If the word 'printer' conjures up an image of a oversized bland plastic box, you clearly haven't caught up with the growing trend for compact photo printers. The Selphy CP730 offers a perfect education in everything that's chic and seamless in print technology.
With its beautiful cream livery and delicately curved casing, the Selphy CP730 is easy on the eye, but don't be fooled: some serious functionality is packed into its case. Like many other compact photo printers, the CP730 offers a top resolution of 300x300dpi. This may not sound very much, but for postcards and photos, it tends to be ample. The Selphy is fully PictBridge-compliant, and it can take in files wirelessly from any mobile phone that supports IrDA (infrared data transmission). An optional Bluetooth unit is available.
Setting up the CP730 is fairly easy; just be prepared to leave a little room at the back for the paper to pop out, as it does regularly. Once it's in place and stocked with dye and paper, plug in a memory card and you can browse through available image files using the tiny 2in LCD. You can also use a few basic editing tools. The type of border can be tweaked, for instance, or you can try and make the image particularly vivid or transform it into a black and white, all without connecting the Selphy to a PC.
It took us 88 seconds to print out a standard photo. This definitely doesn't make the CP730 the fastest printer available, but it's not particularly slow either. And the results were attractive and packed with colour. Canon claims these photos can last for 100 years, so the Selphy would make a good companion for any digital camera enthusiast.
Consumables aren't cheap. Each dye cartridge contains enough to print 36 pages – £12 will buy you both the cartridge and 36 sheets. Compared to the competition, though, this is by no means extortionate.