Inkjet printers are almost a thing of the past. Nowadays, people aren’t fond of them primarily because of the cost of ink cartridges. But what if we told you there is a printer that can negate this cost as a whole? Well, a Zink printer can provide high-quality prints without the need for ink.
The word Zink comes from Zero Ink. The name itself suggests that this device doesn’t rely on ink. Instead, it uses heat impulses on a multi-layered paper to stimulate color crystals
And today here, we will try to help you find the best zink printer out there. Read on to know about our top picks.
Comparison Chart For Zink Printers
Mobile App Quality
Zink Polaroid ZIP
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC
Fujifilm Instax Mini
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB
Zink Polaroid Mini
Best battery life
Not up to the standard
Lifeprint Portable Printer
Best value for money
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Not up to the standard
8 Best Zink Printer Reviews in 2021
The best way to help you understand everything about Zink printers is by reviewing some of the very best ones out there. Here, we have selected 8 such products for that very purpose. Through these reviews of Zink printers, we aim to give you a perfect understanding of everything you need to about these printers.
1. Zink Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
The Polaroid ZIP embodies everything you want from a Zink printer. It delivers on print quality, portability, and convenience.
First, let us talk about the brilliant construction and design of this product. Not only does it have a very stylish and attractive look to it, but it is also very small and lightweight. They weren’t joking when naming it “mini-printer”, because it comfortably fits in your pocket.
In terms of connectivity, it gives you multiple options to choose from. You can connect your device with this printer through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or NFC and then print directly from your gallery.
To operate the printer, you have to download a mobile app. Fortunately, the app works very well and has received great reviews from its users. It allows you to edit your pictures however you want before printing.
Moreover, you can add any type of sticker or filters you want to the pictures. You can even make quirky doodles on them. This printer also allows you to make collages of a maximum of 4 photos, which is something most printers don’t have.
Even the print speed is fast enough for your convenience. The printer can print one photo per minute. It has a generous battery life of 25 prints and can recharge in only 90 minutes.
The only flaw of this printer is that it can heat up sometimes, which can be bad if you are carrying it around.
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Printer
This product ranks very high in the contention of the title for the “best Zink printer” because of its combination of portability, performance, aesthetics, and convenience.
The look of this printer is something everyone adores. More so, it is very unique and has a very cute and pretty style to it. This style is only accentuated by their color options that add to this cuteness.
Aside from looking absolutely stunning, this printer is also very small in size and thus very lightweight. Besides adding to the aesthetics, this smaller size also makes the printer very easy to carry around.
Something that further adds to the overall convenience is the mobile app of this printer. The app is very easy to use and has little to no issue running. The features it provides are standard but the flawless execution of these standard features makes the app stand out in comparison.
The printer only supports Bluetooth connectivity. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a few more connectivity options, Wi-Fi, in particular, wouldn’t hurt.
The print quality is absolutely fantastic in this printer owing to the 318 DPI printing. Furthermore, you can capture key moments from videos and print them using the video print mode.
A quirky feature of this printer is the u2018 match test. You can post any couple of pictures and test your compatibility after filling out a quiz. The only major issue with the printer is the fact that it takes too long to charge i.e. about 2 hours.
3. HP Sprocket Zero Ink Printer
Talking about the HP sprocket is tricky because it essentially alienates a certain portion of users. This portion is the people who are looking for a more professional looking or feeling printer. But if you can get over this hurdle, there is a lot to appreciate here.
We need to talk about the size and weight of the device first. This printer is about the same size as a smartphone. So you can effortlessly store it in your pocket and take it anywhere you want.
The specialty of the printer, however, is in its connectivity. You can connect the printer with any device as long as it supports Bluetooth. But the unique aspect of the printer is the fact that it can support multiple connections at the same time and print photos from them simultaneously.
The app is an extremely valuable asset as well and it contributes a lot to making this printer worth buying. The interface of the HP sprocket app is very easy to navigate and the app, in general, is very intuitive. You can edit the photos in any way you desire with this app and then print them exactly like that.
The print quality is also fantastic on this printer. Multiple users have claimed that the Sprocket has deeper blacks in its prints than most Zink printers do. Aside from the lack of professional feel, this device is a fantastic pick for the best zero ink printer.
4. Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Instant Photo Printer
Kodak is one of the leading tech companies right now and even when it comes to Zink printers they aren’t lagging behind. This product is a testament to Kodak’s ability to consistently deliver.
Before we move on to the general features, let us talk about a few things that are unique to the Kodak Dock. Firstly, this printer allows you to dock your phone on it and charge it with a USB cable. This can come very handy when you are traveling.
Secondly, it has a PictBridge feature. This feature allows you to print directly from your digital camera which can save you a lot of additional hassle. Thirdly, it also comes with a touch printing feature. This is particularly great for people who prefer to do their work the old fashioned way and don’t like the hassle of apps.
The last point is particularly beneficial in this case because the mobile app of the printer can be quite problematic. While it works very well when it runs, it is prone to freezing and shutting down. That is why many people prefer using touch printing instead.
The product is also quite bulky. So it isn’t as portable as the other printers on this list. However, this also allows you to print much bigger pictures at a higher quality. It can also print more than 10 pictures at a time because of its extra weight.
5. Canon IVY Mobile Mini Printer
The Ivy is the first Zink printer from the reputed company Canon. In their very first foray, they have delivered quite an amazing product that excels that multiple departments.
Canon is known for always prioritizing quality and performance on its product and this one is no different. It uses 314 X 400 DPI to make sure the quality of the image being printed is absolutely top-notch. Most customers have attested to its high image quality as well.
Even the duration of printing is very low. The printer can print one photo in only 25 seconds, which is an exceptional speed compared to the other printers. The generous battery life allows you to exploit this speed to your heart’s content. Furthermore, the battery takes only 75 minutes to completely recharge.
The printer also makes sure to keep its integrity as a portable printer. To that end, it is made very small and lightweight. Thus, it is very easy to carry around. Like all Zink printers, Bluetooth is the optimal way of connecting the printer to your device.
In addition, the printer comes with a companion app that you have to use in order to operate the printer. You will be happy to know that the app has a fantastic interface that is extremely easy to navigate. This app can provide all the features that you need from a companion app of a Zink printer.
What’s more, is that you can print photos directly from any social media platform without even saving them to your gallery through this app.
6. Zink Polaroid Mini Pocket Printer
This is easily one of the more budget-friendly options on our list. Zink printers are generally quite affordable. But even among them, this one is much cheaper. But it doesn’t sacrifice too much of its features to get to a price like this.
In fact, the only sacrifice the printer had to make was the quality of the companion app. Before we sing the praises of this printer, we should get this out of the way. The app can be very problematic. It doesn’t have as many features as most apps of this kind do. Furthermore, it is very prone to freezing.
Now let us get to the things this printer is good at. Firstly, this printer has a very stylish aesthetic to it that is difficult to mimic. On that note, it is definitely one of a kind. The smaller frame also adds to the aesthetic of the printer. The name “pocket printer” is apt as it comfortably fits in your pocket.
The design of this printer also deserves praise as it maintains a perfect balance of bulkiness and portability. It is small and lightweight enough to be easily portable and bulky enough to give you fine print quality.
Speaking of fine print quality, the image quality is absolutely fantastic on this printer. With over 300 DPI printing, it delivers one of the finest performances when it comes to printers, as you would expect from Polaroid.
The printer also has a very generous battery life that allows you to print multiple photos at a time. But the battery drains even the printer is on standby.
7. Brother VC-500W Zink Photo Printer
Despite being a well-known company, products of Brother are largely underrated. The same can be said for their VC-500W.
The unique thing about the VC-500W is the fact that it is not just a printer for printing photos but also labels. It can make greeting cards, invitation cards, gift wraps, props, etc. as well. All these features make a legitimate case for it being the best Zink photo printer.
The image quality is also top-notch. The DPI rate of the printer is at 313. So not only does the printer print fantastic labels, but it can also print standard images at very high quality; all while being completely portable.
Furthermore, this printer can print directly from any social media platform. This may seem like a tiny factor on the surface but it reduces so much hassle that it can be a real blessing.
Another odd but not necessarily problematic thing about the printer is that it doesn’t connect via Bluetooth. It can only connect to your device with Wi-Fi. While that may be problematic for some people, for the most part, it works very well.
Speaking of connectivity, this printer supports the AirPrint feature. So, IOS users should definitely keep an eye out for this printer.
The design is absolutely stellar. It captures the cute aesthetic perfectly and that aesthetic is further accentuated by the absolutely adorable color options. The companion app is nothing exceptional but it works quite well. A unique feature of this app is that it lets you edit the backgrounds anyway you desire.
It also makes sure to protect the images. The images printed from this printer are always resistant to water and smudge.
8. Lifeprint Portable Photo and Video Printer
This printer is perhaps the cheapest printer on this list. It is honestly astonishing how well this printer performs despite costing so less. Some of the features on this printer will blow you away.
One of those features is hyper photo technology. Through this technology, videos can be embedded in a printed photo. Sounds impossible? We assure you it’s not.
All you have to do is select multiple photos, enable the required setting, and then print. If you hold the camera of the companion app over the photo, you can then see the video.
Since we mentioned the companion app, let’s get this over with. Sadly, the app is quite poor and many people have had difficulties connecting to the printer with this app. There needs to be a lot of improvements in that regard.
Going back to praising the printer, one of the best parts about this device is its battery life. Its battery can withstand a minimum of 40 prints which is more than most printers can manage. The battery can also be recharged in only 90 minutes.
The printer allows you to connect to your device in multiple ways including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This makes connecting much more versatile and convenient.
Lastly, we need to mention its portability. The size of the printer is just the right size. It’s not too small and definitely not too big, which makes it perfect to carry around.
Zink Printer Buying Guide
As you can guess from our Zink printer reviews, the world of Zink printers is one that is difficult to navigate. The concept of an ink-less photo printer may seem appealing, but there is a lot you need to consider before buying one. And this section of the article aims to help you understand just that.
1. Zink Papers
Before we move on to anything else, this needs to be covered. Zink printers cannot print on any type of paper out there. It requires special multi-layered thermal papers known as Zink papers.
So before you buy a Zink printer you need to make sure you have sufficient Zink papers. You also need to ensure you can find it somewhere around you and that you have a steady supply of it. Because getting a Zink printer and not having Zink papers defeats the entire purpose of buying a Zink printer in the first place.
Different printers use different methods of connections. Some connect to devices using Wi-Fi, some using Bluetooth, and some by using NFC. Again, there are printers that can support multiple modes of connections. You have to know which method of connectivity will be convenient for your device and your area.
3. Companion App
All Zink printers are operated using a companion app. These apps allow you to edit the pictures any way you want. Again, the basic commands for printing the required photos are given using the companion app. So it is very essential to make sure that the companion app of a printer works well.
If an app is prone to freezing, has annoying bugs, doesn’t connect to the printer, or doesn’t have sufficient editing options, there may be huge problems. Even the best Zink printer can have a bad app. So it is extremely important to do proper research.
4. Battery Life
The battery life of a Zink photo printer will determine how much load it can take. If the battery life is too low, then the printer will burn out much before you are done with your work. So you should make sure that the printer has sufficient battery life. If it can withstand 25 printings, then that is ideal.
Portability is one of the key factors for wanting to buy a Zink printer. Most of the time they are incredibly small in size and can be carried anywhere. So you should always focus on maximizing this portability. You should avoid the bulky ones that are difficult to carry around.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is a Zink printer?
A Zink printer is essentially a no ink photo printer. Sometimes its called also inkless photo printer. Instead of using ink, it uses a special zero ink technology. By using this technology, the need for ink can be negated in favor of a much more convenient printing mechanism.
Q2. What is the Specialty of Zink Papers?
Zink papers generally have three heat-sensitive layers i.e. yellow, magenta, and cyan. These contain the color crystals that are activated due to heat impulses. They also have a backing layer which contains pressure-sensitive adhesions.
Q3. How do Zink Printers Work?
Heat impulses are applied to a multi-layered thermal paper containing color crystals. In this way, Zink printers can form colors and give you the print you require.
Q4. Dye Sublimation Printer vs. Zink Printer; Which one is Better?
In terms of print quality, a dye sublimation printer can provide better quality. But it requires multiple printing to get the desired quality. Zink printers don’t need you to take that hassle.
Q5. How to Reset a Polaroid Zink Printer?
There is usually a button in the back of these printers which is meant to restart the printer. If it doesn’t work, then you can insert a straight pin into the hole in the back to reset it.
Buying a printer is always viewed as a commitment because you need to consistently pay a lot of money for ink cartridges. But scientists have now gone very close to negating that need as well through this innovating Zink technology.
By buying the best Zink printer, you can print your desired photos and images at high quality without spending too much money due to high ink costs. The Zink technology has a long way to go before it can completely replace inkjet printers. But the day isn’t far.
So what are you waiting for? Get the Zink printer that meets your needs today and enjoy all the benefits that it can provide! We hope we could help ease your worries and answer all the questions you had regarding Zink printers.
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