Thermal dye transfer printers are catching on like wildfire, with a lot of big manufacturers getting in on the act. It's no surprise, then, to see Samsung try its hand with the Samsung SPP-2040.

We were very impressed. While not as versatile as some of the competition it's well priced, incredibly cheap to run and capable of producing great photo-sized images.

The design of the Samsung never rises beyond the purely functional, although the black-and-grey livery is no doubt all the rage in gay Paris. While it lacks the battery option to make it truly mobile, the tiny SPP-2040 is easily portable.

Be warned, however, that the paper tray sticks out at the front, while finished pages come out of the back - in other words, you can't sit the Samsung flush against a wall.

Under the bonnet you'll find a 300x300dpi thermal dye printer that comes with a starter ribbon and ten sheets of 4x6 photopaper. This technology uses continuous tone printing, which tends to produce better images than a lot of inkjets. You can navigate menu functions using the clear 2in colour LCD, four buttons and a fourway navipad.

This is a versatile bit of hardware. You get a 7-in-1 card reader, PictBridge support, a USB port for tethering the SPP-2040 to a PC and the option of adding Bluetooth functionality.

We couldn't believe the running costs. Get the replacement ribbon with the 120 photo prints and it costs only 27p per page - one of the cheapest around. This would be worth nothing if the print quality wasn't up to scratch, but it's very good, even if Samsung has made the colours a touch too vivid.

Samsung SPP-2040: Specs

  • Thermal dye transfer printer
  • 300x300dpi
  • Bluetooth
  • PictBridge
  • USB 2.0
  • 2in LCD
  • CF/SD/MMC/SM/XD/MS storage
  • quoted print speed=60 seconds
  • 27p per page printing
  • £34 inc VAT for replacement ribbon and 120 photo papers
  • 233x255x66mm
  • 2.5kg
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • Thermal dye transfer printer
  • 300x300dpi
  • Bluetooth
  • PictBridge
  • USB 2.0
  • 2in LCD
  • CF/SD/MMC/SM/XD/MS storage
  • quoted print speed=60 seconds
  • 27p per page printing
  • £34 inc VAT for replacement ribbon and 120 photo papers
  • 233x255x66mm
  • 2.5kg
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Samsung SPP-2040 is perfectly pitched between value, features and print quality. Few compact photo printers combine these elements so well, and the SPP-2040 should fly off the shelves.

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