Summary

Our Score

8/10

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Canon SELPHY CP790 - Portable Photo Printer

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It's not clear how the concept of a printer in a bucket got past the concept stage, but Canon's mushroom-shaped SELPHY CP790 certainly makes for an interesting review. At first glance, it looks like something Fisher Price might have thought up, but it's still a very practical solution to the problem of carrying around all the bits and pieces needed to get this dye-sublimation printer working.

The printer itself is much like Canon's other small dye-sub machines, it's just that this one has an oval, lime green top, into the top of which are set a 76 mm LCD display and a series of five pushbuttons. In the centre of these is a four-way selection cross with, embedded in the middle, one of Canon's click wheels for browsing quickly through menus.
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Each of the sides of the mushroom’s 'stem' includes a door or sockets. On the left are sockets for the small, white power block, which delivers low-voltage DC to power the whole machine, a USB socket for connection to a PC or Mac and a PictBridge socket for printing directly from the camera.

On the right is a cover for the film cartridge. SELPHY printers work by transferring solid ink from a very thin film ribbon onto the glossy photo paper, using a thermal print head. The cartridge supplied with the printer is enough for just five photos, but consumables are available in 36-print and 108-print packs, which include both paper and cassettes.

At the front are sockets for SD, MemoryStick and CompactFlash cards. There's an infrared sensor too, and a Bluetooth adapter is available as an option. Also at the front is a pull-down flap so you can plug in a paper cassette when printing. Two are supplied with the printer, one for 15 x 10 cm postcards and the other for business card-sized prints. At the back is a socket for the printer paper to feed out between each printing pass.
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All the parts fit in an oval, green bucket and the printer clips into its top, completing what is a very convenient way of transporting the machine. The bucket comes complete with a handle, though no spade. The whole system loses a little in portability, as you have to pay extra for the optional battery.

The printer comes with an applet called SELPHY Photo Print and a print driver and is compatible with both Windows and OS X.

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