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 Printer ($69.99)
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 photo papers.
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 ($49.99)
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/DVDPrinter ($129.99)
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.