SiPix PocketColor 100

Sipix PocketColor 100 photo card printer is obviously aimed at today's young digicam users that might otherwise be using something like a Polaroid I-Zone camera.   It's a $99 miniature thermal transfer type printer that creates 203-dpi resolution 1.25 x 1.6 inch (32x40mm) size color prints in just over a minute. The printer itself measures just 4.4 x 1.5 x 3.6 inches in size and weighs a scant 6.3 ounces (without batteries.) The PocketColor 100 printer connects to any PC running Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP with a USB port, CD-ROM drive, 64MB RAM, 125MB of available hard disk space and a VGA monitor. It can also be used directly with the $149.95 SiPix SP-1300 digital camera and does not require a computer. Users select the photo to print on the camera's color LCD and then press the Print button. Shown above is the contents of the PocketColor 100 package that includes the PC-100 printer, 20 sheets of photo paper, color cartridge, paper tray, head cleaner, USB cable, AC power supply, PocketColor 100 CD-ROM (PC-100 printer driver, SiPix Grab, Print and Share, Adobe Acrobat Reader, owner's manual in .pdf format), ArcSoft PhotoImpression CD-ROM. Color prints can be made either on photo paper or sticker paper. The photo paper comes in a package of 20 sheets and includes the color cartridge for $8.99, the sticker paper is priced at $9.99. Value packs are also available that include three packages of photo paper kits for $21.99 or sticker paper kits for $24.99.

To give you an idea of just how small this printer is here it is sitting next to the Nikon Coolpix 5000, a very compact digital camera.

The PocketColor 100 printer can be powered by the supplied AC power adapter or it can be used portably with four AA size alkaline batteries. You'll be the hit of the party when you snap someone's pictures with the SP-1300 camera and then hand them a color print just a minute later. The PC-100 printer fits in a purse or coat pocket.

Just like the bigger thermal dye sub printers, the PocketColor 100 uses a ribbon cartridge that contains the three primary colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) plus a protective clear overcoat. This is a dry printing process, it uses no messy inks so the printer is safe in your pocket or purse. Your prints come out of the printer completely dry to the touch, UV and water resistant and ready to be shared with friends and family.

The diminuitive PC-100 printer runs the paper in and out four times, once for each color and the last time for the clear overcoat. Total print time is about 65 seconds and then out comes your finished color print. The operation is nearly silent except for a little motor noise as the paper is run back and forth across the print heads.

Here's a finished print sitting next to a pack of you-know-what for size comparison.

On the back of the PC-100 is the connector for the AC power supply and the USB cable. The slot is where the edge of the paper protrudes slightly during each of the printing passes.

that produces 2 x 2.5 inch size color prints. The SP-1300 camera and PC-200 printer bundle sells for $300 or less, the PC-200 can also be powered from the supplied AC adapter or four AA alkaline batteries. It produces a print in approx. 95 seconds.