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.
The best portable photocopiers are:
- HP OfficeJet 150
- Ricoh SG 3120B SFNw
- Brother PocketJet PJ-733
- Canon Pixma iP110
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?
Colour and Black & White
Black & White Only
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 photocopiers: Our top picks
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
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.
Brother PocketJet PJ-733
With built-in Wi-Fi and AirPrint, you can produce clear A4 prints with this photocopier that fits neatly inside your computer bag. This means you can print quotations, invoices, and other reports while on the go with a print speed of up to 8ppm. Prices start from around £611 inc. VAT.
Canon Pixma iP110
Printing up to 9ppm in black and white, this compact and lightweight Canon is ideal for taking on the road. You can print directly from Facebook, Dropbox, and Google Drive on your smartphone, and enjoy its high-resolution prints of 9,600 dpi. Prices start from £262 inc. 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.
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