Top 10 Best Portable Photo Printer 2021

Difficult to make a choice for your new Portable Photo Printer? We wrote this Special Portable Photo Printer buying guide to help you, with the TOP10 of the best sales of the moment, tests, opinions… As in all our buying guides, we went out of our way to help you choose the best Portable Photo Printer!

Our selection of portable photo printer

Portable photo printer buying guide

Are you looking to buy the best portable photo printer currently, but you don't know which one to choose? Indeed, between the different types and brands, the technology used or the features, it is often easy to get lost. Our buying and comparison guide points you to the pocket printer that will deliver professional-quality photos. We hope that in the end you will have all the keys to making the right choice. Focus!

What is a portable photo printer?

In the last twenty years, an invention has changed people's habits: the Smartphone. At the start of this century, instant digital cameras were still on top of technology. With the advent of the mobile photo printer, the 10 × 15 photo printing format has become very popular. Unfortunately, due to major technical advances in the mobile device industry, this type of printer is considered obsolete.

With his smartphone, it is now possible todirectly print a photo, as if we were using a polaroid. This development is the consequence of the popularization of the portable photo printer, also known by various names: pocket printer, mini photo printer or Bluetooth printer. Indeed, this last name says a lot about this device, because by connecting via wireless connectivity (wifi or Bluetooth connection), a Smartphone can be paired with a portable photo printer. Thus, it is possible to have an instant photo.

From a global perspective, this technology is well received by everyone. If printed photos were a bit old-fashioned, people are regaining a taste for the authenticity of photo paper. Even snapshots on networks can be printed directly after publication. All you need is a smartphone and a pocket printer.

The different types of portable photo printer

Be aware that there are various types of portable photo printers. This is based in particular on the printing technology used.

The portable inkless photo printer

Its operation is based on the use of special paper such as Zero Ink or Zink. In other words, this type of printer uses no ink drop or ribbon. The photo papers used have several crystals that will heat up under the heat supplied by the device, which will create the colors of the printed photo.

The thermal sublimation printer

This type of portable photo printer uses wax as an ink replacement for printing your photos.

The portable inkjet photo printer

This portable photo printer is the miniature version of the classic models. Often purchased with an ink cartridge or ribbon.

The disposable portable printer

As the name suggests, this type of portable photo printer is to be thrown away once the maximum number of prints is reached. It can be an ideal gift idea for children.

What is the benefit of using a portable photo printer?

The big advantage of the portable photo printer is the one mentioned previously: instant printing. Instantly printed photos become consumable items that anyone can afford.

Another advantage of the mini printer is its Portabilitybecause the best portable printers are mostly ultralight and small in size. In terms of dimensions, you might think that some models are external hard drives. You can take your mini photo printer in your backpack, briefcase, briefcase or purse anywhere without any problem. This gives you the flexibility to travel, take and print photos of yourself and others you meet.

Also, be aware that a photo printed with this kind of device is durable. This durability is a major advantage over storage in a USB medium or in a hard disk.

And the last highlight of portable photo printers is the printing technology which affects both the resolution as well as the print speed. This technique in question is characterized, in general, by thermal sublimation printing, among others.

More clearly, there is no ink in many photo printer models, because this one is directly incorporated into the photo paper. In other words, each brand (Canon, Kodak, HP Envy?) Manufactures and sells its own photo paper separately. Like a Polaroid, photo printing can only happen if the dyes in the paper are activated by the portable printer using thermal transfer. However, other models still require the use of ink for printing. It depends on the technology used.

On the other hand, a portable printer is able to print small photos (credit card size) without degrading the print quality.

How to choose your portable photo printer?

Portable photo printers are not all the same. There are some points you should refer to before choosing one.

  • Pocket printer vs compact printer
  • When looking for the best portable photo printer, consider that a pocket printer is specifically designed to go with you wherever you go. This type of device is usually connected via Bluetooth, hence its usefulness, mainly for photography and paired with a smartphone.

    A compact printer is better suited for use at home or in a small office because of its additional features such as copying and scanning, or connection via wifi. Whether a portable photo printer is more your choice than a compact printer is up to you.

  • Connectivity
  • Some printers connect in different ways and if you want to link it to your cell phone then you need to buy a bluetooth photo printer. It only takes a few seconds to pair it with your phone.

    A WiFi printer, on the other hand, needs a Internet access point or WiFi network to print. You can use an online service such as Google Cloud Print for Android or AirPrint for iOS to print from your smartphone when you are on the go. Back at home or at your office, your photo is ready in the printer tray.

    It should be noted that other wireless connection systems also exist, but are much less known to the general public. We can for example speak of NFC and Airplay.

  • Rechargeable battery life
  • Portable photo printers usually charge via a micro USB cable and have different charging times. But, on average it takes about an hour to charge a portable printer completely flat.

    If, for example, you love nature photos and want to print your photos when you go hiking, then you should know that mobile photo printers have a battery life of a few hours. So, double check the manufacturer's specifications before purchasing.

  • Height and weight
  • Inkjet printers with ink cartridges or Toner cartridges, or laser printers are generally large, bulky and heavy. But portable printers are very light (200g on average) and have really small sizes while printing in high resolution.

    If you need your portable printer to print documents in PDF format (which can be printed on photo paper), it is doable and you can carry it in your backpack or briefcase with no problem.

  • Getting started and the mobile application
  • These are very important criteria since you want to make using the printer easy. So ask yourself the right questions. Is the device easy to use? Does it work well for your needs? Does it have advantages over other models?

    Also note that the majority of pocket printers are used with an application that you will need to install on your smartphone. Here it is also essential to check its quality in general resulting in its ease of use and the different processing possibilities it offers. Indeed, you should know that some printers have applications that can edit, retouch, edit, among other things your digital photos before printing them.

  • Performances
  • Here again, all printers each have their own performance level. It is therefore very important to dwell on this point before proceeding with the purchase. In this context, certain indicators must be taken into account. Among these, we will see for example the speed of printing which is of course a determining indicator. This is because while some models take longer to print a photo, others will do it faster. Note that the average printing time of portable photo printers available today is between 45 seconds and 1 minute.

    Another key indicator concerns the quality and rendering of photos which is defined by the technology used by the printer. There are therefore various types, not to mention thermal sublimation, the Zink or silver process. The choice is yours according to your needs, knowing that the price will be conditioned by the printing technology used.

  • The print format
  • Of course, the possible print format (s) is an important selection criterion. We know that the dimensions of printers vary depending on the model, which means that the formats will undeniably vary. To tell the difference, therefore, you have to rely on the largest printer size. The larger the latter, the greater the number of possibilities for the smaller print format.

  • Compatibility
  • Last but not least, the compatibility between the portable photo printer and the operating system of your smartphone is essential. Be aware that you will be able to find models that can pair with both Android systems and iOS systems at the same time. Others, however, will only be compatible with one or the other.

    How to print photos or files from my Smartphone?

    Now you know all the criteria to look at and consider when purchasing your portable photo printer. Now, we'll show you how to print from your smartphone.

    The most obvious solution is to use the printer's dedicated application for this. However, you can also print other types of documents if the machine has WiFi connectivity. Note, however, that compatibility with AirPrint or iOS and Google Cloud Print for Android is required.

    On Android, for example, you will first need to make sure that the print service is active. To do this, you will have to go to the settings of your Smartphone. Then go to "connected devices", then to "connection preference" and finally to "printing". In case you have an Android version greater than or equal to 8.0, you will need to go to "Default Print Service". Select this option and you should see if it is enabled or not with the switch next to it. Be aware that when it is running, a list of available printers should be available.

    To perform the actual printing, you will need to go to the dedicated application. Navigate in the contextual menu of this one and choose the "print" function. Note that the latter is often represented by an icon in the form of three vertical dots. However, in other cases this option can be found in the share menu. Here you will also need to choose the printer, adjust the settings and start printing by clicking on the blue icon.

    On iOS, using the open file "share" feature is usually the fastest solution. A window will therefore open and must present an icon or a print menu. If your portable photo printer is compatible with AirPrint, no configuration is required.

    If you are using iOS 13 however, in case you want to print emails for example, there might be a problem. Indeed, it is often required to click on the "reply" button which will open an additional menu. At the bottom of the list you will find the printing function which will allow you to achieve your goals.

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    Dernière mise à jour : 2021-12-03 02:35:04