The CP760 is Canon's latest addition to their Selphy line of portable photo printers. This particular model is a no-frills, basic printer aimed at families, children, and otherwise nontechy folks who want to print their digital photos but don't care to deal with a desktop inkjet. We had a lot of fun testing out the CP760, snapping quick pics and printing them for our friends. It's definitely a niche product (print size is limited to a maximum of 4-by-6-inch photos), but when you consider the excellent quality photos and the appeal of instant gratification, $100 doesn't seem like a lot to pay for such a fun device.
Design and features
The CP760 is clearly much smaller than the average inkjet printer since it doesn't print on regular sheets of paper. It's only 3.3 inches tall and 7.9 inches wide, so the printer can comfortably travel in a bag without becoming much of a nuisance. But despite its compact size, the CP760 isn't very mobile-friendly, since Canon charges $50 extra for a wireless Bluetooth USB key. The stock bundle includes the printer, a wired power adapter, a paper cassette, and some trial sheets of 4-by-6-inch paper; In addition, the external paper input tray clips into the printer, and each pass moves the paper through the rear of the printer before reeling it back in, adding almost a foot to the hardware setup. Overall, you're going to need a foot and a half of space to accommodate the CP760--so much for a "compact" photo printer.
The top of the unit has a 2.5-inch TFT display to preview pictures before printing. Nine rubber buttons sit adjacent to the screen and let you navigate the menu, while a media bay below accepts Compact Flash/Microdrive, SD/MMC cards, and Memory Sticks. There's also a PictBridge and USB port for direct printing from a digital camera. Canon made the Selphy series practically idiot-proof, so printing is simply a matter of plugging your card into the correct port and pressing "print." There are also a few auto-editing settings, including Red-eye Elimination, Portrait Image Optimize, and Scene Select. If you have a load of pictures on your camera, you'll be disappointed to find that you can't view them in an index before you print. It's a minor limitation, but scrolling through hundreds of photos to find the one you want to print can be irritating.
The CP760 uses dye-sublimation ink technology to heat transfer images onto their proprietary paper, and Canon sells different media options, including greeting cards, postcards, and 2-by-3-inch credit cards. The dye-sublimation printing process is different from your typical inkjet; the paper makes four passes through the machine: the first three lay down the base colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow), and the last pass places a thin overcoat on the image to prevent discoloration and extend durability. Canon tells us the ink in one cartridge should be more than enough to last through a pack of paper, and color ink/paper sets are available for purchase through Canon's Web site. We used the 108-sheet ink/paper combo for our cost-per-page calculation, and at $29.99, the cost per page comes out to 27.7 cents, an acceptable cost for a dye-sub print.
Dye-sublimation printers are usually slower than inkjet and laser printers, due to the amount of time it takes for the ink to cool once it's applied to the paper. For our speed tests, we connected the printer to a desktop using a USB cable in order to standardize the average print speed. The Selphy CP760 printed a photo at an average rate of 0.79 picture per minute, faster than last year's Selphy CP740, and Epson's Picturemate Pal PM200 and PictureMate Snap. These types of printers are marketed as fast, easy-to-use printers that people can use at social gatherings immediately after taking a photo, and we're impressed that Canon is still ahead of the competition. The Selphy handled a wide range of color with precise detail and separation. Our pictures had a soft feel to them and could use a warmer tone, but we feel comfortable recommending the CP760 for the amateur photographer and home user.
Service and support
Canon includes a one-year warranty with the Selphy CP760, with toll-free phone and Web support available as well. The Canon Web site contains accessories, manual downloads, FAQs, driver updates, and additional technical support.
Find out more about how we test printers.