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.
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.
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).