The Olympus P-11 is the smallest and THE FASTEST personal dye-sub photo printer that
we've reviewed to date. Its predecessor the P-10 was quite fast but the P-11 is even
faster! It takes up less space than even the smallest HiTi 4x6" printer.
And because it uses an external power supply, the printer itself weighs only
5.1 pounds. Like the P-10 it doesn't have anything sticking out of the printer.
The paper tray is internal, the paper is output on the top and there's no slot
where the paper goes in and out during the printing. It's compact, stylish and doesn't
make much noise even though there's a lot of motorized paper
feeding going on inside there.
With all photo printers you need to weigh the inital cost of the printer and the per print
costs carefully, some of those cheap inkjet printers use very expensive color cartridges.
The Olympus P-11 sells for ~$149 and the Print Packs come in 40- and 100-sheet sizes. If
you buy the 100-count Print Packs ($30-35 online) then it costs ~ $.33 per
4x6" print. The 40-count cost is considerably higher at ~ $.50 per
4x6" print. You'll save money in the long run with the larger quantity even
if you don't intend to use that much. The paper comes in two separately wrapped
packages of 50 sheets each to help keep it fresh.
The P-11 is VERY FAST with an average printing time of just 33
seconds (not counting data transmission time.) This makes it the fastest dye sub printer
that we've reviewed yet! Most other 4x6" dye sub printers take anywhere from 60 to 90
seconds per print. Another nice feature is that the prints do not come out of the printer
with those pesky tear-off tabs on both ends, they're 100% borderless and ready to be shared.
The P-11's print quality is excellent, it's as close to lab quality as it gets
from a home or small business printer. Compared to prints from a HiTi dye sub, the
P-11 prints are a little more contrasty but I'm sure they will satisfy today's
digital camera users. The PictBridge direct-print feature is super-handy and the
vast majority of new digicams are compatible with it. This means you can take the
highly portable P-11 along with you to a party or event and make prints right there
without need of a computer. It also elminates the problems of color matching
between camera, computer and printer - a major stumbling block for many digital newbies.