The current crop of Apple's Cinema and Retina displays show off photographs with such quality and ease that the good old printed snapshot seems almost obsolete.
But, when only a hard copy will do, Canon's new Selphy CP810 photo printer aims to give flawless results with minimal fuss.
The CP810 can be connected to your Mac (Snow Leopard or later), or used as a standalone device, accepting JPEGs from a USB memory stick or most memory card formats.
The adjustable 2.7-inch LCD screen is just large and clear enough to easily browse images and control the useful inbuilt editing options for cropping and layout. Additional features such as image optimization, red-eye removal and skin smoothing are included, but are a bit gimmicky and don't always improve the original image.
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Size-wise the CP810 is so small it could almost be called 'cute', making it great for mobile printing, especially if paired with the optional (but pricey) battery pack. But as with most dedicated photo printers, such dinky dimensions facilitate a maximum print size of 6x4-inches - although the CP810's emphasis is on quality over quantity.
Utilising 'dye-sublimation thermal transfer technology' means one low-profile cassette replaces bulky ink cartridges and produces images with excellent detail, colour depth and tonal accuracy in around one minute per print.
A protective layer is also applied to each print, making it safe to touch immediately whilst resisting fingerprints and fading. Annoyingly the sample cartridge included in the box only gives you five prints to get you started, but at least it's easy to source, with paper and ink sold in one complete pack.
However, even the best value triple pack works out at around 75% more expensive than the same number of prints delivered from an online printing company, and that's excluding the cost of the printer.
This latest Canon Selphy is certainly a stress-free and highly portable solution for producing great quality prints, even if such convenience does come at a relatively high price. Ben