The HiTi 730PS - Personal Photo Lab
Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies (HiTi), winner of the 2004 DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out for Small Format Printers at the 2004 Photo Marketing Association (PMA) trade show, has taken their popular 4x6" 640PS printer and turned it into a large format printer capable of producing borderless prints up to 6 x 8 inches in size. The $399 730PS printer can also print smaller 5 x 7" and 4 x 6" size prints by simply using different ribbon and paper packs. HiTi leads the industry with an amazingly low cost per print of just 40¢ for 4 x 6" prints.
The HiTi 730PS photo printer, like all of HiTi's printers, employs Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2) technology to deliver 16.77 million color performance. This small footprint printer produces borderless 6" x 8" prints in just 70 seconds. 730PS prints have 256 gradation levels per color which are dot-free thanks to continuous tone printing. It's a 4-pass printing 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 730PS can be operated without a computer thanks to the handy controller and its 1.6" 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 or Apple Mac OS X 10.2 or above using its USB interface.
HiTi 730PS Features:
Mechanics & Performance
The 730PS is a stylish translucent blue colored printer that fits easily into even small computer workspaces. Unlike most photo printers, the 730PS 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 730PS with a PC you install the software first and then follow the
above steps, plug in the USB cable and in less than ten minutes you're ready to print from
any Windows graphic program. I used the 730PS with a variety of programs from the
included Photo Desiree to Photoshop, PhotoImpact and ThumbsPlus -- it worked flawlessly
with all of them. HiTi now also supplies drivers for Mac OS X computers as well.
When printing, the 730PS makes some noise as its motorized paper transport system moves the paper back and forth over the printhead a total of four times. With my Pentium 4 3GHz machine running Windows XP Pro, the print time for a 6 x 8" borderless print from a 5-megapixel Olympus C-5060 camera image was 1:51. The same image printed directly from a Lexar 1GB 32x CF card took 2:08. Smaller image files print a bit faster as they require less "processing" time than the larger images.
The 730PS 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 and on/off power switch, the connector
for the controller is located on the side. That big slot near the top is where the paper
slides in and out during printing.
Operating in Standalone Mode
The flexible controller is used to operate the unit when in standalone mode. Instead of the usual 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 printer's two card slots accommodate CompactFlash Type I and II cards as well as Microdrives, Secure Digital/MMC, SmartMedia and Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro cards.
The 4-way selector lets you navigate 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 the 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 730PS 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.
Low Cost High-Quality Printing
40¢ for 4x6" (60-print pack $23.99)
80¢ for 5x7" (30-sheet pack $23.99)
$1.00 for 6x8" (30-sheet pack $29.99)
US visitors 6x8" Print Pack for HiTi 730PS Printer (30 Sheets with Ribbon)
HiTi 730PS Photo Printer Specifications
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