Best Portable Copier

Tips when buying a portable copier. Find the most popular and selling mobile, personal copier with the review of the best features, pros and cons.

How to buy a portable copier

A portable copier, also known as the personal copier or mobile copier is a machine used in making photocopies of documents, including pictures at cheap cost and variety of sizes; conveniently, and on the go.

A good thing about personal copy machine is that, it’s quite compact and lightweight that allows you to carry it wherever you go; business trip, client site, library or school. Portable copier is available as the copy machine only and also as the combination copier printer and copier scanner. Either one you buy it is the great tool to have for traveling business professionals or as the alternative to the large-size machines.

Thing to consider when buying a portable copier:

  • The first thing you should consider is to buy a portable copier that meets your needs (speed, quality, paper size) either using it at school, business or at home.

  • The personal copier has to be versatile and have the ability to handle standard paper sizes, such as A4, 8.5" x 11" and 8.5" x 14".

  • See what the capacity of the toner cartridge is, how many copies it can make per cartridge.

  • What is the sheet capacity of the machine's tray and what is the copy speed (number of copies per minute)?

  • Does your copier cover different media types such as the plain paper, transparencies, labels...?

  • No warm-up time is the great feature to have as your small mobile is always ready to work.

  • Check out the resolution in DPI (dots per inch) and make sure to choose a copier with the high resolution, so it can produce quality photocopies.

  • See the memory range, higher better, for the increased productivity.

  • Length of the warranty and availability of the service network in your area.

  • Price.

Popular mobile portable copier review

When searching for the most popular portable copier, I have found that Canon PC 170 personal copier is among the top selling and reviewed models found online.

Canon PC 170 personal copier features

canon pc170 personal copierCanon PC 170

Canon PC 170 is a quality portable copier designed for professionals on the go. With the weight of 16 pounds only and compact design with handles for easy carrying, PC 170 is a truly representation of personal and mobile copy machines for use when on the road.

Canon PC-170 copier come with the patented RAPID Fusing System, so there is no warm-up time, and you can copy your documents immediately without waiting. Single Cartridge System allows your mobile copier maintenance-free operation and less work for you.

Here is in short what else you will find by buying a Canon portable copier:

  • Compact body with the size of 17.3 x 14.1 x 4.5 inches.

  • Prints 4 copies per minute, has manual or automatic exposure and quality of copies is according to the users and expert reviews, great.

  • The adjustable exposure lever allows you manually to control how light or dark the copies will come out. By pressing the AE key you can select or cancel the Auto Exposure Control. When the copier is in the AE mode it pre-scans the original document and automatically adjusts the copy exposure so you can have the quality copy; but it won't work in a case of the light or faint text or dark background. It this case your best bet is to use the manual adjustment.

  • Canon PC 170 copier uses Canon Cartridge E20 (Black) or the Canon Cartridge E (in Red, Blue, Green or Sepia). One Cartridge E20 produces up to 2,000 copies of the standard A4 size.

  • 50-sheet paper tray can be used for multiple copies up to 9 at a time or with the full-feed mode for up to 50 copies. After you press the "+" key nine times, the "F" symbol appears, indicating the copier is in the "F" mode; you can copy continuously until the sheet tray is empty.

  • The copier is the versatile copy machine that can use different media type, from colored, plain paper, postcards, transparencies to the smaller labels.

  • Canon PC 170 can copy on both sides of copy stock, thick books and 3-D objects.

  • Smart folding compact design which allows you to fit the copier on the desktop at your office or home, and carried out.

  • Automatic shut off for energy saving. Canon PC170 meets the Energy Star requirement.

  • The current price is approximately $130, and it comes with one year warranty.

Canon PC 170 portable copier pros and cons

Based on over 45 online reviews, Canon PC 170 was rated 4.1 out of 5 max. Let's look at the most frequent positive and negative comments:


  • Great copier for simple photocopying and when away from the office. It does good job where the occasional black and white copying is needed (but is not designed for larger quantities of copies). It can do both one side and double-sided copies (but manually).

  • It starts up very quickly and shuts down automatically after being idle for several minutes, which saves the energy.

  • In doesn't take up much space when using as the desktop copier.

  • The price of the copier is affordable. While the toner is expensive, refilling the toner drum gives the Cannon PC-170 great advantage.


  • While it is advertised as the portable copier, Canon PC 170, according to the users is heavy and unsuitable for frequent travel, as some inner parts might break.

  • Canon E20 black cartridge is expensive... the price is in the range from $50.

  • Copier is shipped with the starter toner which is half the size of the regular size; it produces one half of copies when compare to the standard size toners.

  • Paper trays and top flap are very thin making them flimsy and fragile. Fastening mechanism also appears flimsy and is coming loose when moving the copier around often.

  • No shrink or enlarge options.


Canon portable copier PC 170 is not big nor too small; it can be used at home as the desktop copier or when on the road, as the mobile copier. The quality of copies is good enough if you want to use it for the occasional black and white copy. It the covers variety of paper sizes and different media types; from colored pages to transparencies.

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