There are three reasons to choose a snapshot printer over a full-sized inkjet printer: convenience, speed, and portability. Ease of use is unequaled--this is as close to one-touch printing as you can get. Getting images to print is also a snap. You simply connect the printer to a PictBridge-enabled camera with a USB cable, choose a shot, and click "Print" on the camera's display. Speed is a plus; most snapshot printers can print a 4x6-inch photo in less than 2 minutes. (Dye-sub models are usually faster than inkjets.) And then there's the portability. Small and lightweight (3 to 7 pounds), these printers are easily toted on trips or to parties.
But you do sacrifice versatility. Snapshot printers can't print large photos, text, or graphics. If you want one device that can handle all of your printing, stick with a full-sized inkjet.
For the best quality and value:
7 Canon Selphy CP710, $140
9 Hewlett-Packard PhotoSmart 335 GoGo Photo Printer, $130
13 Epson PictureMate Express Edition, $130
All three models are strong performers. Photos from the HP inkjet were a bit sharper and richer than those from the Canon dye-sub and Epson inkjet. The Canon printed a 4x6 in 90 seconds; the HP and Epson in less than 2 minutes. Photo costs were 23 cents for the Epson, 30 cents for the HP, and 28 cents for the Canon. All three are PictBridge-enabled and have a card slot; the HP and Canon have an LCD viewer. The Canon is small and can run on a battery ($80). If you'll print only from the camera and don't need a card slot, consider the Canon Selphy CP510, similar to the CP710 but only $90.
Tops if you don't print many photos:
5 Samsung SPP-2040, $100
The Samsung dye-sub printer produced very good photos in 70 seconds, but its per-photo cost was high at 42 cents. If you don't print a lot, the quality and speed might be worth the cost. The SPP-2020, $80, offers …