Review: Samsung SPP-2040 Digital Photo Printer

The Samsung SPP-2040 Digital Photo Printer is a Bento Box-sized dye sublimation printer that costs about $160.
This printer faithfully reproduced my woefully amateur photographic compositions in print format. Colors were rich -- very rich – and, as advertised, there were no bizarre color shifts like when an ink cartridge ran low on an ink-jet printer. However, this brings me to an important point when using dye-sublimation printers: It costs more to use than an ink-jet printer. It costs about 70 cents per print if you buy paper an ribbon in the 40 sheet box, but a more palatable 39 cents per print if you buy the 120 piece set. Still, if you plan on making a lot of prints, it would be cheaper to go to your local photo store and print them off there. I take a lot of photographs, but don’t actually print all that many. So, to me, it’s absolutely worth paying for the convenience of excellent, near lab-quality pictures without having to get in my car, or submitting photos to an internet service. It’s sort of like buying limes at the liquor store rather than the grocery store. It’s just easier and you get similar results.

The SPP-2040’s self-contained editing features are minimal, but certainly adequate for most people. You can easily crop, perform some color manipulation, and apply special effects like antique, sepia, and black and white. You can also choose different print layouts including borderless, bordered, two-up, four-up, and even smaller, though I’m not sure what the point is of smaller pics, unless you’re just printing 4x6 contact sheets.

Though it’s meant to work without hooking up to a computer, many people probably will. But to do so you’ll need a USB cable, since you don’t get one with the printer. If you do use a computer, you can install the Samsung photo-editor software, PhotoThru. It’s basic photo editing software for beginners. You can fix red-eye, create albums -- that sort of thing -- but I’ll stick with my tried-and-true (and expensive) Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro for my photo manipulation, thank you.