Samsung claims a print in 60s from this machine, but we weren't quite able to match this in our tests. Printing from a PictBridge camera we saw a print in 1m 11s - from a PC, it took 1m 4s. Neither of these times was as good as from the Canon Selphy and the PC print speed was 30 per cent slower from the Samsung machine.
Print quality is very good with natural and accurate colours. The dye-sublimation technique means ink is transferred as a vapour from the backing film to the paper, so you get a 'continuous tone' print, very similar to a classic, silver halide photograph. In other words, you don't see the dots visible even on the best inkjet printers.
The printer prints three different colours onto the paper: yellow, magenta and cyan in that order, and then it lays a clear transparent layer over the top to protect the printer from light and ozone attack. The cover layer also gives the print an attractive, glossy coating. Even with only three-colour prints, black is well reproduced - again, in contrast to three-colour inkjets.
The print film is divided into strips of each colour, just long enough to print a complete 6 x 4 print, so you always know exactly how many prints you will get from a given film. In Samsung's case, this is 40. Working out the costs of printing is very simple. Samsung supplies packs containing ink film and 6 x 4 photo papers in either 40-print or 120-print versions. Not surprisingly you get better economy from the 120-print pack, and using this to calculate print costs gives 27p per photo. This is marginally better than Canon's price and compares well with typical inkjet prices. Samsung provides a ten-print 'starter' pack with the SPP-2040.
Running costs are slightly cheaper than the Canon Selphy CP-500 and the Samsung machine is more flexible, with its memory card readers and colour display. However, it's also twice the price, so for a simple set-up, you might want to consider its smaller Samsung sibling, the SPP-2020, at around £110... or the Selphy.
|More info||The Samsung SPP-2040 site|
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