Looking for a mobile printer that produces quality prints and yet will fit in your backpack? Who would have thought that you could print quality long-lasting photo prints on-the-go from a printer small enough to be held in a single hand. As someone who is both a keen photographer and works with printing supplies, I understand what people are looking for when shopping for a mobile printer. This Canon SELPHY review will fill you in on everything you need to know about this mobile printer.
The Canon SELPHY CP1300
- Print up to 4 different sized prints ranging from postcard size down to mini stickers
- Takes approx 47 seconds to print out a postcard size print
- Customisable - including easy editing and with photo booth and party shuffle modes
- Includes easy search functions so you can easily find the photo you want
- Good value - significantly less than $200
Ease of use
- Easy to use with tilting front panel and intuitive interface
- Use Canon Print Assist for easy set up and use
- Connectivity is easy with built in wi-fi
|What we like||What we don’t like|
|Print quality is good at a respectable cost per print - prints dry instantly and are water resistant.||Desired add-ons (including mini USB type B cable) sold separately|
|Light-weight, easy to transport||Starter pack not included for printing straight from the box (you will only get about 5 photos with the sample)|
|Good selection of physical and wireless connection||Wish it came in a greater range of colour finishes|
|Canon Print Assist support and Canon replacement promise (see Canon website for more details)||Navigation can take practice / patience - some users report that what they see in the preview isn’t exactly what they print.|
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 is one of the best mobile printers on the market, delivering quality photos for those in need of quick on-the-go printing. Whilst there are some costly add-ons for true portability and it certainly isn’t going to put your office printer out of commission, we consider this is a great mobile printer for its intended use. Other users agree with us; at the time of writing this review this printer is getting 4.5 stars from almost 4,000 google reviews.
Size & Design
The great thing about a portable printer is their size and weight.
At approximately 860g in weight and 180.6 x 63.3 x 135.9 mm in size (yes, you read that correctly - millimetres), the SELPHY CP1300 is an absolute delight to carry wherever you may roam. Whilst it’s not quite as small as other portable printers, such as the HP Sprocket, it is still less than 1 kg and can be held in one hand. It also has additional advantages such as LCD navigation and more print sizes to choose from.
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 has a sleek design and is available in either a black or white finish.
Convenience of accessibility is the aim of Canon’s SELPHY range. With inbuilt Wi-Fi you can connect wirelessly and send photos from your iPhone or Android smartphones using the SELPHY Photo app. Alternatively, if you already have Airprint installed, there is no need to download any additional apps.
A wired connection is available if you have a USB mini-B type cable and there is also an SD card slot which, if utilised, will have the printer completely ignoring all other connections, solely focusing on printing from the SD card until it is removed. No bluetooth available.
Whether you are wanting to print photos as you’ve shot them, or customise your final print, this printer has lots of options. Using the Selphy Photo Layout app you can access additional display options and editing functions to customise your images before printing. Some users suggest adjusting the colour and lighting in the printer settings, including selecting the ‘vivid’ option if your prints are not as bright as you are wanting (some users say their prints come out a little “blue”). This printer also allows you to print 4 different size prints.
Want to use more than one picture in a single print? Select up to 8 different photos to include in a collage style layout. This printer allows you to print using both photo booth and party shuffle modes (note however you will need to insert an SD card with the photos to print out the photo booth style strips). Care to add stamps to your picture (i.e. speech bubbles, hearts)? You can do it. This level of customisation may not be ground-breaking but it can inject some extra fun and creativity to your happy snap.
In addition there is an ID Photo section in the LCD navigation settings which allows you to edit and crop pictures making them suitable for identification and passport photo printing. This may take some trial and error, and patience, as the navigation can be a little slow and clunky on certain screens, but if you persevere you will get great results. Some users report that the photos print outside the edges of the paper and what they see on their preview isn’t exactly as it prints out. However most users have no issues and love the photos (including the borderless postcard size) it prints out.
The only product that you will need to continually purchase are the ink and paper packs. Canon’s KP-108IN ink and paper packs include an ink cartridge and 108 Sheets of 4x6 inch postcard size paper. While the Canon SELPHY CP1300 ink cartridge is usually large enough to let you print out all 108 sheets, there are occasional instances where either the ink or the paper runs out first (because printing some photos will use more or less ink). This could potentially be a gripe if you don’t print with it very often but this should hopefully balance out over time.
There are other Canon paper packs which can also be used, including smaller sizes - such as the KC-36IP, KP-36IP, RP-108 and RP-54.
The full power of the Canon SELPHY CP1300 printer cannot be unlocked without having to purchase a few extras. The most notable item you’ll notice missing out of the box is the rechargeable battery, as it is not included, and unless you buy it separately you will be stuck with using the supplied AC adapter. As mentioned earlier, a wired connection with a USB mini-B type cable is an option but this cable is also not supplied with the printer.
It is also worth noting that there is no starter pack included, so be sure to buy a pack of the KP-108IN ink and paper along with the printer so you can print straight away.
How It Works
For those who are particularly tech-savvy you may be wondering how this printer works (for those who aren’t just jump this section). The Canon SELPHY CP1300 utilises a dye-sublimation thermal transfer method in conjunction with Canon’s KP-108IN photo paper technology. The printing process does take a bit of time as the photo paper needs to run through the printer four separate times to complete each primary phase of the colouring process. Starting with the yellow, then magenta, cyan and then one final coating to finalise the detail of the print.
This results in an instantly dry postcard photograph printed at 300x300 dpi quality. While this may not quite match the stunning product of a home colour inkjet printer, these are a great option for your 4x6 inch size photos.
If you’re still on the fence, it’s worth exploring other options to make sure you find the best printer for your needs. The Canon PIXMA TR150 and Epson WorkForce WF-100 are other mobile printers worthy of consideration. And although the latest round of HP Sprocket printers are discontinued, one can still be found with some dedicated searching.
And if price is not a big concern, you may even want to take a gander at Brother’s range of PocketJet thermal printers.
There’s a lot to like about the Canon SELPHY CP1300 however it’s worth a reminder that it’s not designed to be a solution for all types of printing. This is a specialty printer designed specifically for easy printing of quality photo prints including whilst on-the-go. While it may take a little time to go through its printing process and the navigation may be a little slow, the convenience of it all is what more than makes up for it.
Gone are the times of driving to the photo lab and waiting. Now you can just do it straight away from the comfort of wherever you are.