Electronics

Top 9 Best Portable Instant Photo Printers for On the Go – May 2019

An instant photo printer is a small, compact, and portable printer with a primary goal of printing out photos. Instead of taking your memory stick, phone, or camera to a kiosk and spending the earth and waiting for ages, you can become your own kiosk.

You can go on a trip with family and friends and print photos out as you take them. How convenient is that? However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You can have speed or quality, price or durability, you can’t have it all.

Read through these options below, find out what features you require and what you can live without, and make a choice based on where you will be using your printer. You can then pick an instant photo printer knowing it’s going to be fit for purpose.

9. Kodak WiFi Portable Instant Photo Printer

Instead of waiting until the moment has passed to print a classic photo, you can do it immediately with this instant photo printer from Kodak. Kodak has been at the helm of photo technology for years, and they are showing no signs of slowing down.

You can buy this instant photo printer as a gift or starter pack, and choose to include prints and ink with it too. It also prints 4 x 6-inch standard photos, showing off vibrant colors and a crisp finish every time. However, some users note that they can print a little dark.

You can use this instant photo printer with your iOS or Android device, and it will even charge your phones in the dock as well! This printer will not charge USB type c devices. It includes thermal transfer technology to stop ink bleeding or fading, and you get to use the free companion app that comes with it as well. While it’s not a cost-effective printing method given the ink doesn’t last long, it’s still a funky and niche product that’s bound to make an excellent Christmas stocking stuffer.

Features

  • Full color prints
  • iOS and Android compatibility
  • Three options – basic, gift, and starter
  • One-touch printing
  • iOS Lightning adapter
  • 4 x 6-inch photos
  • Thermal transfer technology
  • Smart device powering
  • Free companion app

Pros

  • It’s affordable
  • You can buy it on its own or in a bundle
  • It’s compatible with Apple and Android
  • Vivid colors
  • The photos don’t bleed or fade
  • Effortless to use
  • The printer charges your phone
  • It comes with a dock for Android or iOS devices

Cons

  • It won’t work with C-type smartphones
  • The instructions are hard to follow
  • The prints are dark
  • The ink runs out quickly

8. Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Mini Printer

Whether you’re a scrapbooker or you like to remember every moment, this Polaroid instant photo printer enables you to do so. With the click of a button, you can be printing off every photo you ever take – all in a small 2×3-inch paper print. While the paper is not the same glossy photo paper you might be used to, it’s still water, tear, and smudge-resistant for your peace of mind.

Every photo you capture takes under a minute to print, while also having a sticky back for adhering to any surface. This instant photo printer also uses no ink, cartridges, films, or toners, making it one of the most cost-effective instant photo printers on the market.

When you buy it, you will also be pleased to know there is a color to appeal. You can buy this instant photo printer in red, blue, black, or white. The printer is also a compact size to fit in your pocket alongside your smartphone, and you can charge it with a USB cord.

Connect it to your iOS or Android device via Bluetooth or NFC and let it get to work printing your memories. The photos are not the highest quality available, but the convenience of this instant photo printer is unbeatable.

Features

  • iOS and Android compatible
  • Bluetooth and NFC compatible
  • Printer, gift, or paper bundle options
  • Tablet and smartphone compatible
  • Ink, toner, cartridge, and film-free
  • 2×3-inch paper prints
  • Water, tear, and smudge-resistant prints
  • Polaroid mobile app
  • 60-second print time
  • White, red, blue, and black color options

Pros

  • Affordable price tag
  • Funky design
  • Compact and fits in your pocket
  • Suitable for most phones
  • Connects with minimal effort
  • You don’t need any ink to run it
  • The print sizes are cute
  • Fun colors to choose
  • You can recharge it via USB

Cons

  • Poor color translation
  • Prints dark and grainy
  • Not easy to find paper for it

7. Canon IVY Wireless Mini Photo Printer

If you want to take silly and fun photos for a special event or when you are hanging out with your friends, then this is the instant photo printer for the job. While the quality of the prints are nowhere near good enough for any professional setup, it’s still a fun and quirky unit for people who love to be social.

You can take photos of your friends, link the instant photo printer to social media, and enjoy handing out 2×3-inch memories to all your friends and family. You can also buy this printer with 20 or 50 paper sheets or none at all.

Another standout feature is that you do not need to buy any ink, toner, films, or cartridges. As long as you have the correct Canon IVY paper, this unit will take care of everything. The resultant prints run a little dark and grainy, but given that you can use a fun app and hook this instant photo printer to your Android or iOS device, it’s a small negative. This instant photo printer would make an excellent gift for a loved one or friend.

Features

  • Slate gray, mint green, or rose gold color options
  • Buy with 20 or 50 sheets of paper, or without any
  • Bluetooth and social media compatible
  • 2×3-inch photos
  • Canon Mini Print app
  • Android and iOS compatible

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Contemporary colors
  • Funky design
  • Effortless to use
  • You can buy it with or without paper
  • It links to your social media
  • It doesn’t need any ink

Cons

  • You can’t print from your PC with it
  • Inferior quality to other photo printers
  • Contrast differences

6. Canon SELPHY CP1300 WiFi Compact Photo Printer

While the instant photo printer is vast, there are very few photo printers that can print instant pictures while doing so in high-quality. That’s where the Canon SELPHY is different from other printers like it on the market.

They have made sure the print quality is exceptional while also offering instant-print functionality. Once you link your mobile device to the instant photo printer, you can immediately begin printing to it. The printer then prints each photo in three stages – doing one color at a time. It’s a lot slower this way, but it enables the picture to be closer to the original than other printers on the market.

This Canon SELPHY instant photo printer also comes in white or black and has a one-year warranty. Its 3.2-inch screen enables you to see what the printer is doing, while the 4×6-inch paper is easily accessible and always comes with ink. The only downside is that you cannot buy ink or paper separately from each other.

All in all, this printer is one that will appear at the top of your “must-have” list, purely because it’s leagues ahead of its competition in the same niche market.

Features

  • White or black color options
  • With or without paper and ink
  • Dye-Sub technology
  • Instant-dry ink
  • Canon PRINT app
  • 4×6-inch paper
  • 3.2-inch digital screen
  • One-year warranty
  • Print from USB, your phone, or via USB

Pros

  • High-quality prints
  • Vibrant colors
  • The ink comes with the paper when you buy it
  • Not overly expensive to purchase
  • Robust little printer
  • Print effortlessly from the Canon PRINT app

Cons

  • It’s slow to print as it does one color at a time
  • Expensive to buy
  • Loud to print
  • Clunky to set up
  • You can’t buy the paper without buying the ink

5. Prynt Pocket PW310001 Instant Photo Printer for iPhone

While this instant photo printer is not quite a pocket printer, it still meets the mark for many iOS device users looking for something to turn gallery photos into real-life pictures. Not only is the picture quality better than many others on the market too, but there is a range of convenient features that are going to make your life run smoothly as well.

You can buy this instant photo printer in lavender, mint green, and two shades of graphite while being available in a funky and compact design as well. It also doesn’t look like any other instant photo printer on the market.

If you have a whole list of photos you want to print, then you don’t need to worry about them taking a long time. Each picture only takes around half a minute, while also not requiring any ink. All you need is the specialized ink-free sticker paper, and your photos can be stickers or pictures.

The color finish on the pictures is also incredible, and the contrast is nearly the same as how you would view it on your phone. While it’s disappointing that this does not work with Android devices, it’s still going to appeal to Apple users all the same.

Features

  • Lavender, mint green, graphite, and cool graphite color options
  • Paper cartridge
  • 30-second print time
  • Ink-free sticker paper
  • Adhesive backing

Pros

  • Prints photos quickly
  • You can use the prints as photos or stickers
  • Vibrant colors
  • Funky printer design
  • Choose from four color printers
  • Affordable price tag
  • Syncs to your iOS device

Cons

  • Only compatible with Apple products
  • You have to take your phone’s case off to use the printer
  • Almost fits in your pocket but not quite

4. Polaroid Zero Ink Pocket Printer

If you don’t mind having to spend extra at the online checkout to get some paper with this instant photo printer, then you are going to find it puts a smile on your face as soon as you use it for the first time. This printer meets the mark in so many ways and tends to have leading technology that many other instant photo printers on the market can’t offer.

The first standout feature – one that more and more printers are beginning to see the value in – is the Zink Zero ink technology. Instead of having to deal with expensive and annoying ink cartridges, this printer needs nothing but paper. How incredible is that?

It then connects seamlessly without cords and wires via Bluetooth to your iOS or Android device and can do so effortlessly with the help of the Polaroid app. You can also use this app to crop your photos and add special effects and filters.

Finally, you can buy it in a range of colors, with 20, 30, or 50 paper sheets, and benefit from its compact five-ounce size. If you need a stocking stuffer, this instant photo printer will be an excellent option.

Features

  • Zink Zero ink technology
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • White, black, red, yellow, and blue color options
  • Full-color photos
  • 20, 30, and 50-sheet packs
  • Polaroid app
  • 5.7-ounce weight

Pros

  • Affordable to buy
  • Funky colors
  • Compact size to fit in your pocket
  • Connects quickly to your mobile device
  • You can crop the photos and add filter effects through the app
  • You don’t need to use wires or cables
  • You don’t need any ink or cartridges
  • It prints quickly

Cons

  • You have to pay extra to get the paper included

3. PicKit Portable Instant Photo Printer

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of buying ink and paper separately and at different times, then it might be time to look into what the PicKit instant photo printer can offer you. This printer is different from others on the market in many ways – and even though it’s not a leading brand, it’s worth a closer look.

Instead of having a separate ink and paper section – having the hassle of feeding paper into it manually, this one comes with an all-inclusive cartridge. You buy the cartridges separately which have ten sheets in each, then feed just one part into your printer for it to work beautifully.

You can also use this instant photo printer on your iOS or Android device in conjunction with the PICKIT app to produce beautiful 2 x 3.5-inch photos. The unit itself is affordable, but there are a few reasons why you may decide to choose another instant photo printer. The battery only lasts long enough to print 25 images, and each cartridge only houses ten sheets.

Therefore, the unit rate for each sheet is high while you need to keep replacing the cartridges often. It’s an excellent idea in theory, but how it plays out may not suit everyone looking to print photos quickly.

Features

  • Android and iOS compatible
  • PICKIT mobile app
  • Built-in battery
  • 25 images on one charge
  • Inkless cartridges
  • Paper-free
  • 2 x 3.5-inch paper

Pros

  • The paper and ink are inclusive in a cartridge
  • Effortless to replace the cartridges
  • Sync seamlessly to your mobile devices
  • Compact size
  • Sleek design
  • Works quickly

Cons

  • You only get ten prints in one cartridge
  • Cartridges are expensive
  • The battery doesn’t last long

2. HP OfficeJet 4650 Photo Printer

While an instant photo printer is convenient if all you want to do is print photos, what if you’re going to print regular documents as well? That’s where this HP OfficeJet printer comes in. While it has been engineered to print photos beautifully, you can also use its printing, copying, scanning, and faxing functions as well. It’s an all-around convenient printer.

You can also buy it in three beautiful color schemes that attract the eye. They are even affordable and come with a range of convenient features. You can connect it wirelessly to your phone with the HP ePrint app, or to your computer as well. It also comes with AirPrint, two-sided duplex printing, and a touchscreen.

You can’t take this printer with you on the road as it needs a power supply and is not portable, but if you don’t necessarily want an instant photo printer, it’s well worth a closer look.

Features

  • White and purple, white and blue, and black color options
  • All-in-one
  • Printer ink included
  • Copy, scan, and fax functionality
  • Wireless printing
  • AirPrint
  • Two-sided duplex printing
  • Touchscreen
  • Instant Ink
  • HP ePrint app

Pros

  • You can use it for everyday printing and photos
  • You can print to it from your smartphone
  • Affordable to buy
  • It’s wireless
  • It doesn’t take a lot of effort to set up
  • Sleek and stylish color options

Cons

  • You have to plug it into a wall socket
  • It’s not portable
  • Uses a lot of ink
  • Photo paper is expensive

1. HP Photosmart A526 Instant Photo Printer

If you don’t mind paying more for an instant photo printer if it means the quality is going to be better than most others, then check out this unit from HP. Along with vibrant and beautiful colors, you get to benefit from photo adjustment before you print. This is a highly sought after feature that not all instant photo printers can offer.

You can remove red eyes, focus on particular aspects of the photo, and improve lighting and brightness. However, the images do tend to print darker than what you see on the screen which is a mild let-down.

You can use this instant photo printer at home or in a professional setting and benefit from how quick and effortless it is to set up from your computer or phone. Even though it doesn’t come with a cord, anyone can work out how to connect it to their device. It’s more expensive than other instant photo printers, but upon printing your first photo, you will know it was worth it.

Features

  • 2.4 LCD screen
  • Fade-resistant photos
  • Automatic red-eye removal
  • Smart focus
  • Adaptive lighting and brightening
  • 8 x 8 x 5-inch dimensions approximate

Pros

  • Beautiful photo vibrancy
  • High-quality prints
  • Suitable for professional and home use
  • You don’t need a computer to use it
  • You can alter and enhance your photos

Cons

  • More expensive than other similar printers
  • The photos print dark
  • There is no wire to connect it to a PC

Considerations for Purchasing an Instant Photo Printer

For a while there, no one was printing photos. Instead, people would leave them on their phone or back them up to their computer – very rarely looking at them. The reality is, many people lost their prized photos because they didn’t print them off. Now, however, with the invention of the instant photo printer, printing your photos is easier than ever before. Before you jump the gun and buy one, you need to consider the following points. Otherwise, you may end up thoroughly disappointed.

  1. Ink

    Believe it or not, a printer does not need ink to operate. Sometimes, all it needs is paper. The setup can vary from one brand to the next. Some have an all-inclusive paper and ink cartridge that you insert into the printer. Then, you can buy others with individual ink cartridges and paper sheets to feed manually into the printer. The most convenient, but not the best quality, is a type of zero-ink paper that requires no ink, only paper.

  2. Paper

    Think about the type of photos you want, and compare it to the paper type the instant photo printer needs. Are they going to turn out how you want? Some paper is small and thin, more suitable for scrapbooking, while others offer full-size 6×4-inch prints. The smaller the photos are, the lower the quality the picture tends to be.

  3. Portability

    An instant photo printer’s primary purpose is to be a compact and portable printer you can take with you on adventures. Therefore, the smaller it is, the better it’s going to fit that purpose. Pay attention to the printer’s dimensions. A pocket version is going to be the most portable.

  4. Connectivity

    The way in which you connect to your PC, Android, or iOS device is going to differ depending on the brand. Most instant photo printers don’t connect to computers at all, and some only work with Android or iOS instead of both. Then, you can connect via Bluetooth, a cord, or NFC. Read the fine print to make sure the connectivity option works for you.

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