An Inkless Printer in your Pocket: the Zink Printer

By: James Kara Murat

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of those big events that tech and gadget geeks from all over the world look forward to every year to get a glimpse of the new gizmos they could salivate on and hopefully get a hold of before the year ends. In the last CES, one of the many gadgets that certainly wowed cellphone and photo geeks is an as-yet nameless product that we shall call the Zink printer.

What is the Zink printer? The Zink printer is one of the newest offerings of Polaroid, that camera products company that we are all familiar with, and of Zink, or Zero Ink Printer Company. The Zink printer promises to become a craze by the time it is released before fall. Why? First, because it is a portable cellphone printer that can easily fit in your pocket. Second, it is an inkless printer - with the Zink technology, it does not consume even a drop of ink.

How Does the Zink Printer Work?

Yes, the Zink printer does not use even a drop of ink. That is because this inkless printer makes use of special paper that was developed by Zink. This special Zink paper has numerous tiny crystals colored in yellow, magenta and cyan, the basic colors needed by inkjet printers to produce color prints.

The way the Zink printer works to produce color prints is quite simple. When a photo is printed using this inkless printer, the Zink printer's head applies the appropriate heat and pressure on the Zink paper, as accorded by the image being printed. This heat and pressure causes the yellow, magenta and cyan crystals on the Zink paper to melt and blend together to capture the desired image on the paper.

Are photos printed with the Zink printer durable? The answer is yes. The Zink paper is designed so that any image printed on it will be highly resistant to light and heat, therefore more durable and more long-lasting that even Polaroid prints. The Zink paper's polymer overcoat is the one that makes this possible.

Using the Zink Printer as a Cellphone Printer

What makes the Zink printer so great is that it can be used as a cellphone printer. Any image you can capture on your cellphone camera or digital camera, you can now easily print on the Zink printer.

As mentioned above, the Zink printer is so small it can fit easily into your pocket. Having a portable cellphone printer such as the Zink printer will make it a joy for photo geeks to exchange snapshots. What is more is that the Zink paper can come in variants with adhesive backing, which would make for lovely and colorful customized stickers and labels. A pack containing 10 sheets of the Zink paper is said to cost only $4.

The Zink printer promises to be a hit when it gets released this fall. As a cellphone printer, it is poised to add another dimension of fun and convenience to taking pictures with a cellphone. As an inkless printer, it is a more affordable and handier way of getting the prints that you want.

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