- 1 Why are portable printers good?
- 2 Pocket v compact printer – which is best?
- 3 Top 5 Pocket Printers – 2018
- 3.1 1. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
- 3.2 2. Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer
- 3.3 3. LG Portable Mobile Pocket Photo PD251
- 3.4 4. PicKit Instant Wireless Mobile Printer
- 3.5 5. Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 Smartphone Portable Printer
- 3.6 Compact photo printer explained
- 3.7 Top 5 Compact Photo Printers – 2018
Are you looking to buy a portable photo printer in 2018? Our buying guide has seven amazing printers that can be connected to your wireless home or office network.
If you are looking to purchase a printer that can connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth connection for a true “print on the go” experience, then read on for more information. The latest products from top brands like Canon, LG and Dell feature “inkless” printing – new technology explained in this buyer guide from funphotocreator.com.
We review the latest products that have been just released, including the pros and cons and a review rating for each product so you can learn everything about mobile printing before you decide which product to buy online.
Why are portable printers good?
Question: With new tech comes the age-old question – do they work, are they good, how easy are they to setup and what sort of quality can we expect from printing our photos on portable printers?
Answer: It may surprise you that they just a few minutes to setup and with apps for both Apple (iOS) and Android (Google Play Store) you can instantly print out your favorite photos.
The quality of the photos is to a very high standard (dependent on what model you buy) so let’s start of by dividing the product into two categories, pocket and compact printers. Each have their own advantages so let’s continue be explaining the difference between the two and further reasons why mobile printers are worth buying.
1. Types of printers: Pocket v Compact
When searching for the best portable printer 2018 consider that a pocket printer is specifically designed to be carried around with you and usually connects via Bluetooth as oppose to a compact printer that is best suited for home or small office that may have additional features such as copy and scan.
It’s your choice on what type to look for – consider your needs and choose accordingly. We will look in to each type in more depth but for now we can summarize: pocket printers; best for on the go portable printing compared to compact printers; more features but generally bigger and heavier than pocket models.
Different models connect in different ways and if you want to connect your printer to your smartphone (cell phone) then you should look to purchase a Bluetooth photo printer as they take just a few seconds to pair up with your phone.
Printers that work via Wi-Fi need a network connection to print; you can use a cloud service such as Google Cloud Print - so you can take a photograph on your phone when you are out and about and then select your wireless printer and hit print. When you get back to your home or office your photo will be waiting for you in the out tray of the device.
3. Battery life and charge times
Portable photo printers generally charge via micro USB cable (amazingly, some models do not ship with a cable so check before you buy) and have a differing charging times but on average it takes about an hour to fully charge a fully flat printer.
If for example, you are keen a wildlife photographer and like to print your pictures when you are out hiking, then consider that mobile printers have limited battery life of a few hours so check manufacturers spec before you buy.
4. Size and weight
Ink jet printers use to be big, bulky and heavy. And although pocket photo printers are very light (200g on average) compacts can still be quite awkward to carry around and are much heavier because they must hold inkjet ink cartridges compared to Zink, ink free pocket printers.
If you need your new printer to print out documents for work such as PDF and Word docs then a strong backpack or carry case is advised – you can often get a great deal if you bundle this in with printer purchase on checkout.
5. Are they expensive?
An important consideration is price. Luckily for us the competition is fierce where top brands like Canon, Polaroid, HP, Epson, LG. Sony and Dell all have good models are low prices.
For a pocket portable printer, you are looking at a $100 or less and a little bit more for a compact printer with extra functionalities of copy and scan at under $200.
Pocket v compact printer – which is best?
We have briefly explained the difference between the two types but which is best? Both have pros and cons depending on what the primary use is for your printer.
Our next section concentrates on each type and we look in to important buying considerations such as price, spec, speed, quality of printing and mobility. We also factor in value for money – after all, if it was cheaper to take your camera to a photo booth and have them printed out it would make much sense to buy a brand new portable printer!
Pocket photo printer explained
These are the ultimate fun portable printers and are designed to be carried around with you everywhere you go. They basically look like a small box and connect via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet.
Simply take your photo and print out – These devices use new technology called Zink inkless printing. You might be asking how can you print without ink? Well, the trick is in the paper – special crystals that are embedded inside and covered with a polymer coating that are activated by heat.
Pocket printers can print high quality photo prints but they tend to be slightly smaller than postcard size. (4 x 3 inches).
- Extremely portable, ideal for use with smartphones.
- Ergonomic in design with a nice selection of colors to choose from.
- High print quality.
- No messy inks thanks to Zink paper technology.
- Low cost (good ones can be purchased for under $150).
- Print area tends to be smaller than postcard size.
- Zink photo paper more expensive to buy.
Top 5 Pocket Printers – 2018
Connect your social media accounts and print on the go with the HP Sprocket. Download the free app for iPhone or Android devices and enjoy amazing portable printing on the go.
- Quick mobile printing via Bluetooth smartphone connectivity.
- Connect Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social profiles.
- Add emoji’s, text and fun effects to photos.
- Fits perfectly into a bag or purse.
- Comes with 20 sheets of Zink HP paper.
Love Polaroid instant photos but not the camera itself? With the Polaroid ZIP you simply the use the camera on your phone and connect via Bluetooth to instantly print out stunning portable photos.
- Add text and voice recordings to your images.
- Extremely small and lightweight, perfect to carry with you.
- Add a secret QR code in order for others to access.
- Free download of the Polaroid ZIP app for iOS or Android.
For a high quality portable photo printer that has many positive reviews take a look at the NEW LG PG251 pocket printer. You can also use your Windows phone with this printer as well as iOS and Android.
- Extra sync support for Windows OS.
- Photo size of 2” x 3”.
- Charges via Micro USB cable.
- Super lightweight at just 6.4 ounces.
- Robust design, perfect for teenagers.
Enjoy 291dpi photos direct from smartphone to this super slim photo printer. The easy to use application and super-fast connection via NFC makes this an easy choice for great pictures at a cheap price. No need to buy paper as this device uses a combination of paper and ink cartridges together.
- Special combined ink cartridge and paper refill kit.
- Single charge will print out 25 full color images.
- Free image editing software/app.
- Compatible with all major devices and brands including Apple iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTC etc.
- Optional Wi-Fi connection for home use.
This international version portable printer from Fujifilm is aimed at smartphone and wireless quick printing. The INSTAX software app is compatible with iPhone/Android and with 60 sheets of photo paper and free cleaning cloth included this is a good deal and worth considering.
- Uses two lithium batteries (non-rechargeable batteries).
- Customize photos with the free templates on the app.
- Quick upload to Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.
- Reputable brand, high quality print output.
- Ideal for kids, no messy inks to contend with.
Compact photo printer explained
After our top 5 pockets, we now focus on compact printers. Compact printers are heavier and bigger than their pocket cousins but often come with more features. You would almost certainly need a separate rucksack or backpack to carry a compact around with you.
Some compacts also have a handy LCD viewer at the top so you can preview your images before you print. This avoids wasting ink and paper on print outs that don’t look so great.
What to look for when buying a compact printer? – Price is of course a consideration but beyond that, you should ask yourself which are the best printers to buy?
Top brands like Canon, Lexmark, HP, Polaroid and Kodak all have good models so it’s a case of looking at features like copy and scan, connectivity (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi), portability (some compacts come with carry handles), print quality and storage.
Pros: - Some models can copy and scan, lightweight and portable compared to desktop printer, sturdier than pockets, larger print area and images can be previewed before printing.
Cons: Less portable than pockets (need a bag on their own), more expensive vs pocket printers, less visually appealing and ink cartridges not ideal for smaller children.
Top 5 Compact Photo Printers – 2018
Shipping in either black or white is the brilliant Canon SELPHY. Sensational borderless printing, automatic red-eye correction and outputs stunning quality to postcard size photo paper this is one the best compact photo printers this year. You can also print stickers, labels and you can connect via Bluetooth or wireless network connections.
- Edge to edge & borderless postcard size printing.
- Free software to connect to smartphones.
- Lightweight with space for memory card.
- Automatic image optimization for best print results.
- Good printer for kids to use, sturdy and robust.
Although this product does not print wireless (you can use a memory card or connect via USB cable) the HP 335 makes it number two because of the print quality and features. Incredible resolutions of 4800 x 1200 DPI for color prints and a handy 1.5-inch LCD previewer that ensures your images are top notch before you decide to print.
- Super-fast 6 x 4 color printing.
- Includes CD ROM, USB cable, tri-color ink cartridge and user guide.
- Optional Bluetooth wireless adapter.
- Panoramic printing of 4 x 12 photos.
- Weighs less than 3 pounds, ideal for family vacations.
For an elegant look and high quality photo prints sent direct from your phone or tablet is the Kodak Dock and Wi-Fi. Android users can dock direct with the printer and iOS devices require an adapter (included) but this is a great way of printing out your favorite camera phone images fast. Kodak is a great brand so you can be sure that your images look clear, sharp and full of detail.
- Kodak one touch printing.
- Avoid bleed or fade thanks to D2T2 thermal transfer technology.
- Connects to mobile phones, digital cameras and USB stick.
- Fast charge for your phone when docked.
- Kodak free app for photo templates, stickers and scrapbooks.
Perhaps not the most visually pleasing printer but for functionality and print quality the Epson PictureMate ranks among the best. If you like to print direct from a digital camera, then you will love the way this printer works. In under 40 seconds you can have a full color 6x4 print that is scratch proof, smudge resistant and more durable than kiosk produced prints.
- Ergonomic design with practical carry handle for “print on the go”.
- Print in full color, black and white or sepia.
- Clear on screen instructions via the 2.5-inch preview screen.
- Big selection of print layouts including wallet, classic border, border-less and proof sheet.
- Optional Bluetooth adapter for wireless printing.
More suited for the home or home office is the Brother WorkSmart MFC-J880DW compact printer. Although smaller than a regular desktop printer, this is not a 6x4 only printer. It has the capability to print off stunning office documents in just a few seconds. There is cloud and mobile printing connectivity so you are not stuck with an Ethernet only connection.
- Up to 10 printed pages per minute output.
- Print wireless via 802. 11b/g/n network.
- Big 2.7 intuitive touch screen.
- Can print card, envelopes and has 2-sided printing capabilities.
- Print or scan direct through NFC connection to smartphone or tablet device.
In Summary: With 10 printers listed on our 2018 review guide we hope you have some idea on what’s best for you. Everyone has different requirements but the bottom line is if you want a lightweight, portable photo printer than opt for a pocket printer.
If you can put up with a slightly heavier, bigger device but can print bigger photos than opt for a compact – with best brands like Canon, LG, Kodak, HP and Brother you can be sure your new printer will have all the latest features you come to expect including Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi, smartphone compatibility, high print quality and competitive pricing.