Reviews: Online Print Services
Colab were the joint-second fastest print service during this test. I placed my order at 12.38pm on Saturday 30th August and received the prints on 2nd September. A 2-working-day turnaround is excellent, but not quite as good as PhotoBox.
Packaging was good with the prints inside a clear plastic sleeve sellotaped to the inside of a plain brown, flat cardboard box. There were no external markings on the box.
Price per 6x4 print: £0.12
At only 12p for 6x4 print, Colab just pips BonusPrint to the title of Cheapest Print Service. As with BonusPrint, Colab's low price makes getting prints made a much more realistic proposition, and is on a par with traditional film-based labs and prices.
Here are the 4 prints that I received from Colab, scanned on my Black Widow 4830 Pro flatbed scanner at 72 dpi:
The prints from Colab used FujiColor Crystal Archive paper. They had the look and feel of "traditional" photographic prints.
Overall I thought the prints were darker than the images that I could see onscreen, although it must be noted that I didn't calibrate my monitor for each print service.
Colab's prints were vey similar to Photobox's in terms of colour. I felt that they were a little warmer than the other services on test, especially when looking at the white-to-black bars on the calibration image.
The cropping of the prints by Colab was not quite as good as Photobox and a little way behind the leader in this area, Peak Imaging. The text at the bottom of the calibration image in Print 1 was cropped a little too closely, and the little girls shoes on Print 3 lost too much of their sole.
I decided to add Colab to the test when I saw the low prices that they were advertising in Photography Monthly magazine. At £0.12 per print, I thought they would be worth more investigation, although the low price meant that I wasn't expecting too much. I've been very surprised by the quality, however. It isn't quite on a par with Photobox or Peak Imaging, but when you consider that Peak charge £0.79, Colab's low price is very tempting and more than makes up for the very slight drop in quality. Highly recommended.