Fujifilm’s Instax lineup has numerous instant printers and cameras available. However, many of them support the ‘Mini’ photo format – prints that are the size of a credit card.
If you still want that portable photo experience without sacrificing on size, then the Instax Link Wide printer may be the one for you. This portable printer uses images that are twice the size of those produced on Mini devices, and offers numerous customisation options.
But how does the picture quality compare to rivals such as Polaroid? I have spent some time with this product to give you my thoughts.
Design and build
- Portable and lightweight
- Stand included
- Micro-USB charging port
The Instax Link Wide comes in a choice of two colours: Mocha Gray and Ash White. The matte plastic exterior has a diagonal pattern textured finish that gives the printer some flair. Unlike some previous Instax products, this does not feel childish or toy-like.
Though it produces larger prints than other Instax products, the Instax Link Wide is still portable. At a weight of 340g and 33.7mm thick, it can fit into a bag without a hitch. Plus, it comes with the included stand, so it can be placed around the house whilst still looking neat. You also get a wrist strap for using it out and about.
The printer cartridges are loaded at the back of the device, which is easy to click open. One pack of Instax Wide film has ten prints available.
The power button is located front and centre on the Instax Link Wide. This lights up different colours to indicate when the printer is connected, charging and printing.
On the bottom of the device there is a Micro-USB port for charging, and the accompanying cable comes in the box. The printer takes around two hours to charge from flat to full, which is on the slow side.
Instax claims that the device can last up to 100 prints on a single charge, but this does depend on how long you are leaving the device powered on for (such as if you are editing before printing).
Features and photo quality
- Uses Instax Link Wide app
- Prints are high quality with a glossy finish
- Filters and edits are available
To print images on the Instax Link Wide, you will need to download the Instax Link Wide app, which is available on iOS and Android. There is a short wait for the photos to synchronise with the printer, but the actual printing speed is quick at around 12 seconds, with photos taking around 90 seconds to develop.
Prints from the Instax Link Wide are large, bright and glossy, whilst still retaining that vintage feel that you would not get from a standard photograph. The colours are not quite as impressive as what is produced on the
Polaroid Hi-Print which uses a dye-sublimation printing process, but the details are still crisp and true to the original image.
The photos include a small border around the edge, whilst the bottom has room to write a caption underneath the image.
With the app, you can add filters, create collage prints, add various stickers, text, place photos into templates and even add QR codes which can link to websites, audio recordings, locations, and hidden messages. The sketch, edit and print mode allows you to take a photo of a hand-drawn sketch, and then layer it onto another image.
Some of these features were a little gimmicky for me, but I imagine that younger users will get use out of them.
Like other Instax products, you have the option to print images in either Natural Mode or Rich Mode, which alters the saturation of the final image. Overall, there is a breadth of customisation options for prints, allowing for lots of creativity.
Whilst the app is simple to use, the interface is not great. The text is on the small side and there is some wasted space. In addition, it is also one of many apps for Instax products – things would be much simpler if the company just had a singular app that allows users to connect multiple products in one place.
Value for money
At a price of £129.99/$149.95, the Instax Link Wide is not the cheapest instant printer on the market – but the trade-off here is the larger sized photos that it produces.
You can currently buy the Instax Link Wide from
Currys in the UK, and
Best Buy and
Target in the US. If a retailer is out of stock, check the
Instax website for a more detailed list of stores to choose from in your area.
When purchasing an instant printer, you should also consider the cost of the film on top. You can buy a pack of 20 Instax Wide prints for
$18.99 from Amazon. This clocks in just slightly more expensive than the smaller Instax Mini prints, and those costs will mount up over time.
Instax film is also more expensive than Zink Paper, prints which are used by rival printers. Per sheet, Instax Wide Film is around 85 pence in the UK and 95 cents in the US. Zinc paper meanwhile costs 50 pence for one sheet in the UK and just below 50 cents for one sheet in the US
If you want an instant camera that supports the Wide film format, then check out our review of the
Instax Wide 300. Other rival instant printers to consider are the
Polaroid Hi-Print, and Instax’s hybrid camera and printer, the
Instax Mini Evo.
You can see more options in our charts of the
best portable photo printers and the
best instant cameras.
The Instax Link Wide is not the cheapest instant printer on the market. However, the prints it produces are large, colourful and of a decent quality, making them perfect for displaying and scrap-booking.
The design means that it is suited for both being kept on a desk or used whilst travelling, and the app makes printing and editing easy for all users. Overall, the Instax Link Wide is a true contender in the instant printer market.
Instax Link Wide: Specs
- Lithium-ion battery
- Micro-USB charging
- Printing speed approximately 12 seconds
- Print size – 86 x 108mm
- Uses Instax Wide Film
- Printing levels – 256 levels per colour (RGB)
- Stand, strap and USB cable included
- Bluetooth 4.2