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Samsung SPP-2040 dye-sub photo printer

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Review Better known for its laser printers, Samsung is the second major manufacturer to produce a photo-printer based on dye-sublimation technology. Its SPP-2040 is a direct competitor to Canon's Selphy CP-500 and even appears to use the same print engine and consumables, writes Simon Williams.

Samsung SPP-2040 colour photo printerThe SPP-2040 starts out looking like a small, cuboid box about the size of a compact dictionary. However, once you've inserted the paper cassette, which adds nearly 15cm to the printer's depth, its desktop footprint is not that small.

On the top is a hinged 5cm LCD, which is used in combination with four buttons and a four-way dial button to navigate the printer's menu system and to edit images before printing. However, I found the display to be too small to see much image detail._

On the left-hand side under a flip-down cover are sockets for USB 2.0, PictBridge (where you can also plug in an optional Bluetooth adaptor) and power connections. Power comes from an external power block and there's no facility to run the printer on batteries for portable use. Flip down a cover on the other side and you can slide in the film cartridge.

At the front of the printer are card clots which can take most of the common types of memory card. You can use the printer independently of a PC, to print from any memory card or directly from the camera.

Set up is simple: plug in the paper cassette, slide in the film ink cartridge, being careful not to snag the thin film, and connect either a PC or a PictBridge camera. The Windows printer driver takes care of paper size and resizing your images to fit, while the PictBridge firmware in the printer enables you to control print jobs from your camera._

You have some control over the quality and size of the prints from the printer's menu and can change properties such as brightness and contrast. You can also zoom in on areas of an image and pan around it to print a selected portion. There's a facility to print multiple images on a single sheet, effectively giving you thumbnails.

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