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Choosing a Mini Photo Printer

Updated on September 27, 2011

Mini Photo Printer: For Limited Space or Printing on the Go

We love our gadgets and we love having them on hand anytime we want them. Over the past several years, our electronics devices have continued to shrink allowing us to have them at the ready anytime, anywhere. Now it seems that photo printers are moving the same direction.

Today, mini photo printers are increasingly portable. Many have handles and weigh only a few pounds. In fact, some weigh only a matter of ounces and will fit in your pocket. In addition, they can perform their duties without the aid of a computer, making them even more useful and efficient.

Learn more about your options and how to choose the right mini photo printer on this page.

Buying Tips

Once you've decided you want a mini photo printer, there are a number of features and functions you want to consider to help in your selection process. Here are a few:

  • Size
    Not all these small printers are equally portable. Clearly a device that weighs only a matter of ounces and measures 4.5" x 2.8" x.9" will fit in your pocket, while one that weighs a few pounds and is 8.9" x 10"x 3.2" won't, although certainly you can carry it with you. The Polaroid PoGo and Dell Wasabi are among the smallest. For devices that are a bit larger, having a carrying handle can be important.
  • Photo Paper
    Keeping a printer supplied with paper, as well as ink, can be a significant expense. You should determine what type of paper (and ink) the device will use and compare prices before you make a purchase. (Just like full sized printers, your photos will look the best when you use paper and inks that are designed to be used with a given printer, so sticking with the same manufacturer for your supplies can be important.)
  • Photo Size
    Generally speaking any given mini photo printer will print one, or perhaps two photo sizes only. 4x6 and 5x7 prints are most common. However, the Polaroid PoGo for instance, prints 2x3" images. Before buy, you need to confirm what types/sizes of prints you will want.
  • Print Time
    Some of these devices are faster than others. If speed is important, look at the print time reported for color images and compare models. Some devices make take a minute and a half to print a color 4x6" image, others make take only 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Resolution
    DPI (dots per inch) is an indication of the image quality a mini photo printer can produce. Higher is better. Certainly, 1200x600dpi is considered good for photos.
  • Compatibility
    You want to be sure that the compact photo printer you choose will be compatible with the devices you wish to print from; either digital camera or camera phone. You need to know how you will connect to the printer. Will it read your memory cards? Can you transfer wirelessly through Bluetooth? Is it Pictbridge compatible?
  • Other features
    You may want to preview your photos before printing, therefore having a preview screen on the device might be desired. In addition, you might want to do some editing of the photo, thus red eye correction and other editing options would also be nice to have. Some portable printers also give you creative tools for adding text, frames, and special effects to your photos.

Mini Photo Printer Reviews


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    • RussellLHuey profile image

      RussellLHuey 6 years ago

      Really great tips here.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 7 years ago

      NUB Pole Trading: I posted it above for you. Prints 4x6 in 47 seconds. (300 dpi)

    • profile image

      NUB POLE TRADING 7 years ago

      we need to purchase the Selphy machine cp780 so would u offer the machine specification and price

    • boandtum profile image

      boandtum 7 years ago

      Really want to have one.

      Easy & Convenient

      Thank your sharing

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      What a great selection of mini printers. Thanks for such an interesting and informative hub.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Nice information. I thought about getting one of these.

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      This is a really helpful hub on mini photo printers. We are still printing photos with our regular computer printer, but I will definitely come back here for more information when I am ready to buy. (Nice to see you here!)