Ian Burley tests the latest Sagem photo printer

sagemPrice: £169.99

*Type: Compact dye-sub photo printer
*Price: Typicall retail price £169.99
*Print resolution: 300dpi
*Inks: Dye-sub cyan, magenta, yellow
*Cartridges: One ribbon cartridge
*Print head: Permanent
*Pictbridge support: Yes
*Direct printing from memeory cards: Yes
*Other: Colour LCD image preview & status display, IR wirless prinitng from mobile phone

Although it?s a huge French firm spanning electronics and engineering,
Sagem is best known in the UK for mobile phones. The Photo Easy 255 is the latest 6×4 inch dye-sub compact photo printer from Sagem. The main improvement has been in replacing the earlier model’s black and white status LCD for a colour one that doubles as a preview display, making it much easier to select photos for printing from memory cards. PictBridge printing from compatible cameras using a cable is supported, as is infrared wireless printing from mobile phones. In use, the Photo Easy 255 proved to be rather leisurely. Printing from a memory card, timed from the momentpaper starts loading until the finished print emerges, almost three minutes had elapsed. Sagem states 2 minutes, but that excludes data transfer and number-crunching time. Whatever, the Photo Easy is easily the slowest dye-sub I have tested for some time. Some rivals will have produced three prints in the same time the Sagem Photo Easy 255 takes to print one. Print quality is also a mixed bag. Colour quality and accuracy is excellent when compared to our Colour Confidence Kodak Pro reference prints, indeed the best from a dye-sub printer that I have seen so far. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable fuzziness to the detail if you look closely. Cost per print is also a concern, ranging from 65p per print for a 40 sheet paper and ink pack, to 41p per print for a 160 sheet pack.

PROS: Impressive colour and neutral blacks
CONS: Slow, prints lack in crispness, expensive to run

Features 16
Ease of use 12
Performance 17
Design 17
Value 16