The $100 Canon Selphy CP740 is an entry-level compact photo printer whose limited onboard feature set reflects its relative position among dedicated 4x6 photo printers. Still, we liked the quality of the prints and the printer's ease of use. If you're looking for a dedicated snapshot printer and you're on a budget, this is a good choice. But if you want more features and are willing to pay for them, check out the Epson PictureMate Snap.
The Selphy CP740 is indeed compact and can be easily slipped into a tote bag or large purse. It measures 7 inches wide, 2.5 inches tall, and 5 inches deep. It weighs 2.1 pounds without the ink installed, paper cassette attached, or power brick plugged in; with all of the necessary accoutrements, it gets a bit heavier.
The top face is where the interface and control panel live. A 2-inch color LCD is embedded right in the surface of the printer. Since it's not mounted on a movable piece, you'll have to position yourself right over it for a good viewing angle. Along the edges of the LCD are buttons for power, zooming in and out of an image, red-eye removal, mode, layout, and date. The other two buttons are print/stop and a four-way rocker switch.
On the front edge are three memory card slots that can accept most common memory cards, though some will require an adapter (not included). There's also a retractable mini-USB cable for directly connecting PictBridge cameras; we thought the retractable cable was a nice touch. Finally, a panel opens to reveal the paper input area. Instead of loading paper directly into the printer, you need to load the paper into a paper cassette, which then attaches to the front of the printer.
On the printer's left edge are two USB ports, one for connecting the printer to a PC and another for connecting a PictBridge device (an alternative to the front-mounted mini-USB port). On the right edge is a door that conceals the ink cassette.
As sold, the Selphy CP740 comes with a postcard-size cassette and a starter ink cartridge that is good for only five prints (five sheets of paper are also included). (Because the Selphy CP740 uses dye-sublimation technology, the ink cartridge can only produce the number of prints it's designed for, unlike inkjet technology.) The postcard-size paper is also the 4x6 paper, despite the fact that the paper measures 4x7 inches. On both short ends, the paper is perforated about a half-inch in from the edges, allowing you to tear the sheet down to 4x6 inches. The back of the paper is preprinted like a postcard. Canon sells several paper sizes for this printer, including credit card and greeting card (4x8); each size requires a different paper cassette.
Paper and ink are sold together in packages, and the ink is calibrated for the number of sheets in the package. To calculate print costs, we looked at the largest ink/paper combo: 108 sheets of postcard/4x6 paper plus ink for $30. Your per-print cost would be 27.8 cents, a bit more than per-page prints from the Epson PictureMate printers, but not surprising, as dye-sub prints are generally a bit more expensive than inkjet prints.
The Canon Selphy CP740 gives you a choice of printing methods. You can print directly off a memory card, from an attached PictBridge or DPOF camera, wirelessly from a Bluetooth device (you'll need to purchase the optional Bluetooth adapter), or from your PC.