT’s MT810 Bluetooth Wireless Printer uses inkless thermal technology. It’s a potential sacrifice in print quality for the benefit of a very compact printer and no expensive ink cartridges.

The MT810 uses a roll of thermal paper, so you’ll need to tear or cut the page off once done printing. It’s a minor inconvenience that’s worth the reduced cost. Think of a receipt printer, just a consumer model that can print standard-sized and longer documents. Since the paper roll is stored inside the printer, there’s also no need to walk around with a reem of paper that needs to be loaded and unloaded each time.

The printer connects to the HerePrint app (available on iOS and Android) via Bluetooth, but you can also connect to your Windows or Mac computer using a USB-C cable. There’s no Wi-Fi connection, but the Bluetooth 5.0 signal promises a reliable connection.

Since the MT810 uses thermal printing technology, which essentially burns the text or image onto specialty paper, there’s no option to print in color. There’s a little versatility in what you can print, such as 4-inch x 6-inch or standard A4 and A5-sized rolls.

HPRT’s MT810 portable printing can go virtually anywhere you go thanks to its very compact size. At only 2.81lbs and 3.5 inches x 2 inches x 10 inches, the printer takes up very little room.

HPRT MT810 Bluetooth Printer

The MT810 is portable printing on the budget, with thermal technology that requires no ink or ribbons and can print virtually any length document.

Best Portable Photo Printer: Canon SELPHY CP1500

Canon SELPHY CP1500 photo printer with different photos


  • Ink and paper are decently priced
  • Built-in editing and formatting
  • SELPHY Layout app
  • Lightweight and easy to transport


  • Does not ship with rechargeable battery
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Only comes with ink and paper for 5 photos
  • On the bigger side of portable printers

If you’re in the market for a photo printer that can do it all—including joining you wherever you’re shooting—then Canon’s SELPHY CP1500 is your best option. It’s not just a portable photo printer, though, especially with your phone and the SELPHY Layout app (available on iOS and Android).

The 3.5-inch display allows you to add basic edits like filters before printing. Canon’s app is a little more advanced, so you can combine photos in collages or add borders to the final print. This means you never have to connect the CP1500 to your desktop if you don’t want to.

Its compatibility with Wi-Fi connections and USB-A and SD card ports enhance the device’s portability. The printer also works with Apple AirPrint, so you have many methods to send your favorite photos to the printer. The lack of a Bluetooth option means you won’t be able to connect to your mobile devices outside your network, but it’s a small concession considering the myriad of other options.

Though the CP1500 ships with a cumbersome power cord, you can purchase a rechargeable battery pack separately. If you’re out taking nature photos, you can slap on the battery, pull the SD card from your camera, and start printing your favorite images. It’s as convenient as portable photo printing will get.

Printing is relatively fast for a photo printer, at approximately one image per minute. However, that speed does come with a dip in quality, but that’s only noticeable when compared to other printed photos.

Canon SELPHY CP1500

Edit photos and print them on the spot with Canon's lightweight and compact SELPHY CP1500 portable photo printer,

Best Portable Label Printer: Phomemo M110 Portable Bluetooth Printer

Phomomo label maker on grey background


  • Prints labels quickly
  • Supports a range of label sizes
  • Inkless thermal printing cuts down costs
  • Many ways to print labels


  • No Wi-Fi support
  • Android App requires location services
  • Does not support shipping labels
  • Battery life could be better

Whether you’re running a small business or love to print custom labels for holidays and birthdays, a portable label printer is a necessity. Phomemo’s M110 Portable Bluetooth Printer offers convenient thermal, inkless printing on various label sizes. The built-in adjustable feed can handle labels from 0.78 inches to two inches.

Unfortunately, the M110 is not designed for shipping labels, but that still leaves a multitude of uses such as warehouse organization, pricing and barcodes, return address labels, and cable organization.

Because the M110 uses thermal printing, there’s no option for a color print, but the bold black inkless print is clear and easy to read. Installing different label sizes is also a breeze, though rolls of thermal paper can be a little costly, depending on the size.

One of the M110’s best features is its connectivity. Though it only works off Bluetooth and there’s no Wi-Fi compatibility, the Print Master app (available on iOS and Android) has quite a few useful functions. Along with label customization, the app supports printing labels from designated QR codes/barcodes, optical character recognition (OCR), and Excel documents Some features may be a little complicated for users, but if you can work it out, they can be a big time saver.

Save for some minor issues with battery life, no option for larger shipping labels, and aggressive location settings requirements, the M110 is a shoo-in for your label-making needs.

Phomemo M110 Portable Bluetooth Printer

Phomemo's inkless M110 uses thermal printing for mess-free, low-cost label printing for most label sizes.

Best Portable Printer for iPhone: KODAK Step Wireless Printer

KODAK Step photo printer with photos, notebook, and phone


  • Bluetooth & NFC Connectivity
  • Decent price point
  • Ink and ribbon-free printing
  • Fast printing speed


  • Only supports one paper size
  • No Windows/MacOS support
  • Zink paper is more expensive than photo paper
  • Zink photo printing doesn't quite live up to ink prints

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have made connecting to an iPhone to print wirelessly rather user-friendly. However, you still need to make sure you’re printing on a portable printer that can capture the detail and quality capable of the latest iPhone cameras.

KODAK’s Step Wireless Printer does just that with zero-ink technology that reduces long-term costs while delivering brilliant colors. You won’t even need a ribbon or toner as the printer uses zink technology, which uses sticky-backed paper and dye crystals. This reduces the potential for smudging, though it’s a bigger hit to your wallet if any paper is wasted.

A paper pack costs approximately $30 for 50 2-inch x 3-inch sheets. That amounts to over $1.70 per sheet, whereas typical photo paper costs well under a dollar per page. For the added cost, though, you get the benefits of printing photos from your iPhone wherever and whenever needed.

The KODAK Step connects via Bluetooth and can link to the Kodak app (available on iOS and Android) to create custom images using borders, stickers, text, and more. Dipping into your camera roll, choosing a photo, and preparing it for printing is a breeze.

The Step’s biggest shortcoming is its inability to connect to a Windows or MacOS desktop or laptop. Every photo you want to print needs to be on your iPhone.

KODAK Step Wireless Printer

Easily connect to your iPhone with KODAK's Step portable printer and print your photos virtually anywhere with ink and ribbon-free printing.

Best Portable Printer and Scanner: HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One

HP OfficeJet 250 printer against grey background


  • Connects via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Economical ink usage
  • Auto feed scanner and copier
  • HP ePrint app is a great resource


  • Very expensive
  • A bit big for a portable printer
  • Small auto feed capacity
  • Does not offer USB printing support

At just under 15 inches long, the HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One is on the bigger side of portable, but the wireless printing and fast-charging battery help it qualify. Of course, its size is directly related to everything it’s capable of, as a full-service printer that can deliver clear black and color prints.

The all-in-one is also equipped with a feeder scanner, so you can scan full-page documents despite the 7.8-inch depth. Since the pages you’re scanning need to be fed through the printer, you won’t be able to scan things like your driver’s license or book pages.

The OfficeJet 250 connects to your mobile devices and desktop or laptop via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct. You can send prints via the HP ePrint app (available on iOS and Android) to print from a Dropbox or choose photos to send to the portable printer. The app lets you oversee your cartridge levels, so you never run out of ink.

HP had to make some sacrifices with the OfficeJet 250, such as two-sided printing and a 10-sheet document feeder capacity. As expected for a portable, the printer is slower when running on battery at ten pages per minute in black and seven pages per minute in color. Plugged in, the print speed doubles.

HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One

This complete package allows you to print, copy, and scan documents with an efficient auto feeder that helps cut down on space.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to TSA, you can bring a portable printer on an airplane in the United States. When going through security, you will need to remove it from your bag and place it in a separate bin. Follow all regulations and guidelines for electronic devices once aboard the plane.

Depending on the portable printer, you may be able to connect to your laptop using a USB cable or through a Wi-Fi network. If using a USB cable, plug the cord into an available USB port and turn the printer on.

For both wired and wireless connections, type "Printers" in the Search bar in your Taskbar and select "Printers & scanners." From this screen, select "Add a printer or scanner" and then "Add device." Your portable printer should appear, at which point you'll select "Add device"  again.

At this point, your portable printer should be connected to your laptop and ready for printing.

The most common method of printing from your iPhone is by using AirPrint. For AirPrint to work, both your phone and portable printer must be on the same Wi-Fi network. You can print from Mail, Photos, or Safari using the "Share" feature, which should populate "Print" as an option.

Some portable printers support Bluetooth connections, which you can set up by going into your iPhone's "Settings" and "Bluetooth." Tape the Bluetooth switch to "On" and make the printer discoverable by following its included directions. When the printer name appears on your iPhone, tap it to connect. Printing is performed the same way as it was over Wi-Fi.

Your portable printer may be offline for a number of reasons. The easiest solution is to check if the printer is on. If it is, check the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to make sure your phone and printer are connected to one another.

If you're still having issues, check the Print Spooler by searching for "Services" in your laptop's Search bar, then select "Services." In the window that opens, scroll until you find "Print Spooler." Right-click on it and select "Restart." The Print Spooler is responsible for managing print jobs to your computer.

If all else fails, you can reinstall the printer and reconnect it to your device.

The Best Printers of 2023

HP ENVY 6455e
Best Printer Overall
HP ENVY 6455e
Epson Expression Home XP-4100
Best Budget Printer
Epson Expression Home XP-4100
HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdn
Best Home Office Printer
HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdn
Epson Expression Photo XP-970
Best Photo Printer
Epson Expression Photo XP-970
Canon Pixma TR150
Best Portable Printer
Canon Pixma TR150
Canon Maxify GX6021
Best Ink Tank Printer
Canon Maxify GX6021
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Mark is a freelance reviewer for How-To Geek and Review Geek, a seasoned freelance writer, and a marketing manager with a strong footing in the gaming and esports industries. He’s been featured across the net on Cultured Vultures,, Bloody Disgusting, and more.
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