The HiTi 640PS - Personal Photo Printer
Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies (HiTi) has taken the extremelypopular 630PS printer and given it a higher resolution and faster print engine. They've also replaced the SmartMedia card slot with a new multi-card slot, it now handles CompactFlash Type I and II cards including IBM Microdrive, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard and Memory Stick cards. The new 640PS printer joins HiTi's line of affordable and high-quality photo printers for today's digital camera users.
The HiTi 640PS photo printer employs Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2) technology to deliver 16.77 million color performance. This small footprint printer produces borderless 4" x 6" prints in just 75 seconds. D2T2 prints have 256 gradation levels per color which are dot-free thanks to continuous tone printing. It's a 4-pass prinitng system that transfers yellow, magenta and cyan dyes from a ribbon to the paper and then applies the Magic Coating overcoat to prevent water, fingerprint and UV damage.
The 640PS can be operated without a computer thanks to the handy controller and its 1.6-inch color LCD monitor. Users can preview and print images from flash memory cards easily and quickly. Using the menus you can select the desired format (photo paper, sticker sheets), ID Photo, Index Print, etc. You can edit images before printing (rotate, resize, brightness, contrast, color, etc.) Select glossy or matte surface without need of special papers or ribbons. The printer can also be connected to any PC running Windows 98/ME/2000/XP using its USB interface.
HiTi 640PS Features:
The printer controller is used to operate the unit when in standalone mode. Instead of hard to reach buttons or a fixed-mount LCD screen that requires you to adjust to its angle, the controller can be handheld to suit the user. You preview your digital images on the 1.6-inch color LCD monitor, it's also used to access the menu system.
The 4-way control lets you navigate the menu screens and move through the image thumbnails. The MENU button calls up the onscreen menu. The OK button accepts menu selections, the ESC buttons lets you back out to the previous screen. The EDIT button calls up the editing menu and the PRINT button prints the selected photo(s).
Anyone can make beautiful prints quickly and easily. Just insert your flash card into the appropriate card slot, select the pictures you want to print and how many copies to make and then hit the Print button. If your images have already been marked with the standard DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) information in your camera it's even easier -- insert the card and select the DPOF option and hit the OK button, that's it.
In standalone mode you can edit and enhance your photos before printing. Using the EDIT screen there are options for Move, Rotate, Resize and Enhance. If you want to zoom-in and crop, you select resize to magnify the portion desired and then move it to center the new image.
If necessary you can use the Enhance option to adjust the brightness, contrast or color before printing. All of this is accomplished with easy to follow onscreen menus and prompts, it's fun and you don't need to spend an hour reading a manual first.
Only JPEG images can be processed and printed in the standalone mode. If used with some older cameras (pre-EXIF JPEG) the image files may not have the proper thumbnail embedded in the JPEG so no preview thumbnail shows up on the LCD until you go into EDIT mode.
At home or in the office you connect the 640PS directly to your PC with the included USB
cable and use it like any other color printer. In this mode any type of picture file (JPG,
BMP, TIF, etc) can be printed. See the next page of this review for the Windows driver
options. Also included is a very powerful and easy to use software application to organize,
view, edit and print your pictures.
Mechanics & Performance
The 640PS is a very cool looking, translucent blue colored printer that fits easily into even the smallest of computer workspaces. Unlike most printers this is a vertically- oriented device so it uses the least amount of desk space possible. Don't be surprised if your friends mistake this printer for a futuristic video phone (feel free to lie about it.)
Initial setup is simple; unwrap and install the ribbon cartridge, load the paper cassette tray, plug in the power cord, connect the controller, turn it on and insert a memory card -- you're ready to print!
If using the printer with a PC you follow the above steps plus install the Windows drivers, 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 640PS with a variety of programs from the included Photo Desiree to Photoshop, PhotoImpact and ThumbsPlus and it worked flawlessly with all of them. There is no support for Macintosh computers, sorry.
When printing the 640PS is rather noisey as its motorized paper transport system moves the paper over the printhead. The print time is a little over a minute when connected to a PC and two to two and a half minutes in standalone mode. Smaller image files print faster as they require less "processing" time than the larger three to five megapixel images.
The 640PS uses a standard AC power cord so you won't be accumulating another one of those
plug-in transformers. I already have more of those things plugged into my power strip that
I can count. Also on the back is the USB port, the connector for the controller and the
On/Off switch. That big slot near the top is where the paper slides in and out during
Low Cost 4" x 6" Printing
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.
HiTi 640PS Photo Printer Specifications
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