Finding the right printer for you: Inkless

by Reads (15,689)

Need help deciding on what type of printer fits your needs? has a new series, “Finding the right printer for you.”  Building on our handy guide of the same title, will feature inkless printers in this article.

All about Inkless Printers
Inkless printing isn’t a new concept – thermal printers are technically “inkless” – but there have been recent developments in the field.

Zero Ink is one of the latest technologies to emerge in the printing industry.  The idea is similar to thermal printing; it centers on special photo paper that is coated with Amorphochromic dye crystals that react to the heat from the printer and change color.  Because the paper only needs heat to produce photos, the devices can be made ultra portable and create zero mess.

ZINK Imaging announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2008 that Polaroid would be using their Zero Ink technology to create an inkless mobile photo printer.

In 2009, Dell announced and released their own Zero Ink printer: the Dell Wasabi.

The great thing about this new technology is that you can print photos anywhere, anytime.  They can be used with Bluetooth enabled phones and work with PictBridge cameras.

The negative is that it is a new technology; the first Zero Ink printer was released in the summer of 2008.  There are inevitably kinks to be worked out such as lower resolution and dull colors.

Major Brands

There are only three manufacturers currently selling a Zero Ink printer but there have been rumors that other manufacturers might be entering the market.  Polaroid announced in 2010 that it would be adding to its Po-Go line by introducing a 3×4 inch model.


We are constantly receiving new review units so keep checking back.

Inkless printers could be the next wave in printing.  There certainly seems to be a market for a mobile color printer with more and more people owning PDA’s, camera phones and digital cameras.

But the Zero Ink technology is relatively new and we will continue to update this article with related news and improvements.



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