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Steve's Digicams

HiTi Photo Printer 640DL


Review posted 10/09/02


HiTi Photo Printer 640DL


HiTi 640DL - Affordable Digital Mini-Lab Printer

Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies (HiTi) has developed a line of high-quality photo printers for digital camera users to mini-lab operators. The HiTi 640xx and 630xx series photo printers employ Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2) technology to deliver 16.7 million color performance. These photo printers produce borderless 4" x 6" prints with 256 gradation levels per color which are dot-free thanks to continuous tone printing. It is a 4-pass system that transfers yellow, magenta and cyan dyes from a ribbon to the paper using heat and pressure and then applies an overcoat to prevent water and UV damage.

The previous Hi-Ti printer we reviewed was the 630PS Photo Printer, a small and lightweight printer made for home digital camera users. The Hi-Ti 640DL is designed for the commercial mini-lab operator and as such is a much more substantial and durable printer, it's also considerably faster. The 630PS is housed in a plastic body and weighs only 5.5 pounds. The 640DL has an all-metal body and tips the scales at almost eighteen pounds. The 630PS uses a 300dpi print engine with a print speed of approximately 100 seconds. The 640DL incorporates a high-volume, 403dpi (equal to 6400dpi in inkjet technology) print engine and cranks out print after print at the rate of one every 60 seconds. The 640DL is capable of working in a wider range of environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) while maintaining consistent output quality.

HiTi finishes out the 640DL package with a special bundle of software designed for the mini-lab operator. You can pre-select any number of images and queue them for output to one or multiple 640DL printers in unattended operation. The Photo Desiree Mini-Lab Edition software tracks the customer's order, the prints made, any special editing and the total costs. Special editing is handled by the Photo Enhancer application that allows for adjusting brightness, contrast, sharpness, tone, gamma and saturation as well as rotating and resizing. It can also add artsy borders, text and calendar overlays. It's important to note that the application and driver software is exclusively for the Windows platform, there is no Macintosh OS support at this time.


HiTi 640DL Features:

  • Fast printing - 4" x 6" borderless photos in approx. 60 seconds

  • 16.77 million color 403 x 403 dpi continuous tone dye sublimation printing

  • Heavy-Duty Printing, offers 30 sheets continuous printing in 4"x 6" borderless print size creates high production rate

  • Auto-detection of temperature and humidity. This built-in temperature and humidity sensor can auto-detect the working temperature and humidity and adjust the best printing mode to fit different printing environments in order to provide consistent photo quality outputs.

  • Different paper cassettes allow users to swap easily for various output necessities such as 4"x6" photo, different types of stickers, and so on. The 100 sheets capacity is perfect for commercial use

  • HiTi Photo Printer 640DL allows multi-printer connections through USB port. One PC connects maximum of 8 printers to satisfy high duty outputs, and associate with various outputs quickly

  • Magic coating technology keeps your photo prints brilliant with waterproof and UV protection. Its never been easier to create personal "watermarks" with protective coatings. User may pick their favorite designs to screen on their photos. Protection against fingerprints, UV radiation and moisture.

  • Fuzzy Printing Media Management - Whenever the image type and consumable type are inconsistent, the driver will popup a warning message to alert users selecting the correct media; on the other hand, auto searching function of consumable type is implemented in parallel printings.

  • Includes Valued Bundle Software:
    • HiTi Photo Desiree Mini-Lab Edition: Designed to satisfy different customers' needs, Photo Desiree allows users to enhance and modify images with auto setting and further enhanced by professional designing mode including contract/brightness, hue/saturate, gamma curve, shadow/emboss, etc.
    • ImageEnhancer
    • Customer Database Management System
    • Convenient Billing System

  • USB 1.1 Connect to Windows PC

  • Easily enhance, crop or rotate your pictures


Mechanics & Performance


HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

The 640DL is housed in an all-metal body with a stylish, brushed silver front panel. Except when changing printing ribbons, everything you need to get to is located on the front of the printer. You can easily arrange multiple printers in a side by side configuration.


HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

On the back is the AC power cord, power switch and USB 1.1 connector.



HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

The ribbon cartridge and thermal printhead assembly is located on the top of the printer. It opens easily at the touch of a button. This is not the same type of printhead found on home printers, it's a high-volume device with two built-in cooling fans. These fans automatically turn on and off as needed during printing to keep everything within the proper operating temperature range.

The 640DL's ribbon cartridge contains enough cyan, magenta, yellow and overcoat sections to print 100 4 x 6-inch prints per cartridge. By comparison, the average home printer uses smaller 25- or 50-print ribbon cartridges.



HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

The 640DL is made to be operated by software so there are very few switches and indicators on the printer itself. In fact, there's only one switch to turn it on and off and three LEDs on the front to indicate power, error and paper low.



HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

The paper cassette tray holds 100 sheets of paper which is twice the capacity of the 630PS printer's tray. This means it can go longer without operation intervention. It can accomodate the standard 4x6" photo print paper (actually 4x7" paper with break-off strips on each end) or sticker sheets (1x1, 4x4 or 4x2x4).

Consumable costs are low, the 100-sheet 4x6" photo print package with ribbon cartridge and paper are $35.99 which yields a per-print cost of around $0.36.



HiTi Photo Printer 640DL

The output tray folds down from above the paper tray. When the paper cassette tray is removed the output tray can be closed over both openings.



US visitors Hi-Touch 4x6" Photo Paper, 100 Sheets & 1 Ribbon Cartridge for 640DL Commercial Photo Printer

$ 32.50 at Adorama



UK visitors Hi-Touch 4x6" Photo Paper, 100 Sheets & 1 Ribbon Cartridge for 640DL Commercial Photo Printer

32.50 at Adorama



Continue on to
Driver and Software







HiTi 640DL Photo Printer Specifications

Printing method 4-pass Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer continuous-tone printing
Gradations 256 levels per Yellow, Magenta, Cyan color (8 bits), total 16.7 million true colors
Resolution 403 dpi x 403 dpi (equal to 6400dpi of inkjet)
Print Size 4 in. x 6 in. (101 mm x 152 mm)
Paper Size 4 in. x 7 in. (101.6 mm x 178 mm) with detachable boundary
Paper feed Cassette type automatic feeder, 100 sheets capacity
Cartridge Type YMCO (Y: Yellow M: Magenta C: Cyan O: Overcoat)
Printing Speed Approx. 60 sec. per sheet (excluding data transmission time)
Computer Interface USB v1.1
System requirements Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP, 64MB RAM, 25MB HDD free space, USB port and Pentium PC
Power requirements 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Operating temperature 50° - 95° F (10° - 35° C)
Operating humidity 20 ~ 85% R.M.
Dimensions (WxHxD) 10.4" (264mm) x 5.67" (144.4mm) x 13.98" (355mm)
Weight 17.6 lb. (8kg)
Certification UL, TUV-GS, FCC, CE, BSMI, CCC, C-Tick, VCCI
Accessories Included Paper Cassette, USB cable, CD-ROM (with printer drivers, bundle software and electronic manual), AC power cord, 1 ribbon cartridge (for 100 sheet printings)
Optional consumables 640DL consumable kit (YMCO Ribbon and Papers)
a. Photo papers
b. 1X1 Stickers
c. 4x4 Stickers
d. 4/2/4 Stickers
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)




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