June 16, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Canon Selphy Square QX10 – Review 2020

6 min read

Canon’s Selphy Square QX10 ($149.99) is a departure from the company’s CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer and earlier Selphy models. This photo printer is smaller and lighter than those other Canons, and closer in functionality to the Editors’ Choice HP Sprocket Select or Canon’s own IVY Mini Photo Printer. It’s still too big to be pocketable, but the primary difference between this Selphy and many of today’s portable photo printers is in the print technology it uses. Instead of inkless Zink (“zero ink”) tech, the Selphy Square deploys a much more mature process called dye sublimation (a.k.a. dye-sub), in which a carrier ribbon is heated and transfers dye to special paper—in this case, Canon’s XS-20L square photo stock. The prints look great—a little brighter and more vibrant than many Zink models we’ve tested. Plus, the photos should last considerably longer, according to Canon, resisting fading for as long as a century.

Meet a Smaller Selphy

Measuring approximately 1.2 by 4 by 5.7 inches (HWD) and weighing about a pound, the Selphy Square QX10 is about twice as thick as the HP Sprocket and weighs about twice as much. It’s also a tad bigger than Canon’s IVY Mini Photo Printer, Lifeprint’s 2×3 Hyperphoto Printer, and Kodak’s Mini 2 HD Instant Photo Printer. (The last is another dye-sub unit.) While heavier than most Zink models, it comes in at about two pounds less than the Selphy CP1300. The chassis has a built-in battery for mobile use.

The Selphy Square is available in four colors—black, white, pink, and green—as shown here…

Canon Selphy Square XQ10 colors

Like most of its Zink-based competitors, the Square has no control panel to speak of. Instead, you get a power button and two LEDs (one for charge, one for status).

Canon Selphy Square QX10 controls

All operations are handled via a downloadable Android or iOS app, Selphy Photo Layout 2.0. The app allows you not only to print your photos, but also to edit and enhance them, or embellish them with text, frames, and other types of clip art and shapes. We’ll take a closer look at the software in a moment.

Rather than printing on Zink chemical-infused paper (which releases various colors based on heat patterns from the printhead), each Selphy Square paper packet comes with a dye-sub cartridge with enough dye-sub carrier rolled inside to cover each sheet of paper in the pack. The printer comes with a USB charging cable and a 10-pack of paper and ink.

Canon Selphy Square QX10 box contents

The 2.7-inch-square XS-20L photo paper is peelable, with a light adhesive on the back so you can stick your photos to just about any surface. (The stock that comes with many Zink printers also has a sticky back.) I’ll talk more about the consumables and per-photo running costs momentarily.

Canon Selphy Square QX10 peel-off adhesive

Paper loads into a compartment on top of the printer, and the dye-sub cartridges load from the bottom, as shown below…

Canon Selphy Square QX10 ink insert

Connectivity and Software

This Selphy does not support connections from your Windows or macOS computer. You can connect to any Android or iOS smartphone or iPad via Wi-Fi, though. Canon says a fully charged battery is good for about 20 prints, and you can recharge from a standard smartphone power adapter or from a USB port on your laptop or desktop.

Now, as for the software: The Selphy Photo Layout 2.0 app runs on most mobile devices, and it has much in common with similar apps designed for other portable photo printers. In addition to tools for cropping, changing brightness and contrast, and so on, you can also add text, borders, clip art, and backgrounds.

Canon Selphy Square QX10 app interface

You can also use one of several templates for multi-image layouts or collages. But again, unlike previous models, to print to this Selphy the content must reside on your mobile device, or on a cloud site connected to it. 

Testing the Selphy Square: The 43-Second Photo

Unlike Zink-based machines that churn out each print in one pass through the printer, dye-sub machines make four passes. During each pass, the paper comes out through the output slot, then is pulled back into the printer. On the first pass, the printer lays down yellow ink; on the next pass, magenta; on the third pass, cyan; and on the fourth pass, a clear coat that brings out highlights and protects the image.

Canon rates the Selphy Square at 43 seconds per photo, depending on room temperature. I tested it from a Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and from an Apple iPhone 8, and the QX10 averaged right around 43.5 seconds. Canon’s speed estimate is right on.

For comparison, the HP Sprocket Select generated its 2.3-by-3.4-inch format in 1 minute and 16 seconds (1:16), which is on the slow side for a pocket photo printer. The Kodak Mini 2 HD dye-sub was barely slower (1:20 for each 2-by-3.4-inch print).

The Lifeprint 3×4.5 averaged 1:30 per 3-by-4.5-inch print, which is a minute longer than the Lifeprint 2×3 took for its smaller prints. And the Canon IVY took about 44 seconds per print.

Trusted Dye-Sub Output

Years ago, in the early days of desktop publishing (before we had inkjet printers with ultra-wide color ranges), dye sublimation printers were often the machines of choice for printing high-resolution photos, posters, banners, and other documents where bright and accurate colors and intricate details were required. Those machines used four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), making for an even wider color gamut and greater detail than the three colors used in these small photo printers.

Even so, the three-ink process works well for tiny photos like these. I don’t want to say that these prints are better per se than their Zink counterparts, but they are different and in some cases more vibrant than their no-ink rivals. All the test images I printed looked good, at least up to drugstore quality, on par with the best Zink output.

Price Per Photo

Canon’s XS-20L square photo paper and companion ink cartridges come in packages of 20 sheets for $14.99, which divides out to 75 cents per print. I looked around, and so far, there are no larger-count or less-expensive-per-sheet options available.

HP’s Sprocket Select prints run about 10 cents cheaper; Canon IVY and Lifeprint 2×3 prints are about 25 cents cheaper; and Kodak Mini 2 photos cost about 5 cents less than prints from the Selphy Square. It’s important, however, to note that this Selphy prints for about half the cost of its most recent predecessor, the CP1300.

The Near-Pocket-Size Selphy

Aside from being a little heavy and a bit expensive to use, there’s a lot to like about the Selphy Square QX10. It prints well and at a relatively good clip, and its software is easy to use and fairly robust. Positioned as a smartphone-companion photo printer, it’s somewhat bulky and heavy compared to pocket-size Zink printers, but it will fit nicely in a backpack or briefcase.

Canon Selphy Square QX10

Overall, the Selphy Square is a handy little portable photo printer for churning out on-the-go photo stickers of your friends and family, and even your food…if that’s your thing.

Canon Selphy Square QX10 Specs

Type Printer Only
Color or Monochrome Color
Connection Type Wireless, USB
Maximum Standard Paper Size 2.7 inches by 2.7 inches
Number of Ink Colors 3
Number of Ink Cartridges/Tanks 1
Direct Printing From Media Cards No
Direct Printing From USB Thumb Drives No
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Color) 43 seconds per photo
LCD Preview Screen No
Printer Input Capacity 10
Cost Per Page (Color) 75 cents
Print Duplexing No

Best Printer Picks

Further Reading

Source Article

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.