Dedicated photo printers like the $149.90-MSRP Kodak Photo Printer Dock [amazon_link asins=’B01MRKFTQJ’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’01c61ffc-c4ac-11e7-8176-17364cd45723′] we’re reviewing here today fill a niche, and imaging giant Kodak has played a prominent role in the snapshot-printer market. These relatively small machines that do nothing except churn out snapshots—and often one-size-only snapshots—are not for everyone. But their popularity, as suggested by the fact that most of the major printer makers offer at least one (the Canon Selphy CP1200 [amazon_link asins=’B0195JC9D2′ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f083caad-c4ab-11e7-be85-93fa2b289994′], part of the long-running Selphy line; the tiny [amazon_textlink asin=’B01LBWELHI’ text=’HP Sprocket’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’339a7992-c4ac-11e7-b658-afce30e8cfa4′] ; and Epson’s 2015 PictureMate 400 Personal Photo Lab [amazon_link asins=’B075FFFQR4′ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4884a105-c4ac-11e7-ad3a-6dbf56ba6c71′], for example) is undeniable.
[amazon_link asins=’B01MRKFTQJ’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’20fe11cc-c4ac-11e7-baa2-a9ce2c56b624′]The appeal of single-minded machines like these isn’t only that they make churning out relatively high-quality photos on demand simple, but most of them—like the Kodak Dock—are small and fairly easy to take with you. Not only are these gadgets easy to use, but replenishing consumables is a snap (though it is, as you’ll see in our discussion later on, somewhat expensive). If you print a lot of photos, dedicated photo printers have some distinct convenience advantages over full-size photo-centric inkjet printers and inkjet all-in-ones (AIOs).
Until fairly recently, though, these machines were designed to work with your desktop PC or on the go with your laptop. As printers in general evolved to become more mobile-device-friendly, with features such as Wi-Fi Direct and mobile apps, so have dedicated photo printers. HP’s Sprocket, for example, is designed to print wallet-size (2×3-inch) photos primarily from social-media sites and your mobile device’s photo albums via Bluetooth.
The Kodak Dock takes mobile connectivity to its next logical step. In addition to connecting to your computing devices via USB, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct, the Kodak Dock allows you to dock your smartphone physically with the printer. As you’ll see in the section coming up next, after docking your smartphone up top, it becomes the printer’s control panel, which is actually quite the slick idea.
This is not to say, though, that the Kodak Dock isn’t without its flaws. For example, it can print only 4×6-inch snapshots, and as mentioned, its cost per page, though competitive with those of other gadgets like this, is a bit high. In other words, each photo is somewhat expensive, compared to having them run off at the neighborhood drugstore.
Even so, the Kodak Dock is very easy to use—which is what a lot of people consider important—and it turns out decent-looking photographs. As you read on, you’ll see that it also comes with several impressive and useful features, such as smartphone charging. In no way, however, is the Kodak Dock as handy as a full-featured photo-centric inkjet AIO that can print documents and photos at various sizes, as well as scan and make copies. You can find several good ones, such as the Canon Pixma TS6020 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One, for about the same price as the Kodak Dock.
But then, the Pixma TS6020 and its ilk are not nearly as easy to use, nor can you carry them around with you in your backpack. If finding a way to print good-looking photos simply and easily, especially from your smartphone (and perhaps on the go) is important to you, this Kodak gadget is a nifty little printer designed to do just that.