Portable Photocopiers – 2020 Guide

By Dan Barraclough

Portable Photocopiers Overview

When travelling with work, nationally or overseas, you’ve probably wished that you could photocopy documents whilst on the move. To solve this problem, the machine you’ll need to do this is a mobile photocopier or multi-function printer. While there is clearly a need for such a machine, they are less common than you might think.

Below, we look at the essentials of what makes a photocopier truly portable and the options currently available. We also look at a couple of alternative solutions.

What type of copies do you need?

What Makes A Photocopier Portable?

For a photocopier or a multi-function printer (MFP) to be considered truly portable, it requires more than just the ability to move from room to room. It must be capable of operating under battery power and ideally it should be sufficiently well constructed to be able to withstand being lugged and knocked around.

Portable Photocopier Brands

Perhaps surprisingly, there are few portable MFPs on the market. The standard machine is the HP OfficeJet 150. This machine can be taken with you on the go, and you can print from anywhere. Thankfully, it is also sturdy enough to take a few knocks.

Ricoh launched what they claimed was the world’s first battery powered MFP in 2014. In reality HP had got there first, but this is also a product that can produce professional quality output under battery power.

HP OfficeJet 150

hp officejet 150

HP launched the original portable multi-function printer. The HP OfficeJet 150 Mobile Colour Inkjet MFP can print, copy and scan. The machine is compact and ruggedised and capable of handling tough conditions. It has an internal battery which can be charged and the MFP powered by an external power supply. It has built in Bluetooth technology allowing you to print from your mobile devices. Print speed is up to 22 pages per minute black and up to 18 pages per minute colour. Prices are around £190 plus VAT.

Ricoh SG 3120B SFNw

ricoh sg 3120B SFNw

The Ricoh SG 3120B SFNw is a highly compact machine that can be powered by mains or battery and is sufficiently portable be taken to different offices and meetings. Its functions include print, copy and scan with an impressive black print speed of 26 pages per minute and 14 pages per minute for colour. It will copy 500 documents’ or print 1,000 documents between charges. It uses GelJet print technology. Prices are around £267 plus VAT.


Given that there is a dearth of truly battery powered photocopiers, what are the alternatives if you want to photocopy on the go? Really there are two, and they both need a couple of gadgets. The first of these is a portable printer as you need to be able to print your documents, and the other is a choice of a portable scanner or a smartphone.

Portable scanners are relatively inexpensive and can cost anything from around £20 up to a few hundred pounds. Hand held portable scanners generally save the image information on a micro SD card which you then need to transfer to a device in order to send to your portable printer, for instance you could use a laptop computer, tablet or smartphone. You could transfer the data by swapping the micro SD card between devices, alternatively you could use a micro USB connection if you device supports it. There are also some Bluetooth portable scanners on the market. These also store the data on a micro SD card, but the data is transferred over Bluetooth which is more convenient.

The other alternative is to simply use your smartphone camera to copy the document removing the need for a scanner; however it is difficult to achieve good results this way, though they can be acceptable for many purposes.

Next Steps

If you are not certain which printer model is right for your business requirements, simply fill out our web form at the top of this article and receive free tailored quotes from top suppliers. Our bespoke quotes service is completely free and the form only takes a few minutes to fill out. Start saving money today!

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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