Major vendors like HP, Canon and Epson offer a wide range of photo printers to fit any budget, and many offer advanced features like touch-screen interfaces and PictBridge technology.
With all the options consumers have when it comes to photo printers, it's
helpful to know what you really need and what price points are best for you.
Features such as touch-screen capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity may sound
impressive, but other features like a variety of memory card slots or low-cost
ink cartridges can be equally useful, if less flashy. With the recent focus on
environmentally friendly products, many printers are also Energy Star-rated.
Here's a selection of 10 printers that can give you the flexibility (and
memories) you want but won't leave a negative impression on your budget.
Canon Selphy Compact Photo Printer ($99.99)
This Energy Star-rated printer includes a paper and ink kit and prints 4-by-6-inch
photos in as few as 47 seconds. The Selphy offers up to 300-by-3,000-dpi
resolution for crisp images and supports a wide variety of memory cards. Also
included is the PictBridge feature, which enables certain cameras to connect to
the printer without a cable. A 2.5-inch color LCD display allows you to view
photos before you print them.
HP Photosmart Compact Photo Printer ($149.99)
Small enough to carry around (carrying case included), this printer allows
you to view and edit your photos using the printer's 3.4-inch TouchSmart screen
and more than 300 included creative elements. A design gallery includes pet-eye
fix, blemish removal, slimming, sepia tones and more, and you can add captions
to photos via the on-screen keyboard and stylus.
Kodak ESP 3 Multifunction
Kodak says this all-in-one printer helps you save up to 50 percent on
everything you print (compared with other consumer ink-jet systems), and
replacement black ink costs just $9.99 and five-color ink costs only $14.99
(one black and one color ink cartridge are included). It supports borderless
photo printing up to 8.5 by 11 inches. Facial retouch software editing allows
you to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and enhance facial features, and
photos are smudge-, fade- and water-resistant when using select Kodak Inkjet
Epson PictureMate Dash Personal Photo Lab Printer ($169.99)
Also Energy Star-rated, this printer supports up to 5,760-by-1,440-optimized-dpi
resolution, and photo options include wallets, BorderFree, classic borders and
more. A photo proof sheet lets you organize your photos by viewing thumbnails
on the 3.6-inch photo viewer. Memory card slots support CompactFlash Type I and
II, Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick,
Microdrive Type M and H and xD-Picture Card formats.
Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer
Designed for printing on the go, the extremely compact PoGo is designed for
use exclusively with Polaroid ZINK photo paper and prints directly from cell phones
and digital cameras via Bluetooth and USB
connections. The printer includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and AC
adapter and one pack of ZINK photo paper; the printer requires no ink
cartridges or ribbons.
Presto Printing Mailbox Printer for Presto Service ($49.99)
This printer automatically receives and prints photos and e-mail using a
standard phone line; there's no computer or Internet connection required. The
device, which requires a Presto Service subscription, uses HP Thermal Inkjet
technology and converts e-mails and photos into printouts. The Presto Friends
feature ensures you only receive messages from preselected people, so you don't
receive junk mail or ads.
HP Photosmart Wireless Multifunction Printer ($199.99)
This multifunction printer allows you to print, copy or scan documents and
photos in high-resolution over your Ethernet or wireless network. The 2.4-inch
LCD display and PictBridge compatibility let you print photos directly from
your PictBridge-enabled digital camera, and it prints on a variety of paper,
including plain, ink-jet, photo and banner, plus envelopes, labels, index cards
and greeting cards.
Epson R1900 Photo Printer ($599.99)
On the high end of consumer photo printers comes this offering from Epson,
which provides print resolution of up to 5,760 by 1,440 dpi. The MicroPiezo
print head can produce up to three different droplet sizes per line. Print size
tops out at a generous 13 by 19 inches, and the package includes eight ink
cartridges, two USB ports and UltraChrome
Hi-Gloss 2 pigment ink with ultrafine 1.5-picoliter droplet size.
Canon PIXMA Photo Printer ($49.99)
Canon's budget-priced Energy Star-rated photo printer prints up to 600 by
600 dpi in black and 4,800 by 1,200 dpi in color, and features FINE print head
technology, which uses 1,472 precision nozzles that eject tiny ink droplets as
small as 2 picoliters. An auto-fix function automatically adjusts image color,
brightness and contrast for improved image quality, and the printer includes
Easy PhotoPrint EX software.
Epson Artisan Multifunction Photo/CD/DVD
This versatile printer allows you to print high-definition photos and also print
your own images and text onto compatible CDs and DVDs. Six-color Advanced Micro
Piezo optimized print technology creates sharp images, and Web to Page, Epson
Scan and Epson Easy Photo Print software is included along with the Epson Print
CD to edit and optimize your prints, scans and copies. Advanced features
include auto photo correction and ICM
technologies, as well as Claria high-definition ink with 1.5-picoliter droplet
size for enhanced image quality.