With its good-looking 4x6-inch dye-sub prints, compact chassis, easy standalone operation, and multiple connectivity options, the Samsung SPP-2040 is a photo printer you'll be tempted to carry with you everywhere. However, this 300x300dpi photo lab is more transportable than portable and probably should come with a carry case for the bulky paper tray, the AC adapter, and the other accessories you may need.
Like many dye-sublimation printers with a horizontal paper path, the squat, cubelike, 2.5-pound SPP-2040 looks deceptively small when first unpacked but expands to commandeer extra desktop space when you attach the 20-sheet, 7-inch-long paper tray in front and allow equal clearance in back for paper travel. Samsung recommends allocating an extra 8 inches of space at the sides to allow installation and removal of the three-color (cyan, magenta, yellow, plus clear overcoat) dye-sublimation ribbon cartridge and to provide room for plugging in the power cord, a USB cable, a PictBridge-compatible camera, or Bluetooth devices (via an optional wireless adapter).
Installation went smoothly once we ignored the printed user guide and the cryptic quick-install guide, each page of which is printed in two dozen different languages. We found a more thorough PDF manual on the supplied CD, which contains additional instructions and charts. It was a snap to load the cartridge, pop paper into the tray, and install the Windows printer driver (the SPP-2040 also includes drivers for Mac OS X), the Photo Thru editing software, and a status-monitor program. Insert a Compact Flash Type I or II, SD/MMC, xD-Picture, Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro, or SmartMedia card, turn on the power, and you're ready to go.
The printer locates any JPEG or uncompressed TIFF files on the card and presents them on the flip-up 2-inch LCD. Press the left/right buttons on the four-way cursor pad to view the images. Tap the center OK key to select an image for printing, and use the up/down keys to choose the number of prints for that image. The Print and Cancel buttons start and stop the printing process. You can speed image selection by pressing the Zoom Out button to switch to a four- or nine-image thumbnail view. The Zoom In button crops the image using six fixed increments from 1.25X to 3X, all using the 4:6 aspect ratio. The cursor keys can shift the frame around your image for custom placement of the crop.