Remember the time photos were just black and white? Well, technology has advanced so much that we now have something called a portable photo printer at our disposal. Have you ever taken a photo that was so stunning you wanted to print it immediately? Thanks to portable printers, that’s now possible.
A portable photo printer is a compact device that allows you to print a photo you have taken immediately. While they’re more expensive than other accessories, they’re worth the investment if you travel a lot. There’s a bunch of portable printers available on the market, each with their unique features and abilities. That’s why, to make it easy for you, we’ve listed down ten of the best portable printers on the market.
Canon Ivy Mini
The Canon Ivy Mini is a portable photo printer that has a premium feel and aesthetic to it. It prints 2×3 Zero Ink photos, which makes all of the photos you print out resistant to water. It’s also a Bluetooth printer that you can pair with your Android or iOS gadgets at any time you want.
You also get an app that lets you add emojis and filters if you aren’t satisfied with the photo you’ve taken. There are even live filters for you to choose from. It’s also easy to use and gives you some quality print. However, the downside is you might see discoloration in the photos. Additionally, there’s no indicator that tells you the power level or paper remaining on the device. If you can get past these though, the Ivy Mini is a great choice overall.
Canon Selphy CP1300
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is a portable photo printer that’s not so portable. It’s bigger than your average small printer and is relatively big in comparison to other portable printers. Although, it does have more features than other portable printers. For instance, it prints 4×6 photos, which are high in quality and waterproof.
Like the Ivy Mini, it gives you an app available on Google Play and the App Store. You can also use a USB port to connect it to your laptop to print. It also gives you the ability to make photo collages and use filters. For less than $100, you also have the option to have it in white. Installation and setup are also relatively easy to do. Though it’s definitely a good buy, it’s just a pain to carry around.
Canon Selphy QX10
Released just this year, Canon’s new portable photo printer, the Selphy QX10 prints photos that dry fast and can last you a lifetime. The printer gives you ten sheets, which have an adhesive backing to protect the paper.
The prints are extremely high-quality because the printer uses dye sublimation and also has software that supports Android and iOS. Like the previous two entries, it has a battery that lasts for quite some time. The downside to the Selphy QX10 is that the price is steeper as compared to the CP1300 and the Ivy Mini.
Other disadvantages are that it can only print square photos and it also doesn’t use ZINK, which means that you need ink to print. However, it’s as compact as the Ivy Mini so you can bring it pretty much anywhere you want.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3
The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 prints square photos that are perfect for your Instagram needs. You can print photos in ten seconds so it’s perfect for parties and traveling. It also enables you to print using your Facebook or Instagram account. It can only be used via Bluetooth or WiFi but has a rechargeable battery with a decent life.
This compact printer also has an app that you can use, although people do complain that it has issues. Some complain about the interface, while others say that the software is difficult to use. It also gets more expensive per sheet that you buy and has smaller prints than the average portable printer. It’s expensive at $129, but if you can get past that, it’s a great purchase.
HP Sprocket Photo Printer
The HP Sprocket printer is likely one of the most loved portable photo printers on the market. It’s portable because it’s roughly the size of a phone, prints high-quality photos, and you can even print photos from your social media. You also have an app to customize photos before printing.
Probably one of the only qualms that people have with the HP Sprocket is the customer service of HP. While the product itself is great, some people don’t take too kindly to unresponsive customer service and delayed replies. Another problem is that it crops images to fit its resolution, so you have to fix the resolution before printing. Other than that, the product is amazing.
Kiipix Portable Smartphone Picture Printer
Perhaps the cheapest option on this list, the Kiipix Portable Photo Printer comes at less than $30. You don’t need to plug it in or charge it; the only thing you need to do is fill it with Instax film and place your phone on the scanner. You can even fold it up and take it with you anywhere.
Although it’s cheap, it does require you to put your phone at max brightness. It also uses Instax film, which is relatively expensive. This might make it more expensive if you’re planning to use it in the long run.
Even then, the Kiipix might not even make it for long. Being a cheap alternative, the biggest drawback of the Kiipix is its durability. Even then, it’s worth it if you’re looking for a starter portable printer.
Kodak Mini 2
The Kodak Mini 2 is wireless and fast and also has NFC one-touch communication. You can use Bluetooth or the Kodak app to print, and it’s compatible with most smartphones. Printing only takes a few seconds and prints are all high-quality because of Kodak’s dye-sublimation technology.
This product comes at a decent price starting at $77, with additional accessories and alternate versions available at higher prices. However, its printing comes in all-in-one ink cartridges, which occasionally makes it difficult to print. Additionally, the app can sometimes be glitchy and unreliable due to crashes and bugs. For its price, the Kodak Mini 2 is another excellent choice for those looking to get into portable printing.
Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer
The Kodak Smile is priced at $100 and prints 2×3 inch photos that are waterproof and backed with adhesive. Like the Mini 2, it also utilizes the Kodak app and is compatible with Android and iOS. You can also add augmented reality effects to your photos to bring them to life and is an extremely portable option.
However, some say that the Kodak Smile is not intuitive to use and is sometimes difficult to start up. And like the Mini 2, the app is also susceptible to glitches and bugs. Some photos might also come out darker than they should be. Overall though, the Kodak Smile is an attractive option with tons of features.
Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Mini Printer
The Polaroid Zip is a polaroid printer that produces waterproof, smudge-proof, and tear-proof photos. It also has an app you can use that gives you extensive features like adding borders and filters. It’s a portable option as well, weighing only 6.6 ounces and costs about $97.
The biggest plus of the Polaroid Zip is that you never have to worry about counterfeit products being produced. This is because Polaroid products are only offered by authorized vendors. A list of authorized sellers can be found on the Polaroid website.
However, Polaroid’s customer support is unresponsive occasionally. Moreover, you can only print photos when you’re on the Polaroid app, and you can’t print otherwise. If you can get past that, then Polaroid is another good option to consider.
The Prynt Pocket is perfect if you’re on iOS. It doubles as a phone case so you never lose track of where it is. You only need to slot your iPhone in and you can immediately print on Zink sticker paper.
This portable photo printer can also embed a video onto your photos so other people can discover the Prynt app by scanning your photo. It’s a great option and is priced similarly to other printers on this list, at less than $99.
However, the Prynt Pocket is unavailable for Android phones. It is exclusive for iPhones, so if you’re an Android user, either get a different printer or wait for the Android release of the Prynt Pocket. It’s also only compatible with Zink sticker paper and doesn’t work with any other type of paper. But generally, the Prynt Pocket is a highly recommended option if you’re an iOS user.
Bonus: Lifeprint Slim Photo And Video Printer
Augmented reality makes for a grand photo. With Lifeprint’s latest technology, you can scan pictures to bring them to life on your smartphone. It also gives you the ability to print live photos straight from your social media account. Lifeprint also grants you filters, borders, stickers, and emojis through their app.
Being relatively new to the market, the Lifeprint Slim Printer is a great product with numerous features. However, it’s especially expensive, being priced at $160 for the base product, though it is compact and even comes with a bag. If you’re looking for something for the long-term, then this might be for you. Provided you’re willing to spend the money, that is.
Check out the Lifeprint Slim Photo and Video Printer on Amazon now.
What to Consider When Choosing a Portable Printer?
Looking for the best portable photo printer for yourself can be difficult. There’s a lot of factors that go into what makes a good portable printer. So, to make your life easier, we’ve listed down eight of the most important factors to consider.
1. The Size and Weight of the Printer
The biggest factor would, of course, have to be the size. After all, a portable printer is only called so because it’s small. You’ll want a printer that can fit in your pocket like a smartphone or at the very least only take a small portion of your bag. Yet, there are printers that trade size for quality like the CP1300.
2. Prices of the Films
Sometimes you’ll have to buy ink for your portable printers. Of course, this isn’t a problem if the device you’re eyeing uses Zink. Zink also saves you money and the trouble of having to buy ink. Although, the trade-off for using Zink is that your photos may suffer in terms of quality. The film used by the printer you want is highly important, especially in the long haul.
3. Image Quality
The most obvious factor to consider is the quality of the image. The quality has to be presentable at the very least so you can show your photos off to your friends. If you want to make the most out of your purchase, then the image quality should be your top priority.
4. The Printing Speed
If you’re buying a portable printer for work, then you’ll need to take printing speed into account. Some printers can take 15 seconds to a minute to print. The longer it takes to print out a photo, the slower your work will be. Though, this doesn’t matter that much if you’re buying a portable printer for leisure.
5. The Power Used for Each Print
The battery life of portable printers doesn’t usually last too long. Printer batteries usually recharge from connecting your printer to your desktop or to a charger via USB. Some printers trade battery for wall connection, increasing their output but decreasing their portability.
6. Stability of the Connectivity
Most portable printers can function using WiFi or Bluetooth, but others function by USB connection alone. Portable printers will also often support Android and iOS devices but aren’t always necessarily compatible with them. You’ll have to check for compatibility before choosing a printer.
7. Overall Price
Another obvious factor, price is by far the most important if you’re on a budget. Some printers are cheap but offer limited features, and others are really expensive but give you a lot of features. The problem is finding a compromise between price and the number of features you’ll be given. The price also increases in the long run depending on the paper and ink used.
8. Warranty Period
Having a warranty is important when you’re choosing a portable printer. They’re expensive, so if yours breaks naturally you would want to have a fallback and get it fixed. The customer service of the manufacturer is also a significant factor when choosing a printer.
When Do You Need a Portable Photo Printer?
It might not be every day that you need a portable printer, but there are situations when you’d want one on you. Having one for special occasions like birthday parties or weddings can be really handy.
Portable photo printers are also good for traveling so you can share all your fun moments with friends. They’re also good for saving photos you don’t want to forget so you can stick them onto your refrigerator or bulletin board. Photos produced by these devices also don’t take up much space, so you can hang as many as you want.
Which One Will You Get?
Portable photo printers are great for trips, special occasions, and fun moments. From our list of the ten best portable printers on the market, we wonder which one you’ll choose. We’ve done our part, now it’s your turn.