Portable photo printers are very popular today, primarily because of their compactness and handiness. But for those who are new to them, here are some basic questions and answers about portable photo printers.

Question #1: Are portable photo printers just like ordinary printers? How exactly are they portable?

Portable photo printers are just like ordinary printers in their printing mechanisms, which usually makes use of inkjet technology. But these models are portable because they are small in size, and typically a shape and weight which you can easily carry around. Portable photo printers do not use any kind of special mechanism for printing photos – they are just small enough to be carried by hand. That’s the only thing that separates them from regular inkjet printers.

Question #2: Are portable photo printers the same as portable printers?

Not exactly. Despite the fact that they are both portable, portable printers, in general, are just small and handy enough to be carried by hand, but they can print on standard paper sizes like letter, legal, A4, and envelope. However, portable photo printers alone are only designed for photo printing, and the typical maximum size of photos which can be printed on this kind of device is 5’’ x 7’’ photos. This means you cannot use portable photo printers to print documents, although you can probably use them to print other types of professional printouts such as calling cards, labels, and IDs.

Question #3: Who needs a portable photo printer?

Anyone can buy a portable photo printer, but the device is especially needed by professional photographers who want to be able to produce high quality photos anytime they want, anywhere they are. There are also some people who feel the need to have portable photo printers, such as photography enthusiasts, those who love to travel and want to be able to create picture collages and compilations even while traveling, and those who just love to take pictures and produce hard copies of them.

Question #4: Are there a lot of portable photo printers available on the market?

No. Unfortunately, there are only a few printer manufacturers producing good models of portable photo printers, and there are only a limited number of these models. For instance, HP has already phased out all of its portable photo printer models, the last of which was the Photosmart A646. Canon has a line of portable printer products named Selphy, but there are only five models in this product line. Epson also has a line of portable photo printers but there are only two models of these – the Show and the Charm models. Other printer manufacturers have yet to develop their own models of portable photo printers, and consumers need to wait for these models–if they ever will be released.

Question #5: How much does a portable photo printer cost?

The cheapest portable printer is around $70 and the most expensive one can be around $200-$300. The price mainly depends on the technology of the device, the brand, the features and functions, and the quality of printouts that it produces.


Hopefully these common questions about portable photo printers have helped you understand why there is a particular need for these devices and how they benefit their users. Not all people need these printers, and if you’re one of those who are just interested but don’t really need one, it’s best to buy a standard size photo printer instead so that you can use it not only for printing photos but also for printing documents.