Review of the Kodak Mini 3 Retro (33) Portable Printer

The Kodak Mini 3 Retro pocket photo printer prints high-quality 3-by-3-inch photos fast and cheaply. If you can live without 4-by-6-inch printouts, it’s a fantastic smartphone companion.

PROS

  • Advantageous picture high quality in 3-inch sq. print format
  • Prints each borderless and bordered photographs
  • Comes with sufficient consumables for 68 photographs

CONS

  • Bluetooth solely; no Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Android or iOS solely; no Home windows or macOS assist

KODAK MINI Three RETRO (3X3) PORTABLE PRINTER SPECS

TypePrinter Solely
Colour or MonochromeColour
Connection TypeBluetooth
Maximum Standard Paper Dimension3″ x 3″
Number of Ink Colours4
Variety of Ink Cartridges/Tanks1
Direct Printing From Media Playing cardsNo
Direct Printing From USB Thumb DrivesNo
Rated Pace at Default Settings (Shade)1 ppm
Rated Pace at Default Settings (Mono)1 ppm
LCD Preview Display screenNo
Printer Enter Capability90
Value Per Page (Monochrome)30 cents
Value Per Page (Shade)30 cents

Kodak’s Mini Three Retro Transportable Printer ($156.99) is a snapshot photo printer that prints on 3-by-3-inch sq. media, versus the 2-by-3.4-inch paper of the Kodak Mini 2 HD Instant Photo Printer reviewed right here in April 2018. Just like the HP Sprocket Studio, Instead of inkjet or the zero-ink (Zink) technique used by other Sprocket and competing models, the Kodak printers employ dye-sublimation (often known as dye-sub) imaging technology. Dye-sub printers and their four-pass imaging process normally produce better images than their Zink competitors, and the Mini 3 Retro’s attractive output and inexpensive running costs make it an ideal take-it-anywhere photo printer and the category’s current Editors’ Choice award winner.


A Compact Design in a Selection of Colours

mini3-printer300r
Kodak

The Mini 3 Retro weighs little under a pound and measures 1 by 5 by 4 inches. There are three colors to choose from: white, yellow, or black, as well as two bundles: the kit featured here with 68 sheets of media or a less expensive ($141.99) box with only eight sheets.

The Kodak is modest in comparison to other pocketable dye-sub picture printers like the HP Sprocket Studio and the Canon Selphy CP1300. But, in contrast to those models’ 4-by-6-inch photos, it prints 3-inch-square images.
Aside from that, the Mini 3 Retro is a straightforward device. You’ll find a mini USB port on the back edge of the printer for powering and charging, and your printed photos will roll out of a slot on the front edge, as shown here.

The dye-sub ink ribbon cartridges and photo paper are loaded into a compartment accessed by opening the side. The printer comes with enough ink and paper to print eight photos out of the box. (In a moment, we’ll take a closer look at consumables and operating costs.)

As previously stated, the dye-sub printer uses four passes to lay down cyan, magenta, and yellow ink, as well as a clear coat to help colors pop while also protecting the image from fingerprints and dust. (Zero-ink printers use special paper that is infused with colors that are released when the printer is heated.) Images from the device, according to Kodak, should last for up to a century if properly stored.


Connecting to and Utilizing the Mini Three Retro

Review of the Kodak Mini 3 Retro (33) Portable Printer
Amazon

The Mini 3 Retro program is compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices—that is, smartphones and tablets—but, like many photo printer apps, it is solely designed to function on handheld devices and does not support Windows or macOS computers or desktops. In any event, you begin by linking the device with your phone or tablet through Bluetooth, then downloading and installing the Kodak Photo Printer app, which allows you to print photographs from your device’s storage or from your favorite cloud site.

While the printer does include a micro USB port for charging, Bluetooth is the only way to connect to it. The inbuilt battery charges in around 90 minutes and lasts for roughly 25 prints, according to Kodak.

In packs of 30, 60, and 90 sheets, replacement cartridges are available (part numbers ICRG-330, ICRG-360, and ICRG-390 respectively). To replace the cartridge, just open the compartment door, slide out the old one, and replace it with the new one.
The Mini 3 Retro and its 2.1-by-3.4-inch brother, the Mini 2 Retro, are the only pocket photo printers I’m aware of that can print photographs with or without borders, as demonstrated below.

Borderless photographs appear more polished or professional in my opinion. However, bordered photographs work better in some situations, so having the option to print with or without borders is a wonderful addition.


Aggressive Prices, Spectacular Shade and Element

Review of the Kodak Mini 3 Retro (33) Portable Printer
Amazon

With replacement media cartridges available in 30, 60, and 90 prints, getting the last one will almost always earn you the best deal (CPP). Although Kodak claims that prints from the 90-pack will cost around 40 cents apiece, I found that during my testing, bargain prices reduced running expenses to around 30 cents per print.

The lowest CPP I could find among the several pocket photo printers available is thirty cents, but it’s not by much. For example, the Canon Selphy prints 4-by-6-inch photos for 35 cents apiece, while the Kodak Mini 2 HD prints 2-by-3.4-inch photos for 70 to 75 cents. HP’s Zink-based Sprocket Select prints, which measure 2.3 by 3.4 inches, cost approximately 65 cents each, while the dye-sub Sprocket Studio prints, which measure 4-by-6 inches, cost around 44 cents each.

In addition to being cost-effective to operate, the Mini 3 Retro is also fairly quick when compared to its competitors. Borderless prints took 43 seconds on average, while bordered prints took a few seconds less. In our tests, the HP Sprocket Select produced a snapshot in approximately 76 seconds, while the dye-sub Sprocket Studio’s larger prints took an average of 2 minutes and 5 seconds. After the Kodak, the Selphy CP1300 was the second fastest, requiring around a minute.

While zinck-based pocket photo printers have improved over time, dye-sublimation imaging is still superior to zero-ink technology. The photographs on the Mini 3 Retro were stunning, with vibrant colors and exquisite detail. However, it’s worth noting that the dye-sub versions from HP and Canon create far larger images. You must evaluate whether the 3-inch square format is appropriate for your purposes.

Small Snaps at a Good Price

The Kodak Mini 3 Retro has a square image format that is similar to that of Instagram. It prints well, at a low cost, and with a borderless or bordered image option. When you’re on the road, the printer is compact enough to fit in your pocket, handbag, or backpack, though spare media cartridges are nearly the same size as the printer, making them more difficult to transport than small Zink paper packs. Despite this, the Retro fits all of the criteria—excellent print quality, low operating costs, and a unique media size—making it an obvious Editors’ Choice winner among smartphone picture printer partners.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.


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