3 interesting things about portable photo printers
Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait until you get home to print that beautiful photo essay you just shot at the park, right? Well, at least I think so. The alternative is to get your very own portable photo printer and then you can turn anywhere into a miniature photo lab; grandma’s house, the corner café, or even a library. Some interesting facts about these portable photo printers will help you decide if they are right for you, or if you are the type who can just wait until you get home.
Though portable photo printers come in different styles depending on the company, I’ve been smitten with the Canon Selphy ES3. Its rather cute design, all rounded and ovalesque, is just aesthetically pleasing to me. Add to that some real functionality like 1 gigabyte of internal memory, the color liquid crystal display, and the wireless printing capability through Canon’s PictBridge software and you have a truly sweet little machine in your hands. The Selphy ES3 retails for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200, so the budget may take a hit on this one.
Compared to the Canon cutie, the HP Photosmart A626 Compact Photo Printer is downright prehistoric on first impression. Sure, I dig its matte blue-black colour casing, but its so much the little cousin of its larger kin. What it lacks in looks, though, it more than makes up for in functions. A 33% larger liquid crystal display than the Selphy allows for better viewing of the picture before the print, allowing even aunt Nancy a glace at your photographic genius. A feature that blew me away, though was the stylus that allowed me to customize my photographs. I wrote funny messages, drew moustaches, and otherwise marred my perfect portraiture to my heart’s content. The stylus also allowed me to interact with the photos by adding clip art to them as well. Built-in red eye reduction and the ability to print in black and white or even antique-looking sepia tones rounded out this package nicely. An optional Bluetooth adapter allows our Bluetooth-enabled phone to send pics wirelessly to the printer. All in all, the horsepower under this ugly duckling’s hood made the grade. Also, it was a darn sight cheaper than the Selphy, costing me a mere $125.
Finally, I tried Polariod’s PoGo. A sleek, deck of cards-looking portable printer that came with three packs of photo paper. The interior, however, is rather revolutionary; it does not used printer inks, ribbons, or the like. Instead it uses a composite material to transfer color directly to the photograph paper via heat pulses. The embedded crystals in the composite make the photograph smudge proof from the moment it is printed. This innovation alone is worth the $150 asking price.