Best small printer 2020: 6 printers for home and back to school | Real Homes

Best small printer 2020: 6 printers for home and back to school

Compare the best small printer – and portable printers – in our expert guide, for the best prices

best small printer
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best small printer could be a game changer to how you work and play. They're pretty essential (in our opinion) because it means that when the kids go back to school and more companies opt to work from home more frequently, you'll be able to print those silly lockdown snaps or the more serious docs.

To keep up with the demands of school and work life, we've found a number of great models that can print on-the-go, are wireless and even double up as scanners and photocopiers. It doesn't need to cost much, either, (our favourite models start from around the £80 mark) and it certainly doesn't need to take up much room. So if your lounge is doubling as your home office, then these are perfect. 

Keep scrolling to find a small printer that suits both your home and life balance, then, check out our back to school sales round up for backpack, lunch bag and stationery deals

Our best small printer picks for summer 2020

best small printer: HP OfficeJet 250

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Printer

Best small printer: a great all-rounder, perfect for home offices

Specifications
Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 4800x1200 DPI
Wireless: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Print, scan and copy +Quick and easy setup+Can print directly from your mobile
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest option

A small printer isn’t what you need for super quality photo print outs, but for everyday usage and some general colour printing thrown in, and this printer is the best option yet.

What can it do?

This small printer can (obviously) print, as well as scan and copy. You should have no problem carrying out your business admin.

Size

When out visiting clients, you can print on premises, too, as the HP OfficeJet 250 is just about small enough to pop into a rucksack. It’s easy to set up, only takes 90 minutes to charge up, and it’s wireless, so you can easily print from phones and other mobile devices. 

  • Buy the HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Printer

Best small business printer: Canon Pixma iP110

2. Canon Pixma iP110 Portable Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best small printer for business: a very smart printer, great for taking on work travels

Specifications
Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 9600x2400 DPI
Wireless: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Hi-res prints +Cloud printing technology +Very compact+Portable printer with battery

This printer from Canon is perfect for small businesses, especially if one of you is always travelling and needs to print on the go. 

What can it do?

Thanks to its small size and decent 9600 DPI, you can print really easily from phones or tablets so long as it is hooked up to Wi-Fi. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatibility also makes printing on the go super easy.

Wireless

There’s the option to purchase a rechargeable battery, so you can print out your pictures even when you’re travelling between destinations. All you need is Wi-Fi.

  • Canon Pixma iP110 Portable Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best small printer for home: Epson Workforce WF-100

3. Epson Workforce WF 100 Inkjet Printer

Best small printer for home: the ideal home printer, if you can do without photocopying and scanning

Specifications
Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 5760x1440 DPI
Wireless: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Small and lightweight + Rechargeable battery 
Reasons to avoid
-No scan or copy function

So long as you have no need to scan or copy documents, the Epson Workforce is the ideal printer for working on the go. 

What can it do?

Whether it’s a last-minute boarding card print out from the airport lounge or you find your client’s premises has no printer, the trusty Epson Workforce is small enough to be kept by your side for instant use.

Wireless

You can print wirelessly so long as there’s a Wi-Fi connection, and you can even charge the battery up via the USB car adapter in time for your next meeting. 

Quality

The pretty high DPI promises great quality print outs, while the LCD screen allows for easy set up and keeping an eye on ink levels.  

  • Buy the Epson Workforce WF 100 Inkjet Printer

Best small printer for families: HP Sprocket

4. HP Z3Z92A-BUN Sprocket Photo Printer

Best small printer for families: a fun little printer that makes a great travel companion

Specifications
Print technology: Photo paper
Print resolution: 313x400 DPI
Wireless: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Small enough to fit in large pockets +Connects to your social media accounts and Bluetooth+Photos can be customised+Fun for all the family
Reasons to avoid
-Can't really print anything other that photos-DPI isn't amazing-Prints out small

While the DPI is nothing to shout about, the HP Sprocket isn’t marketed towards the professional photography market. For taking on day trips or family holidays, on the other hand, it’s perfect. 

What can it do?

It prints snapshots and stickers using photo paper rather than ink cartridges, which means printing is instant.

Customisable

You can use the HP Sprocket app to customise your photos with emojis, borders and text, making each print out completely personal and a true representation of the moment the photo was taken.

Wireless

Connect the app to your Facebook account or connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth for easy, on the go print outs.  

  • Buy the HP Z3Z92A-BUN Sprocket Photo Printer

Brother MFC-J6930DW Wireless All-in-One A3 Colour Inkjet Printer

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

5. Brother MFC-J6930DW Wireless All-in-One A3 Colour Inkjet Printer

Best small printer using laser: it’s not the smallest on the list, but for fast laser printing, this is the happy compromise

Specifications
Print technology: Laser
Print resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
Wireless: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Prints up to 35 pages per minute +Compatible with Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, iPrint&Scan, and Mopri
Reasons to avoid
-Largest in size on our list, which is understandable

For a combination of speed and quality resolution, laser is where it’s at. Specifically, the Brother MFC-J6930DW if you're after a machine that can do it all.

What can it do?

With speeds of up to 35 pages a minute, it can breeze through large documents and heavy text. As with our top pick, this printer copies and scans, although it’s probably a bit too big to lug around. 

It can print up to A3 and can hold 500 sheets of paper which will minimise any refills. There's even a 100 sheet multi-purpose tray for hassle-free printing on envelopes, for example.

Wireless

You can wirelessly print from the cloud if connected to Wi-Fi and you have USB as backup.

Size

It’s easy to use thanks to its LCD touchscreen, and just the right size to place on a desk without taking up too much space.

  • Buy the Brother MFC-J6930DW Wireless All-in-One A3 Colour Inkjet Printer

Best small photo printer: Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer

6. Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer

Best small printer for photographs: fun and easy to use, this is a little gem of a photo printer

Specifications
Print technology: Photo paper
Print resolution: 313x400 dpi
Wireless: Yes (Bluetooth)
Reasons to buy
+ Pocket sized + Printed as stickers too 
Reasons to avoid
-Can only be used for photos

Printing your snaps on the go has been made easy thanks to this option from Polaroid.

What can it do?

Print photos onto photo paper whilst you're on the go with this hand-sized photo printer. While like the Sprocket, the resolution of the photos printed aren’t going to be anything to write home about, for a bit of fun while you’re out and about you can’t really go wrong.

Customisable

Peel the back off the paper and you can print out a batch of personalised stickers that you can plaster around your room or on your belongings. You can edit pictures using the Polaroid Zip app and easily print from your mobile devices via Bluetooth.

  • Buy the Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer

How to choose the best small printer

While size is, inevitably, the most important factor on the checklist of those seeking the best small printer, there are a couple more features worth considering if you're determined to get value for money. These include:

Wireless connectivity

While you may assume that all printers produced, nowadays, come with wireless connectivity, this is a feature that certainly shouldn't be taken for granted. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of plugging in your phone, or laptop, every time you need to print, ensure you opt for a wireless solution.

Photocopying and scanning

Consider how you intend on using your printer and whether, on occasion, you may be required to scan and photocopy, too. 

What is the best small printer?

Let's recap...if you want the best small printer (in our opinion) we wouldn't hesitate to buy the HP OfficeJet 250, which offers everything you need in a handy printer, suitable for day-to-day use. As well as printing, this compact model offers the option to scan and copy, meaning it'll be easier than ever to complete business admin. Plus, it's small enough to pop in a rucksack if you're someone who finds themselves regularly requiring a printer while on-the-go.

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