The Good Speedy; adorable yet functional design; prints directly from a digital camera; easy to use.
The Bad So-so print quality; limited features for the price; no removable media slots or LCD; lousy tech support.
The Bottom Line The Olympus P-10 is fast on the draw, but its lackluster prints and limited features don't justify the price.
Olympus P-10 Digital Photo Printer
Printers aren't Olympus's bread and butter. The company makes only a handful, and as you might expect, they're all photo printers. Olympus's latest, the P-10 Digital Photo Printer, billed as the fastest portable photo printer on the market, is certainly speedy, but for $200, we expect either top-of-the-line output or an abundance of useful features. Unfortunately, the P-10 has neither. We're big fans of the Olympus P-10's cube-shaped design; it's cute, simple, and at 7 inches high, very compact. It looks like a petite workgroup laser printer, complete with a 50-sheet input drawer that slides out of the front panel. The ink ribbon slides out of a hatch in the side panel. The P-10's silver-matte body is offset by a dramatic teal-blue front panel. The only control on the body is the power button. You can connect the printer to your PC via the USB port in the back (cable not included). The P-10 also supports &siteid=7&edid=&lop=txt&destcat=ex&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecipa%2Ejp%2Fenglish%2Fpictbridge%2F">PictBridge, so you can connect any compatible digital camera to the USB port on the front panel. On the downside, the P-10 doesn't have removable media slots or an LCD, so you can't print directly from your camera's memory card. If you don't have a PictBridge camera, you'll have to print through your PC. If you demand a lot of options, such as a card reader, you may be happier with a printer that has more features, such as the HP Photosmart 245. Olympus was pretty stingy with the P-10's features. On the included CD-ROM you'll find the standard drivers but none of the bundled image-management and image-editing software we've come to expect with snapshot printers. Even its drivers are basic. The print window has only three accessible tabs: Paper, Graphics, and About. Within each tab, Paper covers paper size, number of copies, and borderless printing; Graphics contains a slider bar for adjusting brightness, contrast, gamma, and sharpness; and About just tells you what version of the driver you're using. We expected a little more.
Like many snapshot printers, the P-10 comes with a small 5-print starter pack that includes a ribbon cartridge and paper. A 40-print replacement pack costs $35, and a 100-print pack costs $65, for a per-print cost of 65 or 88 cents, respectively--a bit on the pricey side. One notable quirk: Olympus's 4x6 paper is slightly smaller than its alleged dimensions. The Olympus P-10 performed very well in CNET Labs' speed tests. It cranked out a 4x6 borderless photo in 1 minute, 4.2 seconds--among the fastest times we've seen.