Kodak/Lexmark PPM100

from Lexmark is a 1200 x 1200 dpi thermal inkjet color printer. It handles paper sizes from 4" x 6" up to 8-1/2" x 11" in 16 to 150 pound weight with a 100-sheet tray. The printer has been optimized for Kodak Inkjet Photo Paper and also handles photo and plain papers, transparencies, envelopes, labels, greeting cards, iron-on transfers and banners. The PM100 can read both CompactFlash and SmartMedia flash memory cards. Prints can be made directly from these flash cards without the use of a computer or it can be attached to a Windows 98, 95, 3.1, 3.11 computer via the parallel port (sorry, no Mac support). Optionally you can connect an Iomega Zip (100MB or 250MB) drive to the printer's parallel port and transfer the image data from the CF or SM flash cards to the ZIP drive.

Any size CompactFlash or SmartMedia flash memory card may be inserted into the card slots on the top of the printer.

You then instruct the printer to print an index sheet of the images on the memory card using the control panel.

You use the index sheet as a reference and tell the printer which picture numbers you want to print, how many, what size, type of paper and etc. You do pay a price for convenience of using the PM100 without the computer and that price is time. Printing a 4" x 6" high-quality photo print took about six minutes from start to finish reading it from the memory card. Printing the same picture using a computer and a graphic program took a little over two minutes. Kodak PM-100

You also pay a price in image quality. These are 4x enlargements, on the left is the print made direct from the CF card. On the right is the same picture printed from the computer. You can see noticeable "mottling" in the white area on the left print, it is much smoother on the right print.

The PM100 can only hold one ink cartridge at a time in the printer. For most photographic uses you will be using the color cartridge (shown here) but if you wanted to do nothing but text printing it would be wise to use the special black cartridge. To print black with the color cartridge it mixes all the colors together to make black and thus wastes a lot of ink.

On the back of the printer is this cartridge holder to hold the "other" ink cartridge when you swap back and forth between the color and black cartridges.

Here's a 2X magnification of an 8x10" print from a Fine mode 1600 x 1200 pixel image from a Nikon 950. The printer was set at its highest quality setting and using the "approved" Kodak glossy photo inkjet paper. You can see the apparent "banding" which is visible when holding the print at arm's length. Strangely enough, even though this printer has supposedly been "optimized" for Kodak photo paper I achieved much better results using the Repeat-O-Type Picture Perfect paper that I use in my Epson Photo EX.