Citizen CX-02, the best 6″ Dye Sub Photo Printer on the market…

Well, that’s at least what we think here at System Insight. The Citizen CX-02 packs a punch with an impressive print speed of just over 20 seconds for a 6×9, with a lightweight design of only 12kg and competitively priced consumable costs.

Citizen CX-02

First Impressions of the Citizen CX-02

The Citizen CX-02 is a sleek, professional photo printer with a small footprint that packs a punch.

The CX-02 is a front-loading printer, which means the door that you open to change the media, is at the front of the printer. You’re also able to access the Thermal Print Head here to clean it.

To change the media on the CX-02, you simply insert two paper spindles into the paper roll, and the ribbon is loaded onto a tray that is inserted into the front of the printer.

Citizen CX-02
Citizen CX-02

This is extremely convenient as you can purchase spare paper spindles and ribbon trays, which you can pre-load with new media for an even quicker change.

There are four LEDs on the printer door: Power Light, Ribbon Light, Paper Light and Error Light. Check out the printer manual that details what each display.

The CX-02 uses a USB interface that can be connected to a Windows or Mac computer.

The USB, along with the Power connection is positioned at the back of the printer, on the right-hand side. They are both next to each other which makes them easier to locate.

The Power switch is at the front of the printer, which is a lot more convenient than having it on the side, or at the back. No more leaning over the printer just to switch it on or off.

Citizen also includes a print catch tray which will hold up to 50 sheets. It’s capable of holding 6×4, 5×7 or 6×8 (some printers will only come with a 6×4 catcher). This ensures the printer doesn’t get backed up, and potentially jam.

Citizen CX-02

The snip box is easy to empty, it just slots into the front of the printer once you’ve opened the door. Be sure to empty this box when changing the media, or before transporting it.

The fan system on the CX-02 allows for a dust-free environment as it sucks air in from the back, and discards it out the side. We’d still recommend regular cleaning of the printer, and it’s printhead.

The Citizen CX-02 Specs Broken Down

Printer Design 

The Citizen CX-02 is the pinnacle of Dye Sublimation Photo Printing, boasting an ultra-compact, lightweight (12kg) and robust design.

We’re all looking for a Dye Sub that’s smaller, lighter and more portable. It’s one of the first things we are asked, how heavy is it!

Long gone are the days where printers are 25kg, and you have to break your back carrying them. 12kg for a dye sub which can print up to 6″ x 8″ is about as light as they come, so transporting them from your car to wherever they need to be is manageable. 

The compact design of the printer means it won’t contain as many prints as the CY-02, but the CX-02 is 1.8kg lighter, and faster. For some, this will be a worthy trade-off.


The CX-02 features Citizens rollback technology, allowing you to produce 6″ x 4″ and 6″ x 8″ prints from the CX-02 6″ x 8″ media pack, without any wastage.

Rollback is a pretty nifty feature, the CX-02 can print a 6″ x 4″, and then a 6″ x 8″ and the next time you go to print a 6″ x 4″ it rewinds the ribbon and uses the unused half of the panel!

Something which seems to be commonplace with Dye Sub Photo Printers now is an energy-saving mode, the CX-02 is no exception. When in sleep mode, the power consumption is reduced by up to 98%.

Print Manager is available for the CX-02. Free software that monitors which media size is loaded in the printer and how many prints are left on the roll amongst other features.

You even have a Hot Folder function that will auto print any photo that you drop into it. That makes it perfect for a Print All event or PhotoBooths.

Print Speed, Print Size and Print Quality

Printing photos fast is typically a high priority, with print speeds that are sub 10 seconds for a 6″ x 4″ and under 16 seconds for a 6″ x 8″ (that’s 225 6″ x 8″ prints an hour), you’re not going to be disappointed with the CX-02’s ability to churn out photos, FAST!

It’s great to see the flexibility in print size, as the CX-02 can produce 6″ x 4″, 5″ x 7″, 6″ x 8″, 6″ x 9″ with media (paper/ink) available for each size.

For all of you purists out there, no, it won’t produce a 6″ x 9″ which is the natural ratio (2:3) of most camera’s. There are several benefits to printing 6″ x 8″ over 6″ x 9″.

The CX-02 can product photos in either a Glossy or Matte finish.

You don’t need special media, just change to Glossy or Matte in the print driver, and the CX-02 adjusts the final lacquer layer to give you a Glossy or Matte finish.

The CX-02 has a 300dpi print mode for ultimate speed or 600dpi for a high-quality print.

We think this make’s a difference when you are looking for that extra edge, and although the difference is marginal, having the option to do both allows you to tailor your print set up depending on the circumstances.


The warranty period is 2 years.

As System Insight are an authorised service centre for Citizen, we’ll be the first to look at your printer if anything goes wrong. This typically means a much quicker turn around time.

Having said this, Citizen is synonymous with reliability, which is one of the reasons why we resell their products. System Insight is a company which not only sell printers but take care of the warranty, the last thing we want to do is sell unreliable printers!


The CX-02 is an excellent printer, you can’t go wrong with it. We’d go as far as saying it’s one of the best Instant Photo Printers on the market. 

It is a great allrounder. It doesn’t come with all the fancy features like some printers, which leave you scratching your head thinking ‘but what would I use that for’.

Citizen has focused on the important stuff, what matters. The ergonomics of the printer are spot on, all the little things have been considered, where the cables plug in to, how to switch it on, how to load the media. 

The image quality is great, the consumables are priced fairly and the speed is quick.

It’s great that Citizen manufacture this printer, not every printer brand make their printers, in fact, a lot get Citizen to make them.

You could spend hours searching the internet, speaking to people about what the best Dye Subs are, which ones are quicker, lighter, cheaper. You’re going to come to the same conclusion as us, it’s difficult to find a printer on the market that is better than the CX-02.