It’s often said that the death of the printed image came with the rise of digital photography. Surprisingly, photo prints are making a comeback, with instant photos finding a new millennial audience — what’s old is new again, as they say. Now, Pyle is jumping into the category with its new Portable Instant Photo Printer.
The Portable Instant Photo Printer has an extremely small footprint in comparison to similar photo printers — at only 6.2-inches tall and 3.2-inches wide, the Portable Instant Photo Printer is roughly the size of an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 and weighs just shy of 10 ounces. It definitely promises to be something you can throw in a bag and carry around wherever you go. The printer is wireless and uses an app — available for both iOS and Android — to send JPEG and PNG files directly to the printer. You can also use the app to make edits including crops and filters, as well as templates for everything from business cards to collages.
The Portable Instant Photo Printer uses an “inkless” cartridge system that’s capable of producing 3.5-inch by 2-inch prints with a respectable 291 dpi print resolution. For context, these images are larger and typically higher quality than what you’d get from an instant film camera like a Fujifilm Instax Mini 90. The cartridge system prints photos that don’t need to be exposed or require a wait for the ink to dry. Each cartridge is expected to give you 10 prints per cartridge. They are sold in two-pack refills — 20 pictures — at roughly $1 per print, which frankly puts it at a disadvantage to its ZINK competitors.
Though the Pyle’s printer isn’t the only inkless printer on the block — it has some stiff competition from Polaroid, Fujifilm, and Prynt, all of which offer smartphone users the option to print, save, and share with their proprietary apps and printers — the company is looking to differentiate it by offering a combination of high portability and dye diffusion thermal transfer (D2T2) printing technology to ensure overall high image quality. The printer’s battery is also rated for 25 prints per charge, putting it on par with Polaroid’s Zip zero-ink printer. Like Zip, the Portable Instant Photo Printer allows for borderless prints — something you can’t do with a Fujifilm Instax printer.
If you’ve ever considered making the jump to instant film photography but were turned off by the idea of buying a new, bulkier camera or were turned off by the prices of other instant film printers, the Pyle Portable Instant Photo Printer is priced for an impulse buy, but at $1 per print, this printer can get pricey if used frequently. The Portable Instant Photo Printer is available on Amazon and retails for $100.