I first learned about HiTouch Imaging (HiTi) printers from my Dad, while we were on a trip to the Boston, MA area. He mentioned that there was a camera shop in the area that was selling a new type of dye-sublimation photo printer, and he asked if I was interested in going with him to check them out. I'm always up for checking out new electronic gadgets, so I agreed.
When we arrived at the store, I was expecting these printers to be some sort of large machines similar to the ink jet printers that I was accustomed to using. Instead, these printers were all very small models that would fit nicely on just about any desktop.
We looked at a couple of sample prints that were generated by one of the printers, and they were absolutely amazing. No matter how close we inspected the picture, we were unable to see any pixels. This was unlike any printer I'd ever used. The pictures were clear, and all of the colors were bright and very smooth. I was very impressed.
Neither of us made a purchase on that day, but I was determined to buy one of these little printers in the near future. A couple of months later, I placed an order for a HiTi 640PS photo printer.
When it arrived, I unpacked it from the box and set it all up. The color of the 640PS model is a very cool shade of blue, and was only slightly larger than the model that we saw in the store. On the front of the printer it has several slots into which you can insert your digital camera's memory cards, and it includes a wired remote control with a built in LCD screen, which allows you to view the contents of the cards and print photos directly, without being attached to a computer. This is a very nice feature, because it allows me to carry the printer with me anywhere I go, and as long as I can find a place to plug it in, I can print out my pictures right away.
All of the HiTi printers that I've seen require you to use special paper and a special ribbon made by HiTouch Imaging. Once I'd loaded both of those into my printer, and installed the proprietary "PhotoDésirée" software onto my PC, I was ready to go.
I selected a photo to test out the printer and I sat back and waited. When the photo is printed, the paper is actually processed through the printer several times; once for each of 3 colors, and once for the final coating. Even with the multiple passes, though, the photos were still printed quite quickly, and the results are well worth the short wait. The photo that I printed looked amazing.
Besides the quality of the photo, I was also very impressed by some of the special little features that the printer offers, including the ability to select from a variety of different finishes (i.e. glossy, matte, etc.), and also the ability to include a watermark in the finish coating. I don't know that I'll ever actually NEED that feature, but it's certainly fun to play around with.
Another interesting feature of this printer is the fact that no matter how many pictures I print, I'll never run out of ink. Each 50-pack of HiTi photo paper includes a new ribbon cartridge for the printer, and that cartridge contains just enough ribbon to print out 50 pictures. Therefore, everytime I change the paper, I'll be replacing the ribbon as well, ensuring that I'll never have more paper than ribbon to print with. Very interesting...
The printer that I purchased is only capable of printing 4x6 pictures, however HiTouch Imaging does offer other models that can print to different sized paper.
I've printed many, many photos with my printer over the years, both connected to the computer and disconnected, and I've always had great results. If you're looking for a personal photo printer, and you want the highest quality photos available, be sure to check out the printers by HiTouch Imaging.