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Steve's Digicams


Review posted 11/17/02

HiTi PhotoShuttle

HiTi PhotoShuttle - Turbo Fast Printing

Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies (HiTi) has just released a new personal dye diffusion thermal transfer (D2T2) printer called the PhotoShuttle. This is currently the fastest D2T2 consumer printer on the market, producing a borderless 4" x 6" photo in just 45 seconds. Another key feature is the Magic Coating technology that lets you print glossy or matte photos using the same paper. Either "Magic Coating" surface gives you a highly durable, water-proof and UV-resistant photo print that lasts for years.

HiTi's Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer technology delivers 16.77 million color performance. These small-footprint printers produce borderless 4" x 6" prints with 256 gradation levels per color which are dot-free thanks to continuous tone printing. It's a 4-pass system that transfers yellow, magenta and cyan dyes from a ribbon to the paper and then applies a protective overcoat. The 310dpi resolution is equivalent to an InkJet printer with 4800dpi. This is a totally dry process, no messy ink cartridges to spill or heads to clog up, ever.

Bundled with the printer is Photo Désirée, HiTi’s image editing/printing software. Photo Désirée allows users to enhance and modify images with an auto setting or manually control contrast/brightness, hue/saturation, gamma curve, shadow/emboss, etc. It lets users print to the different media (4x6" photo, 4x2x4 or 4x4 sticker sheets) add creative frames, calendar inserts, greeting cards, business cards, and many other combinations to share with family and friends.

HiTi PhotoShuttle Features:

  • 4" x 6" borderless photos in 45 seconds (excluding data transmission time)

  • 16.77 million color 310dpi continuous tone dye sublimation printing

  • USB Plug & Play with Windows PCs

  • DPOF compatible with today's digital cameras

  • Small, compact and inexpensive with low per-print cost

  • Includes Photo Désirée software bundle for organizing, editing and creating custom prints and albums.

Mechanics & Performance

HiTi PhotoShuttle

The PhotoShuttle is a compact printer that will easily fit into your computer workspace. Like the HiTi 630PS, the PhotoShuttle is a vertically (stand up) oriented device so it uses the least amount of desk space possible. It's finished in all black and has a very modern and stylish look to it.

Initial setup is simple; unwrap and install the ribbon cartridge, load the paper cassette tray, plug in the power cord, install the Windows drivers and the bundled software programs, plug in the USB cable and in under ten minutes you're ready to print from any Windows' graphic program. I used the PhotoShuttle with a variety of programs from the included Photo Desiree to Photoshop, PhotoImpact and ThumbsPlus and it worked flawlessly with all of them.

HiTi PhotoShuttle

When printing the PhotoShuttle is a little noisy due to its motorized paper transport system that pulls the paper in and out four times over the print head. And being a thermal transfer printer, it also has a fan that comes on and off automatically to keep things cool. The total print time is a minute and fifteen seconds, the first thirty seconds is processing and spooling, the printer accomplishes its task in a very swift, forty-five seconds.

HiTi PhotoShuttle

The printer uses a standard PC-type AC power cord, not one of those !@#$%&! wall-wart transformers. I already have more of those things plugged into power strips than I can count.   Also on the back is the USB 1.1 port.

HiTi PhotoShuttle

That big slot near the top is where the paper slides in and out during printing.

Low Cost 4" x 6" Printing

HiTi PhotoShuttle

Anyone that uses a photo printer, inkjet or dye sub technology, knows that the cost of consumables (ink, ribbons, paper) can quickly exceed the cost of the printer. The PhotoShuttle has a per print cost of only 40¢, its 50-print kit that includes the ribbon cartridge and 50 sheets of paper is only $19.95.

HiTi Photo Printer 630PS

In comparison the Sony 25-print pack costs $19.95, twice the price per print at $0.80. Even inkjet printers are more expensive, here's a breakdown of their per print costs: HP PhotoSmart 100 $0.83, HP Deskjet 990cxi $0.88, Epson Stylus Photo 890 $0.88 and Canon BJC-8200 $0.86. (Per print costs calculated by the cost of ink cartridges and photo paper used to produce an equivalent number of 4" x 6" photo prints.) And those inkjet prints have no water or UV resistant qualities.

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HiTi PhotoShuttle Specifications

Printing method Dye diffusion thermal transfer continuous-tone printing, Yellow / Magenta / Cyan / Overcoat / 4-pass
Gradations 256 levels per Yellow, Magenta, Cyan color (8 bits), total 16.77 million true colors
Resolution 310 dpi x 310 dpi
Print Size 4 in. x 6 in. (101 mm x 152 mm)
Paper feed Cassette type automatic feeder, 25 sheets capacity
Printing Speed Approx. 45 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 59° - 90° F (15° - 32° C)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 9.75 x 9.0 x 6.0 in.
Weight 4.4 lb. (2.0kg)
Certification UL, TUV-GS, FCC, CE, BSMI, CCEE, C-Tick, VCCI
Accessories Included Paper Cassette, USB cable, Quick guide, CD-ROM (with drivers, bundle software and manual), AC power cord, sample print kit (8 sheets 4x6", 1 sheet 4x4 sticker, 1 sheet of 4x2x4 sticker and ribbon)
Optional consumables 50 images 4x6" photo paper kit
50 images 4x4 sticker kit
50 images 4x2x4 sticker kit

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