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Are Portable Photo Printers Worth It?

The idea of being able to print your digital pictures whenever and wherever you want to is a very exciting thought. Who doesn't want to hurry up and upload their favorite pictures to their Facebook or My Space page while on their vacation or at their high school reunion. Getting information in real time, or as close to it as possible, is the foremost in today's society. So, being able to take a picture with your digital camera, plug the camera's card into a printer, and then print a fresh photo to look at or give away is almost priceless.

Well, it may seem that way until you start pricing the portable photo printers on the market today. Soon, just like most technology, the price will come down, but will it still be worth it? To have your photos printed at the local drugstore costs approximately 30 cents a print. The convenience of being able to print out your own photos on the spot may make having a portable printer worth it; even if each picture costs more than 30 cents.

For one thing, the paper used in these printers is usually better quality than the paper your photos at the drugstore are printed on. Also, if you have a portable inkjet photo printer, you can edit your photos before printing them in your own time and private place.

Some portable photo printers, like the Kodak Easy Share Dock Plus Dye Sublimation Printer, have a laminating function to protect photos for the elements. This one also had the ability to charge the battery of your Kodak camera if need be. It only weighs around 2.5 lbs, but costs around $350 in stores.

The Epson PM 260 PictureMate Dash Photo Printer is about twice the weigh of the Kodak Easy Share, but costs about $200 less. It may not have a laminating function, but the pictures come out smudge and water resistant; much better than the ones developed at the local store. You can choose which photos to print and even crop and edit them beforehand.

The Hewlett-Packard (HP) Photosmart 375 Photo Inkjet Printer costs just a few dollars more than the Epson PM 260 and only weighs around the same as the Kodak Easy Share. The ink cartridges are a little pricey, but you can use either regular HP ink or photo ink in it. The regular ink cartridges are interchangeable with some HP all-in-one printers but you would probably want to use photo ink so that photos come out better. This printer really has no disadvantages to it, except that you have to buy the USB cord to connect it to a computer. However, the memory card from the camera can be plugged straight into it, so a computer really isn't necessary.

Just like having a laptop instead of a desktop computer; it's nice to be able to work at a desk, but great to be able to take the computer along for a ride. The same can be said for the portable printers.

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