Photo printing is becoming popular daily, but the question rises among thousands of technologies which one should we purchase for personal use? The simple answer is a Zink printer having another name, Zero ink printer. The biggest advantage of using this printer is it does not require ink, toner, or costly cartridges for printing like inkjet printers. Because of this reason, a Zink printer’s after-costs and maintenance costs are comparatively very lower than an inkjet. It would help if you refilled the ink in the inkjet. Otherwise, it will end up working.
Another difference in size is that Zink printers are small, and you can place them easily in your pocket or backpack. In contrast, the inkjet asks for a big place or sometimes a separate room for placing. The fumes of inkjet printer ink and cartridge are harmful to health and the environment. On the other, Zink doesn’t even use these toxic substances for printing.
However, after great research and experiments, I selected given below brands of zero portable ink printers. I found that Kodak is leading in this printing field.
List of Top 5 Portable Zink Printers
- KODAK Smile Classic Digital Instant Camera for 3.5 x 4.25 Zink Photo
- HP Sprocket 2×3″ Zink Portable Printer
- KODAK Smile Instant Zink Wireless Portable Photo Printer
- KODAK Step Zink Photo Printer
- Zink Polaroid ZIP Portable Inkless Photo Printer
KODAK Smile Classic Digital
As for the looks, KODAK Smile Classic looks like a 1970’s Polaroid OneStep camera, but this is a unique latest featured camera that produces high-quality images. It’s not only a camera, but you can print photos with that. Moreover, if we look at the design so can avail it in multiple colors of green, black, red, and blue. Let’s talk more about its features.
One sarcastic feature of the camera is you can print photos on the spot of shooting. Another thing is you can preserve your taken photos with the same camera or another camera and mobile photos and later on print with it. Like our other products, it also uses Zink (Zero ink) technology. You require special Zink paper for printing.
One major drawback of this camera printer is that there is no photo preview option. Therefore I suggest you print by preserving photos.
HP Sprocket 2×3″ Zink Portable Printer
HP Sprocket is a wireless device with Zink technology, as the name mentioned above. The choice of most home printing users for fast printing. The sprocket has an advanced and better HP app for editing photos.
You can easily place this compact and lightweight design of 18 grams in your pocket whether the HP Sprocket Select was somewhat heftier than HP Sprocket. It can print 2.3 x 3.4 inches of wallet size photos. This photo size is almost similar to the KODAK Smile. Out of the box, HP comes with 10 sheets of Zink papers, while you will find KODAK Step comes with 16 Zink sheets.
For charging, use a USB port, and for printing, it allows you Bluetooth connectivity options so multiple users can connect from different devices. After some photo prints, you have to face the difficulty of paper jamming, which is not good for a photo person.
KODAK Smile Instant Zink Wireless Printer
Like the Zink Polaroid, KODAK Smile is a wireless device with multiple Bluetooth and Micro USB connectivity options. In contrast, Zink provides Wifi printing. Zero ink technology saves the ecosystem, and this printer has the capability of printing 2×3″ of photos same as KODAK and Zink Polaroid. The paper it uses is water resistible and long-lasting.
KODAT lets you entertain the multiple compatibility options of the iPad, iPhone, Android, and even all iOS devices. Similar to many photo printers, it also allows you to access its play store app for editing your wallet size and small photos.
To use this printer, you need to install a KODAK Smile app that allows connecting with the phone and printer, editable options, and more than everything, allowing you to share photos remotely with your friends. Smile is a rechargeable device, and its charging lasts for 2 hours of use. Sometimes the printer starts naming after some printouts.
KODAK Step Zink Photo Printer
Kodak Step is a wireless photo printer with a fast and easy printing speed. You can connect it with Wifi, Bluetooth, and NFC. You will not find this NFC connect in Zink Polaroid. Compatibility options of photo printers also matter a lot, and KODAK allows you to print with a smartphone only. While the Zink Polaroid makes compatible with smartphones and tablets as well.
Like Zink Polaroid, KODAK Smile also prints a photo size of 2 x 3 inches or some smaller photos. You will also find an app with this printer to edit your photos and add colors and external items like rainbows and background editing features for better print output. You will find the printer with 16 built-in pages out of the box. With these 16 sleeves, you can print out 64 images instantly. Whatever the printer is, you will find that it prints smaller images of only wallet size.
Zink Polaroid ZIP Printer
Zink Polaroid is a wireless photo printer with connectivity options of Wifi and Bluetooth. If we talk about the compatibility of this photo printer, then you will be amazed that it can make connectivity options with mobile and tablets for remote printing. Most consumers at home use this mini printer for framing their memorable moments.
The most astonishing thing about this Zero ink printer is you don’t require any ribbon or film ink toner for printing. I enjoyed using its 2″ x 3″ of sticky peel-back paper, which is tear-free, smudged-free, and water resistant, giving longevity to the output. Zink Polaroid uses Zero ink technology, while its direct competitor Polaroid High Print uses dye-sublimation printing technology.
If you want to print a photo of 2×3 inches in 60 seconds with Android and iOS compatibility, then you prefer to purchase Zink Polaroid. The printer is fixed for printing size. You cannot print any other size of photo with it.
What is the difference between a Photo Printer and a Zero ink Photo Printer?
Both the photo printer and Zero ink (Zink) printer take quality photos at their end. Their use depends on your need. Let’s see the difference between them for better understanding.
Zink technology comes from two words “zero ink” the special thing about this technology is it prints without the ink. For this reason, no cartridge or ink toner is necessary to add. It also prints on multi-layered thermal paper, which is eco-friendly. The most valuable thing about Zink paper is it prints a single pass. Zink paper is special (thermal paper), which contains layers that have Cyan, magenta, and yellow color. When you pass the printing command, the printer heats, and these colors melt as per the photo requirement. This way, you find a final colorful output.
Photo printers mainly contain inkjet printers, which use regular paper and a lot of after cost. Inkjet uses costly ink, and you need to refill frequently. On the other hand, its initial cost is also high, which an individual home photo addict would not like to purchase. Its printing output is also good and long-lasting, but the ink is hazardous, which you would not like to use for home printing. However, inkjets are prepared for heavy-duty cycles, which may be a home user would not need.
I think a home user with a short duty cycle and lean budget should use a Zink (Zero ink) photo printer. While if you can afford a high initial and running cost with a high duty cycle and better printing output, then without any doubt, use inkjet. It’s also a good option for heavy users.
How Long Does an Inkless Photo Printer last?
Inkless photo printers don’t use inks, so they cost less this technology uses light-absorbing particles named “chromophores.” Therefore, with time passage, these color photons lighten or absorb less light—this way, printing capability breakdown into 10 to 20 years.
On the other hand, Zink uses special photo paper called thermal paper. It is waterproof, smudge-proof, and tear-proof, but the printing output still lasts very long. After this period, photo colors will start fading out.
Can I Use any photo paper in Zink Printer?
The answer is straightforward, and you cannot use any regular inkjet or laser printer paper with a Zink printer for printing photos because it uses a special type of paper that doesn’t require any ink and toner for printing. This special Zink paper is called “Thermal” paper. The paper has three layers of Cyan, magenta, and yellow color. When the paper passes through the printer, these colors activate according to the photo requirement.