I ordered a photo book from Apple, via Aperture. I uploaded it last weekend; it shipped the Monday immediately afterwards, and arrived in Vermont the following Monday (shipped “regular” via fedex ground).
Photos will follow, but here’s a preview: I like it! It’s pretty cool, and the quality of the printed photos is directly related to the quality of the original image.
The book ships in a plastic envelope contained within a glossy white box, which is contained within the actual shipping box.
I chose hardcover, with a black linen cover, and an image on the front, with a title. The image is printed on paper, which is (apparently) glued to the linen cover. It seems firmly affixed, though I’m not picking at the edges to check.
The insides of the covers are matte grey, as are both sides of the very first and very last pages. I can see no apple logo anywhere in the book, or any text other than what I typed. The pages are “heavy” but I’m not really sure how to describe it more accurately.
Generally, I’m very happy with the image quality. The really good originals turned into really good prints, when printed across one page (8 x 11″ / A4-ish), and even when printed across two pages (these from a 10MP Nikon D80). The colors are smooth, the blacks are deep.
There are some issues, but I attribute those to my image selection 🙂 It seems that printed quality degrades faster, specifically in the following areas:
* higher ISOs (800ish) look a bit grainy.
* washed out areas look more washed out (e.g. from direct flash)
* flat contrast looks flatter.
* less than perfect focus looks worse than on the screen.
Overall, I’m very happy. Still waiting for my book from Blurb (status has been “printing” for over a week), but I think after another book or two to test with Apple, I’ll be able to get a great book without excessive effort.