User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Compact, easy to set up, good quality printouts
Cons:Printer causing BSOD with Win98!
The Bottom Line: This unit is recommended for those who like to print photos for everyday use - maybe not for those requiring extremely high quality output.
We purchased this printer to augment our digital photography setups on our desktop PC. We have a Lexmark Z51 printer that we had been using for photo quality printing, but decided to buy a dedicated printer for many reasons.
Recommend this product?
Setup was extremely simple. From box to printout was less than 20 minutes - software installation included! It came with a pretty decent sized supply of paper, which is great as the paper isn't really cheap. The test printouts are quite impressive.
The unit has the ability to print from PC, from your camera, or from the flash memory card itself. This makes it quite versatile. It looks to accept many different types of memory cards. For that matter, the unit actually has more features than the average person will use if they are printing from their PC. If you have no PC, this unit is exactly what you are after.
A few things to note regarding this unit. We have a CompactFlash memory card. Up until recently, I've always downloaded the photos to the PC and printed them from there. I found the quality to be OK, but wasn't blown away by it. I was hard-pressed to justify the cost for the small increase in quality over my Lexmark Z51 printer in photo mode. But, I discovered that by inserting the memory card directly into the unit (rather than downloading them to the PC first), the quality of the printout GREATLY improves. (I'm sure this is due to data interpolation on the PC when adjusting the photo size for the printer paper.) The major downside to printing directly from an inserted memory card is that you must know in advance which picture you want to print. There is no preview on the printer unit itself. For example, on my camera the pictures are named with a format of #100-nnnn. When inserted into the printer, the are numbered as 1 through n. With no preview screen on the printer, you must figure out the proper sequence number while the card is still in the camera. Not a big deal, but worth noting.
The main downside I have it that ever since I have installed this printer, when my PC goes into "powersave" mode, I frequently get the "blue screen of death". I am running Windows98 which is unstable in itself, but everything was fine before printer installation. The other time this occurs is if I power off the printer while the PC is still on. All this means that I need to perform a shutdown rather than just leaving my machine on 24X7 AND assure that if I'm "busy" on the PC, I do not power down the printer. No big deal - just annoying.
This unit is highly recommended for anyone who would like to print photos for sharing with family or for scrapbooking. I suspect you could get extremely high quality prints with this printer if you have a high res camera. Since my camera is a few years old, it is less than 2 megapixel so even at highest quality is is only as good as an average "real photo". I will be updating my camera in the near future and will update this review once I test a higher resolution direct print.
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Amount Paid (US$): 175.00
Operating System: Windows