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PocketColor 100 printer

Review posted 12/19/01

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

The Sipix PocketColor 100 photo card printer is obviously aimed at today's young digicam users that might otherwise be using something like a Polaroid I-Zone camera.   It's a $99 miniature thermal transfer type printer that creates 203-dpi resolution 1.25 x 1.6 inch (32x40mm) size color prints in just over a minute. The printer itself measures just 4.4 x 1.5 x 3.6 inches in size and weighs a scant 6.3 ounces (without batteries.)

The PocketColor 100 printer connects to any PC running Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP with a USB port, CD-ROM drive, 64MB RAM, 125MB of available hard disk space and a VGA monitor. It can also be used directly with the $149.95 SiPix SP-1300 digital camera and does not require a computer. Users select the photo to print on the camera's color LCD and then press the Print button.

Shown above is the contents of the PocketColor 100 package that includes the PC-100 printer, 20 sheets of photo paper, color cartridge, paper tray, head cleaner, USB cable, AC power supply, PocketColor 100 CD-ROM (PC-100 printer driver, SiPix Grab, Print and Share, Adobe Acrobat Reader, owner's manual in .pdf format), ArcSoft PhotoImpression CD-ROM.

Color prints can be made either on photo paper or sticker paper. The photo paper comes in a package of 20 sheets and includes the color cartridge for $8.99, the sticker paper is priced at $9.99. Value packs are also available that include three packages of photo paper kits for $21.99 or sticker paper kits for $24.99.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

To give you an idea of just how small this printer is here it is sitting next to the Nikon Coolpix 5000, a very compact digital camera.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

The PocketColor 100 printer can be powered by the supplied AC power adapter or it can be used portably with four AA size alkaline batteries. You'll be the hit of the party when you snap someone's pictures with the SP-1300 camera and then hand them a color print just a minute later. The PC-100 printer fits in a purse or coat pocket.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

Just like the bigger thermal dye sub printers, the PocketColor 100 uses a ribbon cartridge that contains the three primary colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) plus a protective clear overcoat. This is a dry printing process, it uses no messy inks so the printer is safe in your pocket or purse. Your prints come out of the printer completely dry to the touch, UV and water resistant and ready to be shared with friends and family.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

The diminuitive PC-100 printer runs the paper in and out four times, once for each color and the last time for the clear overcoat. Total print time is about 65 seconds and then out comes your finished color print. The operation is nearly silent except for a little motor noise as the paper is run back and forth across the print heads.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

Here's a finished print sitting next to a pack of you-know-what for size comparison.

Sipix PocketColor 100 printer

On the back of the PC-100 is the connector for the AC power supply and the USB cable. The slot is where the edge of the paper protrudes slightly during each of the printing passes.

Sipix SP-1300 digital camera and PocketColor 200 printer

Want a bigger print?  Here's the SiPix SP-1300 camera connected directly to the PocketColor 200 printer that produces 2 x 2.5 inch size color prints. The SP-1300 camera and PC-200 printer bundle sells for $300 or less, the PC-200 can also be powered from the supplied AC adapter or four AA alkaline batteries. It produces a print in approx. 95 seconds.

PocketColor 100 Specifications

Printing MethodThermal Color Transfer
Print TypeColor (cyan + magenta + yellow) with clear protective overcoat
Print Resolution203 dpi
Print Size1.5" x 2.3" (37.5 x 59.8 mm)
Active Image Size1.25" x 1.6" (32 x 40mm)
Paper MediaPaper and color cartridges sold together and replaced at the same time
Print Speed65 seconds (approximately)
Power Consumption6W
Power SourceAC Adapter 6V, 2A (included), 4 AA alkaline (not included)
Print Mark FormatDPOF
Printer Weight6.3 ounces (180g)
Printer Dimensions4.4" x 1.5" x 3.6" (113 x 37.6 x 93mm)
Printer Part NumberP190T0
Printer UPC Code815251000088

Steve's Conclusion

The SiPix PocketColor 100 printer and SP-1300 digital camera may be just the thing for your kids if you're tired of buying all those Polaroid I-Zone film packs. Everytime I visit my friend's house his eleven year old daughter is asking him to buy her more film for her I-Zone and he's trying to get her to use his old digicam. I've seen the poor quality photos that come out of her I-Zone and the pictures are gone once they're printed. With a digital camera and a pocket printer they can still have the instant prints but they'll also have the digital images which can be saved, emailed or printed later on daddy's larger photo printer.

Speaking as a forty-nine year old, the PC-100 prints are too darn small for me, I need a magnifying glass to see them. But teenage (and younger) kids just love those little pictures, especially the "sticky" ones. My friend's daughter has them stuck all over her school books and the side of their refrigerator is covered with them.

The PC-100 printer is simple to install and use. Pop the CD-ROM in your Windows computer and install the driver software. It stops and prompts you to plug in the printer with the USB cable and then waits for you to turn it on. It "sees" the printer and goes through the usual Windows new hardware process and a minute or so later it is ready to use. The package includes ArcSoft's PhotoImpression software and SiPix's Grab, Print and Share software that lets you instantly print anything on a web page. The actual printing process takes just over a minute and then out pops the finished color print, dry and water-resistant. It couldn't be easier.

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