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
HiTi 640DL Features:
Mechanics & Performance
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.
On the back is the AC power cord, power switch and USB 1.1 connector.
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.
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.
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.
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
UK visitors Hi-Touch 4x6" Photo Paper, 100 Sheets & 1 Ribbon Cartridge for 640DL Commercial Photo Printer
HiTi 640DL Photo Printer Specifications
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