Home Buyer's Guide Printers 2010
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Photo Printers

Make stunning prints that will last for generations with the newest photo inkjet technology

This Article Features Photo Zoom


All of the portable printers listed here can do a great job of printing a 4x6 or 5x7 image when you’re away from home. All also offer card readers and support PictBridge for printing directly from your digital camera. The printers come in two flavors: inkjet, like those used in the desktop printers; and dye-sublimation, which uses an ink ribbon that’s fused to the print by heating it up. Dye-sublimation ribbons and compatible paper are sold in a package.

Canon Selphy CP790
Looking a bit like a neon-green lunch basket, the CP790 is a dye-sublimation printer that uses either a power supply or an optional battery pack. The top portion of the CP790 holds the power supply, ink, paper and battery pack to make this a pick-up-and-go kit. The printer features a three-inch LCD for previewing images and a card reader for most memory cards, as well as IrDA interface and an optional Bluetooth adapter. Onboard creative tools include calendars, frames, portrait optimization, red-eye correction and a variety of print sizes, from credit card to 4x8. List Price: $179.

Canon Selphy CP780
The CP780 is a more traditional-looking printer with many of the same features as the CP790—an optional battery for on-the-go printing, a card reader for most popular card formats and an optional Bluetooth adapter. The CP780 is available in silver, blue or pink. With a 2.5-inch display, the dye-sub printer can handle sizes up to 4x8, with borderless 4x6 prints in about 47 seconds. List Price: $99.

Epson PictureMate Dash PM 260
With a four-color, dye-ink system, the PictureMate Dash can generate a 4x6 border-less print in about 37 seconds. The built-in card reader handles photos with no computer needed. The 3.6-inch LCD is used to select images and to perform image adjustments, including black-and-white or sepia-toned prints. Other editing features include red-eye removal, cropping, resizing and selecting various print sizes up to 4x6. List Price: $149.

Epson PictureMate Zoom PM 290
Take the PictureMate Dash and add a built-in CD burner, and you have the PictureMate Zoom. Like the Dash, the Zoom model uses four inks in a single cartridge and produces a 4x6 print in about 37 seconds. You also can print borderless wallets, passport, proof sheets and more directly from a memory card or via the optional Bluetooth adapter. Battery power also is an option for printing away from home. The built-in CD burner writes to standard CD media, or you can print images from a CD placed in the drive. List Price: $229.

HP Photosmart A826 Home Photo Center
With the largest screen in this roundup at seven inches and the ability to print up to 5x7 images, the A826 pushes the boundaries of a portable printer. But with the optional battery pack, this truly is a portable unit, which can double as a photo viewer, thanks to the large screen. This inkjet printer uses HP’s Vivera inks in a single cartridge. The A826 includes memory-card slots for all popular card formats and an optional Bluetooth adapter. Onboard correction options include red-eye, frames, graphics and other effects. The LCD is a touch screen, and the included stylus can be used to write captions or doodle on your images before printing, or it can be used to display your pictures in a digital frame as a slideshow. List Price: $199.

Sony Picture Station DPP-FP97
The Sony DPP-FP97 is a dye-sublimation printer with an extra feature—Super Coat 2—that laminates the print to protect from fading as well as water, heat and fingerprints. Another unique feature is the ability to print images directly from an HDTV via the included HDMI port. The printer includes USB, a memory-card reader for all popular formats and an optional Bluetooth adapter. With a 3.5-inch LCD, you can perform basic image corrections, including sharpening, color adjustment and saturation, as well as create frames, stamps, scrapbooks, index prints and calendars. The DPP-FP97 prints a 4x6 in about 45 seconds. You’ll need a wall socket for this one though—there’s no battery option available. List Price: $199.


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