Steve's Digicams

HiTi Photo Printer 640PS



Review posted 5/27/03


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS


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:

HiTi Photo Printer 640PS
  • 4" x 6" borderless photos in approx. 75 seconds

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

  • Windows PC or standalone operation

  • Print directly from CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive , SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card, Memory Stick cards

  • Handheld controller with 1.6" color preview LCD monitor

  • Easily enhance, crop or rotate pictures without a computer

  • DPOF compatible with today's digital cameras

  • Small, compact and a low per-print cost

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


Operating Modes


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS

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.


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS


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).


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS


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.


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS


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.


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS


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


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS

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.


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS

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 printing.



Low Cost 4" x 6" Printing


HiTi Photo Printer 640PS 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 HiTi 640PS has a per print cost of only 40¢, its 50-print kit that includes the ribbon cartridge and 2 packs of 25 sheets of paper sells for $19.95.

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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Driver and Software







HiTi 640PS Photo Printer 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 403 dpi x 403 dpi
(Equal to 6400dpi in Inkjet printer technology)
Print Size 4 in. x 6 in. (101 mm x 152 mm)
Paper feed Cassette type automatic feeder, 25 sheets capacity
Printing Speed Approx. 75 sec. per sheet (excluding data transmission time)
Color Display 1.6-inch 60,000 pixels true color TFT LCD
Memory Card Slots CompactFlash Type II and Multi-Card (SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick)
Computer Interface USB v1.1
System requirements Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP, 64MB RAM, 150MB HDD free space, USB port and Pentium PC
Power requirements 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
Operating temperature 59° - 90° F (15° - 32° C)
Operating Humidity 20 - 75% R.M.
Dimensions (WxHxD) 8.8" (224mm) x 8.3" (210mm) x 5.5" (140mm)
Weight 5.9 lb. (2.7kg)
Certification UL, TUV-GS, FCC, CE, BSMI, CCEE, C-Tick, VCCI
Accessories Included 640PS Controller, 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 1x1 sticker kit
50 images 4x4 sticker kit
50 images 4x2x4 sticker kit
(Each kit includes a ribbon cartridge and photo papers/stickers).
Cleaning kit




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