by Kirk Yuhnke
There was a day when printing photos required you to be home with a special printer and gobs of money to buy inkjet cartridge refills and photo paper. You can still print photos that way, but portable photo printers using new technology called “Zink” makes printing photos on the go a cinch. But are they worth it?
The HP Sprocket, Polaroid Zip, and LifePrint printers are three portable photo printers that all cost around $130 and use Zink technology to spit out small, fun prints wherever you are. Zink uses thermal technology along with special printer paper to give you instant 2" x 3" photo prints—no ink cartridge required. These printers run about the same size and weight of a smartphone, so portability is a plus.
Zink paper refills cost roughly 50 cents per 2" x 3" print—not cost effective compared to larger store prints that average 20 cents or less per print. But they are a whole lot of fun! The photo paper has a peel-and-stick backing so you can smack them anywhere, like a photo sticker.
You really can’t compare these prints to actual 4" x 6" photo prints. First of all, they only come in one small size and second, the quality just won’t be the same. If you want quality photo prints, you’ll still need a home photo printer or a quick trip to a nearby store. Consider Zink photos more of a Polaroid print for a digital world.
So, while Zink photos aren’t worth it when it comes to dollars and cents, the fun factor and instant gratification could make up for the extra money you’ll spend.
Kirk Yuhnke is a father of three kids and an admitted tech geek. You can find him weekday mornings anchoring Good Day Colorado on Fox31 News.