Using one of the best compact printers is a great way to make use of limited office space if you've found yourself working from home more than you used to. It can also be the perfect companion for you to take in your bag on business trips, events or even just moving from one room to another.
It's not surprising that compact printers are becoming increasingly popular, but there are so many good options out there it's hard to know what to look for.
Unlike the best portable printers (opens in new tab), compact printers are still able to print on ordinary-sized paper, which means that you can enjoy the benefits of a small and light printer without having to compromise on the logistics of everyday use.
Many of these models have actually been designed with travel in mind, and some of the best compact printers can also be paired wirelessly to your laptop or tablet. Some models even have rechargeable batteries – which is perfect for when you're stuck without a plug somewhere.
We've rounded up the best compact printers below, for a range of budgets and requirements. Read on to find the right model for you.
Best compact printers in 2022(opens in new tab)
Able to handle glossy photo paper as easily as it does plain A4, the Epson WorkForce WF-110W is a hugely useful compact printer, lighter than Canon's Pixma TP150, with a rechargeable Li-ion battery built in.
Able to connect via Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, it's an easy printer to set up and get started with, producing prints that a highly detailed and look fantastic (albeit doing so a little slower than other printers on this list). Its inkjet cartridges are a little on the expensive side, though, so factor that in before making a decision as this is the kind of cost that will mount up over time.
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This printer is available in a naked Tango edition, as well as a Tango X edition that includes a stylish wraparound cover. It’s purely a Wi-Fi printer so has no USB port, but it has a particularly good range of wireless features.
Thanks to companion apps for tablets and smartphones, you can easily print from anywhere around the home, down the street or from the other side of the world. You can also use your smart device’s camera as an input device to scan documents and share them via the cloud, email them, or print them to your Tango.
HP’s optional Instant Ink plan helps to ensure that you never run out of ink, and you can also receive notifications from your printer, sent direct to your smartphone. All in all, it’s a clever little device but, as with other four-ink printers, photo quality isn’t the best.(opens in new tab)
Producing five-ink prints of outstanding quality on ordinary or photo paper, the Canon Pixma TR150 compact printer packs in a lot of technology for a device that can fit inside a standard backpack.
Connecting easily to your laptop or other device via USB or Wi-Fi, this inkjet printer can manage up to nine pages per minute in black and white, which is not too shabby at all for a portable device (and color pages are delivered at 5.5 pages a minute)! It's also available at a respectable price, so no need to scrimp and save in order to enjoy top-quality prints from your laptop.
One important thing to note is that this printer can be battery powered – which is particularly appealing for when traveling – but doesn't come with the rechargeable power pack as standard. In some places you can buy the TR150 with battery as a kit, and others the Canon LK-72 battery is bought separately.(opens in new tab)
The OfficeJet 250 is understandably bigger and bulkier than most portable printers but it’s much more compact and lightweight than typical all-in-one or ‘multi-function’ printers. As a scaled-down version of a desktop printer, it enables full-sized printing on letter sized plain paper, as well as on glossy photo paper, and comes complete with a built-in color scanner and color screen, enabling easy photocopying on the fly.
A must for portable printing, it also includes its own rechargeable battery pack, so you can print anywhere. The printer uses a pigment-based black ink cartridge and a tri-color dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow cartridge. Quality is good for color documents but not the best for photo output on glossy paper.(opens in new tab)
If you're an event photographer looking to deliver a large number of prints on-site, then the Fujifilm ASK 300 is a solid choice of printer. It uses dye sublimation printing to deliver high quality photographic prints using ribbon cartridges - and can give you prints that measure up to 8x6in.
It's significantly heavier than the other printers on this list (as it's 12kg, you're not going to be carrying it on the train), however it has a reasonably small footprint at 45 by 27cm, so won't take up too much space.
Provided you have your own transport it's a perfectly portable choice, and it's able to spit out high-quality 4x6in prints in 12 seconds. Its ink packs may appear expensive, but one $120/£130 (ish) pack will do you around 800 prints, so the value for money is not bad at all.(opens in new tab)
Looking for a compact printer that's lighter on the wallet that the other models on this list? Then we recommend the Canon Pixma TS6350. This is a serious inkjet printer that uses Canon's Chromalife100 inks, making for durable, high quality results whether you're printing documents or photos. (Note that these aren't the cheapest, though).
This 3-in-1 device offers printing, scanning and copying, has a nice 1.44-inch touchscreen and prints at 15 pages per minute for docs, and a 10x15cm borderless photo in 21 seconds. For Cloud printing you can choose between the Canon PRINT app, AirPrint on iOS and Mopria on Android, and there's also auto 2-sided printing and paper width detection.
If you're looking for a budget friendly, compact home printer that all the family can use, we recommend the HP Envy 6020e. It allows you to print, copy and scan in colour, as well as featuring automatic two-sided printing and mobile and wireless printing. The price includes six months of Instant Ink, which allows you to print up to 700 pages a month free when you enrol. So for a family that's likely to use it a lot, this is an absolute bargain. On the downside, the printing speed of seven to 10 pages per minute is pretty slow.
Business printers don't have to be enormous. There are some very professional laser printers out there that won't take up much space, and here's our best buy if you run a busy office. The Kyocera Ecosys P3155dn will print clear, crisp and precise pages in black-and-white, very quickly; 55 per minute to be exact. With a maximum capacity of 2,600 sheets, it's a great choice when you need to print large documents. And although this is a big investment overall, the cost per page does turn out to be very economical.
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