Although a large number of inkjet printers, including entry-level models, can print reasonably good-quality photos, not all of them are specifically designed to handle photo printing jobs.
Nearly all major printer manufactures have launched dedicated photo printers for photographers, graphic designers, and others who need to print lab-quality photos on-the-go for various purposes.
Why Consider A 4×6 Photo Printer?
A 4×6 photo printer is among the most popular options available today.
It is a common size for photos all over the world. This is the reason why you can easily find albums, photo frames, etc. in 4” x 6” size.
It also happens to be the standard size for digitizing popular 35 mm films for still photography. Both hobbyists and professional photographers have preferred the 4×6 size for decades now.
Today, some use a 4×6 printer for creating albums or physical archives; others need to hand-out photo prints to participants, guests, and customers during an event.
One can also use a 4×6 printer for creating a portfolio and updating it from time to time without having to visit a photo lab.
Here in this post, we have compiled a selection of the seven best 4×6 photo printers. We will also discuss the pros and cons of these 4×6 photo printers so that you can make an informed purchase decision as per your unique needs.
#1. Canon Selphy CP1300
A portable photo printer, the Canon Selphy CP1300 delivers impressive print quality.
It uses thermal dye-sublimation technology which is known to provide high print quality. The paper passes through the printer four times; each time, either one of the four-color dyes is deposited on the substrate.
The process does take some time to complete; the Canon Selphy CP1300 can print one 4×6 photo in about a minute. In dye sublimation, however, the ink also dries up quickly. The manufacturer claims the prints can last up to 100 years!
It’s an incremental upgrade to the previous version i.e. the Canon Selphy CP1200. The latest variant of the 4×6 photo printer has an improved user interface, a slightly bigger screen, and an option to collaborate with different users for creating collages over the Wi-Fi network.
The Selphy CP1300 is one of the most affordable 4×6 photo printers available today. The printing cost is also on the lower side.
The device comes with an optional ‘battery pack.’ Therefore, you can print 4×6 photos while you are on the move.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 features a 3.2” LCD screen. This screen is large enough to allow you to preview photos before you print them. This feature comes in handy especially when you are printing photos from your flash drive or memory card slot.
You can also connect your smartphone to this device or print directly from an SD card. The device supports cloud printing as well. However, you cannot print photos directly from your camera.
One major disadvantage of this printer is that it can only be used to print photos. You cannot, for instance, print standard-size documents with this device.
In case you are looking to invest in printers with the cheapest cartridges that can print reasonably appealing photographs as well as documents in different sizes, the Selphy CP1300 is not the ideal printer for you.
#2. Kodak Instant Photo Printer
The Kodak Instant Photo Printer is highly popular among photographers who are always on the move. This printer can easily fit in your backpack or laptop bag.
Besides the fact that it’s compact and lightweight, the printer delivers excellent print quality. You can expect brilliant colors and great detail in 4×6 photos printed by the Kodak Instant Photo Printer.
The device supports one-touch printing. So, you can use the top-mounted dock to instantly connect your smartphone and print 4×6 photos.
The dock in the Kodak 4×6 Instant Photo Printer includes both Android Dock Pin and iOS Lightning Adapter.
An extra advantage of the top-mounted dock is that it charges your device while it’s connected to the printer.
In case you need to use a tablet, the printer comes with an additional cable port. This cable port can be used to connecting tablets to the photo printer.
Even though it’s a compact printer, it does support Wi-Fi Direct. So, you can instantly connect your mobile devices to it.
Kodak Instant Photo Printer also supports flash drives. Therefore, you can directly print from flash drives if necessary.
You can use the Kodak Photo Printer App for printing collages, cards, stickers, etc.
The manufacturer claims that prints are fade-proof, waterproof, and long-lasting.
Although Kodak Instant Photo Printer performs exceptionally well at printing photos, it cannot be used to print standard-size documents. Also, the device does not have a battery pack.
#3. HP Tango
The HP Tango Smart Wireless Printer offers a bunch of useful features and produces high-quality 4×6 photo prints. You can print borderless photos up to 5” x 7” with this printer. This photo printer delivers great color accuracy and razor-sharp text.
In comparison to other, dedicated snapshot printers, the HP Tango Smart Wireless Printer is slightly bigger in size.
It is one of the few printers in its class that offer hands-free, voice-activated printing.
This is an ideal photo printer if you use your smartphone for clicking pictures. In fact, the printer does not have a USB port. So, it basically discourages you from using the device with a computer.
Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE.
The HP Tango does have a copier but you have to first scan a photo/document with your smartphone by using the HP Smart App. Then, you can use a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox to print the scanned document.
HP Tango is eligible for the HP Instant Ink subscription program. But, the ink subscription plan only covers the 4×6 photo prints. If you need to print full-size documents (say, in A4 size), you’d still need to think of ways to save money on ink cartridges.
In the HP Tango, high-yield cartridges are optional.
#4. Canon PIXMA IP110
Canon PIXMA IP110 is not as portable as HP Tango or Kodak Instant Smart Printer. But, it offers a bunch of other features that make it one of the best 4×6 photo printers.
To begin with, Canon PIXMA IP110 uses a five-ink system. Printers with a higher number of inks produce better-looking photos with better gradations. So, you can expect this printer to outshine other 4×6 photo printers listed above when it comes to quality.
Canon PIXMA IP110 prints one 4×6 photo in under a minute and supports borderless printing.
Besides printing photos in 4” x 6” size, you can also use this device for printing other documents. It can handle papers of different sizes including legal (50), letter (50), A4, A5, and B5.
So, you do not invest in a separate inkjet for printing bills, invoices, assignments, reports, letters, etc. at home or office.
The battery pack is optional. In case you want to carry this photo printer to different locations on a regular basis, you may consider investing in the battery pack.
Built-in wireless makes it easy to connect to the device. You can use print from your phone by using applications such as Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, and Canon Print App.
You can use the Easy Photo Print+ app to edit and print your photos from anywhere. You will just need an Internet connection.
The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) ink cartridges for this printer are expensive in comparison to other 4×6 photo printers.
#5. Epson PictureMate PM-400
A compact consumer-grade dedicated photo printer that weighs just 4 pounds, Epson PictureMate PM-400 delivers vivid print quality. Like the first three snapshot printers discussed earlier, this photo printer is also small enough to be carried around with great ease.
The PM-400 can produce 4×6 prints on glossy paper in about 35-40 seconds. It is one of the few compact photo printers that can print both 4×6 and 5×7 photos.
The device can print from a PictBridge camera, a computer, a USB memory key, a memory card, or an Android/iOS smartphone/tablet.
Connectivity options for this printer include Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi, and USB.
It’s the high-quality output that makes the Epson PictureMate PM-400 a strong contender in the list of our best 4×6 photo printers.
However, it’s relatively expensive (if you factor in the purchase cost and the cost-per-print) and does not include the optional battery pack; the device runs on AC power.
Some of the most common alternatives to this photo printer include Epson PictureMate Charm, Epson PictureMate Show, and HP Photosmart A646 Compact Printer.
#6. Canon PIXMA TR150
Compact and lightweight, the Canon PIXMA TR150 is designed for portability. It’s an ideal printer for amateur photographers and business professionals who are always on the go.
From printing 4×6 photos to legal-size documents, the printer can execute a variety of different printing jobs.
The battery kit is optional (sold separately) and a bit pricey; with a single full charge (of the battery), you can print as many as 330 pages.
Charging the battery with a USB power source is convenient. You just need to plug it into your computer/laptop or any other device with a compatible USB power source.
It is a single-function printer that features a 1.44” mono OLED for intuitive navigation.
Although designed to print everything from text and graphics to photos, the Canon PIXMA TR150 is exceptionally good at printing photos.
The printer is compatible with Canon’s PosterArtist Lite app. This app provides you with over 1,300 templates, clipart, stock photos, etc. along with text editing and color correction features.
As with all modern consumer printers, you can print photos directly from your smartphone or a smart home appliance such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc.
At around 15 cents per color page (not photos that have more coverage), the cost-per-print for this printer is slightly on the higher side. However, you can rely on compatible or remanufactured ink cartridges/tanks to reduce your printing costs by at least 20%.
#7. HP Sprocket Studio
Most Sprocket series printers were pocket size and printed wallet-size photographs. However, HP Sprocket Studio is slightly larger in size.
It is exclusively designed to print 4×6 photos and offers a variety of editing features. With underlying dye-sublimation printing technology, the HP Sprocket Studio delivers outstanding photo quality.
The printer isn’t as fast and versatile as Canon Selphy CP1300 discussed above but photo quality and affordable cost-per-print make it a great buy for many photographers. The cost-per-print is reasonably low for this printer.
The device weighs around 2 pounds. All of the printer’s functions are controlled through the Sprocket app. So, there is just one ‘power’ button on the device. Except for a power jack, there is no other port. The Sprocket Power Bank (an external battery) is optional for this device.
Bluetooth is the only connectivity option as the device is designed to be used with smartphones
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