If your digital photos have taken up permanent residence on your PC's hard drive, Hi-Touch Imaging's HiTi 640PS photo printer delivers a foolproof, speedy way to coax them into professional-looking prints. Better yet, the $299 dye-sublimation device outputs 4x6-inch snapshots without any of the irksome guesswork that photo inkjets demand.
The 640PS, which also prints directly from most memory cards, yields photos at a cost of 40 cents each. (A ribbon cartridge and a pack of 50 photo-paper sheets cost $20.) Setting up the printer is a snap. Simply pop the ribbon cartridge into the foldout door in the front, put the precut paper in the cassette, and insert your memory card of choice. It accommodates CompactFlash, Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, and Memory Stick media.
To print in standalone mode, use the handheld controller to select pictures, then click OK and Print. The controller has a 1.6-inch LCD that lets you edit photos on the fly by altering brightness, contrast, color, and sharpness. Although rudimentary, it works well enough. To print from your PC, you'll need to install the drivers and connect via the included USB cable. Hi-Touch bundles a photo-editing app called Photo Desiree that lets you enhance and modify images, as well as create calendars, cards, and other projects.
We have a few quibbles with the 640PS. Ergonomically, it would have made more sense to place the On button in the front instead of the back, and support could be more robust. Nevertheless, if you're disappointed in your photo inkjet printer, the Hi-Touch 640PS is a slick way to get excellent hard-copy prints.
This printer's results are impressive. The 403dpi device delivers outstanding prints with true, evenly saturated colors and skin tones that are slightly warm but natural. Besides prints, you can create ID photos, contact sheets, and photo stickers (with optional paper) but nothing bigger than 4x6.
Hi-Touch backs the 640PS with a one-year warranty, but support is limited. The company provides help via e-mail and by phone only during weekday business hours, and calls are not toll-free. We e-mailed questions and received answers within a day.