Samsung SPP-2040 Photo Printer

Dec 4th, 2005 | By Archive

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Samsung SPP-2040 Photo Printer


Date
: 12/4/05 – 08:18:51 PM

Author
:

Category
: Printers


Page 1 : Index

Manufacturer
: Samsung Canada

Price
: ~$200CDN

Samsung is not a new face on the Overclockers Online stage; they have made many appearances and never let us down. This innovative company produces a wide variety of products from displays to phones to even appliances! Today we are going to take a look at the SPP- 2040 photo printer which boasts quality and portability. Not only is this printer fast, but the quality should be as has as the labs.

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Printing photos at home has its advantages and disadvantages. Convenience and cost come hand-in-hand, printing photos at home is convenient, but it comes with a steep price which includes the printer itself plus consumables, such photo paper and ink cartridge. The price quickly adds up, but is it really worth it? In this review, we are going to take an in depth look at the SPP-2040; features, step by step installation of the hardware and software and see how it stacks up against lab prints.


Page 2 : Package and Content

The Samsung SPP-2040 arrived in a small stylish brushed metal and black themed box. It is rare to see a simple and cleanly designed box, a big plus in my books.

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The top of the box displays an aerial view of the printer on a brushed metal background.

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On the side, much like the top, there is another aerial shot, only this time closer up. Under it reads "Digital Photo Printer, SPP-2040". On the top left corner, Samsung is boldly printed.

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The back displays a list of features and various direct printing possibilities.

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With the cover removed, we find a fold up box.

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Upon opening the box, we are greeted the words "touch the moments", at first I too was curious, but it will all fit together later! Opening the flaps we are presented with a rather large amount of content which includes the printer itself, three packs of photo paper, cartridge, and a generous amount of documents.

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The leftmost compartment houses the AC adaptor and a power cord.

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Opening the middle compartment we find a white envelop which reads "forever", putting it all together "touch the moment forever", well that makes sense now doesn't it? Inside the envelope we find the Quick Install Guide.

Moving onto the rightmost compartment, the contained objects include one ink cartridge, three packages of photo paper and a
stack
of documents.

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Laying out all of the content, it is quite evident that Samsung has stuffed this package with quite a bit of content, including consumables, but no USB cable was to be found! Though the lack of a USB cable will not be a problem for most consumers; most of us do have spare USB cables lying around, it would have been a nice addition.


Page 3 : Features

Everyone loves a product fully loaded with features, and that is exactly what Samsung has delivered in the SPP-2040!

Surround yourself with beautiful views. Smiling faces. And timeless moments. The Samsung SPP-2040 photo printer makes it easy to turn a favorite digital image into a lab-quality 4" x 6" photograph in just 60 seconds, using sophisticated thermal dye transfer technology. And you can print those beautiful, true-to-life /images from your PC or Macintosh computer via fast USB 2.0, or directly from any PictBridge-enabled digital camera. The SPP-2040 also includes a 7-in-1 memory card slot and a 2-inch color LCD.

Prints in Just 60 Seconds
: The first print will take 75 seconds; 15 seconds to start up, but after that continuous photos in just 60 seconds.

Professional Quality
: Unlike conventional printers, the SPP 2040 performs consistently even on a low ink cartridge. The thermal dye transfer technology ensures beautiful prints each and every time.

Waterproof and Fingerprint- proof
: Pictures are meant to be shared without the worry of damage that is why prints from the SPP 2040 are water proof and fingerprint- proof.

Portable
: With a body of 5" x 7" and weighs only 2.4 lbs, the printer can quickly and easily be packed up and brought anywhere!

PhotoThru Editing Software
: Powerful easy to use software to perfect your pictures before printing!

Print Directly From Your Memory Card
: A computer is not required to print your photos, just insert the memory card into the printer and print! Supports: Compact Flash I, Compact Flash II, SD Card, SD Memory Card, xD-Picture Card, Multi Media Card and Memory Stick.

Print Directly From Your Camera, PDA or Camcorder
: As an alternative to printing from a memory card, you can connect a PictBridge compatible device directly to the printer and print from it.

Print Directly From Your Bluetooth Phone (Optional)
: The SPP 2040 offers the option to print wirelessly from a Bluetooth enabled phone with an option Bluetooth adaptor.

Easy Editing Right On The Printer
: To further enhance portability, the printer has its own built in image editing software which allows the user to perform basic image editing with the 2" LCD screen before printing. The built in software is capable of 12 color modes, manipulating sharpness and brightness, borders, and print layout. Definitely feature packed!

Color Modes
: Black and white, sephia, antique, vivid, red, green, blue, warmer, cooler, less blue, less yellow, and normal

Sharpness
: Hard, soft, normal

Brightness
: Darker, darkest, auto, lightest, lighter, normal

Border
: On, off

Layout
: 2- up, 4-up 30x40mm, 20x300mm, 35x 45mm, 50x 70mm,

The speed, wide support of different memory cards, direct printing, 2" LCD and editing from the printer are some very attractive features!


Page 4 : Exterior

Similar to the box, the SPP-2040 follows the same theme: silver and black. The metallic buttons: zoom in/out, arrow keys, menu, cancel, print, power and large OK button are well spaced out for easy usage without having to fiddle with the buttons. Near the top and square in the middle is the 2" LCD screen which allows the user to edit pictures prior to printing. Now, you may be thinking to yourself: 'Where does the paper go?' Well, that is exactly what we will cover next!

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This photo printer looks incredible small, almost too small – that is because the tray is not yet attached! The tray itself is almost the same size as the printer, in terms of length and width. The paper tray or cassette attaches to the printer through the front, behind a flip- down panel. From an aesthetics point of view, the cassette does not compare to the printer.

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Behind the door is the paper feeder, memory card slots and a green activity light. Compact flash cards are to be inserted in the right slot while xD Picture Cards, MultiMedia Cards, Memory Stick/ Memory Stick- PRO, Secure Digital and SmartMedia cards are to be inserted in the left.

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Three plugs are located on the left side of the printer: power and two USB plugs (type A and B). Samsung states that "Depending on your country, the Printer cables may not be supplied with your printer". Well, that explains why I did not get one.

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Moving onto the right we find another flip down panel, behind it is the ink cartridge compartment.

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Onto the back, there is not exactly much to see here, just a small vent is located on the left side with a small fan behind it for cooling and under it is a slit for paper to exit while printing.

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Page 5 : Installation

Installing the SPP 2040 is relatively easy and straight forward. First, we will install the consumables – paper and ink.

We will start with the paper. First we will need to open the cassette, and to do so, push the tab from the front of the cassette and lift, the lid should slide open. With the cassette open, place the paper inside and then close the cassette lid. Next, the cassette will need to be loaded into the printer. Flip down the front panel and slide the cassette into place.

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Now that was easy wasn't it?

Next we will need to install the ink cartridge. Similar to the cassette, the slot for the cartridge is hidden behind a flip down panel, only this time the panel is of to the right of the printer. Carefully push the cartridge into the slot until a click is heard; this indicates that the it is secured into place. In order to remove the cartridge, push the green tab and it will pop out.

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Now, for the power!

Like installing the other parts of the printer, this could not possible be easier. Plug one end of the power cord into the printer and one end into the AC adaptor, and then plug the AC adaptor into a wall outlet.

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With that all done, we have three choices, connecting a PictBrige compatible digital camera to print directly from the camera, print directly from a memory card, or print from a computer.

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With a memory card, insert the memory card into the printer, then use the left and right arrow keys to browse through the pictures and up and down arrows to select the number of prints. The user can also resize the image by using the zoom buttons and change effects such as color, sharpness, brightness, borders and format. When satisfied, press print!

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To fully take advantage of what the SPP-2040 has to offer, the printer should be connected to a computer where photos can be optimized using an image editing software such as PhotoThru, which is included.

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As stated earlier, Samsung does warn that packages for some countries will not include some cables; I used a spare USB cable. Connected the SPP-2040 to the computer is a pretty straight forward process, identical to any other USB device; connect one end to the computer and the other end to the printer.

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With the printer now installed, now onto the software portion! First, you will be prompted to connect the printer.

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At the installation screen we are presented with four options, either a typical installation, custom installation, install only the PhotoThru software, or view the user guide.

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Selecting "Typical" will prompt the software to automatically start installing all components. To install individual or selected components, select "Custom". Choosing custom will allow the user to select individual items. As always, custom installations are recommended only for advanced users.

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With that done, click next and the software will proceed to performing the requested task.

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As a standard procedure, after installation a box will ask whether or not to print a test page – that is going to be one expensive test print!

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With installation completed, lets now move onto the testing!


Page 6 : Testing: Printing solutions

To test the SPP-2040, we are going to test each print solution, its software, quality compared to lab prints, the prints protective layer, and whether or not it does in fact print just as well under low ink conditions as it would on a full cartridge.

As mentioned earlier, the SPP-2040 is capable of printing directly from a PicBridge compatible digital camera, seven different memory cards and from a computer. We will begin with printing directly from a camera.

For testing the SPP-2040s printing from camera capabilities, I used a Canon EOS 20D DSLR. In order for it to communicate with the camera its communication mode must be changed from Normal to PTP. With that done, preview images and press Set in order to select pictures to be printed. After selecting images, press print and you are done!

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The printers built in editing software can not be used when printing directly from a camera.

Next, printing from a memory card. To test this feature, I used a Sandisk Extreme 512mb CF card and a ATP 512mb SD card.

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After plugging the memory card into the printer, it reads the images and then displays them on the 2 LCD screen.

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Then, use the left and right arrow keys allow the user to browse through the images. To print only a portion of the image, use the zoom buttons and the arrow keys to select the desired portion. To make modifications to the image, click menu then navigate through the options; color mode, sharpness, brightness, borders, and layout. When you are satisfied with your settings, press the print button. To print all images on the memory card, select Print All from Settings in the menu panel.

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Now, onto printing from a computer! We will be using the included image editor "PhotoThru".

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Browse through your computers hard drive using the top left box until you find your image then double click it to bring up the editor. From there, various changes can be made prior to printing.

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The majority of the changes can be made using the left boxes: level, color and effects.

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The top toolbar also contains useful tools such as crop, text, rotate and other various effects.

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With all desired changes made, click
File
, and then
Print
.

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Each of these three printing solutions is extremely easy to use and is very straight forward. Printing directly from a digital camera or a memory card does not even require a computer and can be done in only a few steps. Printing from a computer requires more work, but is a much more powerful solution.


Page 7 : Testing: Waterproof prints

According to Samsung,

Photos printed from the Samsung SPP-2040 photo printer are waterproof and fingerprint-proof, so you can share them over and over again without worrying about ruining them.
Well, time to put a picture to the test! Meet our victim.

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Now for the water!

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After letting the water sit for a minute, the image was dried off, amazingly, no signs of abuse were apparent.

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Next, water was applied to the pack side.

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Again, I let the water sit for a minute, and the picture began to peal!

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Now of course, under normal conditions the picture would have been fine, but in our tests we applied quite a bit of water and let it sit. Still, pretty impressive! With that said, onto the next test!


Page 8 : Testing: Thermal dye

Samsung claims that:

Thermal dye transfer technology produces vivid colors and sharp, crisp /images every time. You wont get streaks and poor color like inkjet printers produce when they run low on ink. And dye transfer pictures wont fade.
To test this, we printed a spectrum of colors at different intervals; first print to 30th print. Remarkable, they were identical!

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The thermal dye transfer or more commonly referred to as dye sublimation achieves such high quality prints by applying dyes directly onto the photo paper versus an ink jet printer which sprays dots onto the paper.

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Page 9 : Testing: Home printing versus lab printing

And now for our final test, the Samsung SPP-2040 versus Kinkos and Blacks. Kinkos charges approximately 30 cents per print whereas Blacks charges 39 cents. The image to be printed is:

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Our print from Kinkos did not turn out very well; smeared colors, and jagged lines – very low quality prints.

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The print from Blacks on the other hand turned out very well, vivid colors, also very sharp and crisp.

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Finally, the print from our Samsung SPP-2040.

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In comparison with Kinkos – well there is no competition, but against Blacks that is another story. The prints from Blacks are more vivid, brighter and at 39 cents a print, Blacks takes the lead.


Page 10 : Conclusion

Printing at home does have its advantages over printing from a lab, but those advantages come with a cost, the SPP-2040 itself retails for around 200 Canadian Dollars, while less than other printers on the market it's not exactly budget friendly – and even more so when the consumables are added. A pack of 40 photo papers with an ink cartridge costs almost 30 dollars and a pack of 120 costs almost 52 dollars. In comparison to lab prints, the SPP-2040 put up quite a fight; easily crushing Kinkos, but slightly behind Blacks. Ever since the existence of photo printers, it was widely known that printing from home would cost significantly more per print than printing from a store, but for some the convenience is well worth the cost. Like the printer, the included software was packed with features, had a clean layout, easy to install and was very easy to use.

The only problem I ran into was dust. While the photo papers are protected from dust inside the tray, while printing, they are exposed to dust and other contaminants. Because of the nature of dye sublimation printers, contaminents are given an opertunity to settle on the photo paper between each layer. To minimise the effects of the dust, Samsung could include a cover over both ends of the printer in order to protect the paper.

The built in software paired with the 2" LCD screen really makes it apealing, ontop of that the quality, size, wide support of various print methods and competitive pricing really puts it ahead of its competitor.

Overall, the Samsung SPP-2040 is definitely an impressive printer and is highly recommended to anyone who is in the market for a high performance home photo printer.

Advantages

  • Compact
  • Built in 2" LCD
  • 7 different memory cards
  • High quality prints
  • Easy installation

    Disadvantages

  • Pictures vulnerable to dust

    Overclockers Online would like to thank Samsung Canada for providing the review sample and ongoing patience.

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