- Printed photos look great, menu navigation is easy
- Prints slower than competitors
If it's compatible with your camera, the PictureMate is a good choice for affordable, top-quality snapshots.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The Epson PictureMate's design suggests portability and recreation: it has a handle and looks like a small silver-and-black boombox. Despite its size and portability, the PictureMate doesn't run on batteries, though you can buy an optional car adapter. It prints only on 4" x 6" paper, but you can have it make two wallet-size prints on one sheet.
We found the PictureMate a pleasure to use. It has a USB 1.1 port, which can support a direct link to a supported camera, an external CD writer, or a Bluetooth module. The printer also supports PictBridge and has slots for most common memory cards.
Navigating on-board menus with the four-way toggle button was easy. The menus let you print a proof sheet, pick images by number (the LCD doesn't display images), and print multiple pictures on the same sheet. You can convert prints to black-and-white or sepia-tone, and you can apply various cropping templates. The Save Photo button lets you write images from your memory card to a disc loaded in an external CD burner.
The LCD isn't backlit and suffers from distracting reflections, which can complicate reading the menus.
Many dedicated snapshot printers use dye-sublimation technology, but the PictureMate is an inkjet, with a six-ink cartridge that includes Epson's new red and blue inks. The flat, wide cartridge slides into the back of the printer. Epson provides a 20-sheet pack of paper and an ink cartridge with the printer; 100-sheet replacement packs include ink and cost $29, or 29 cents per print.
The PictureMate took two minutes and 22 seconds to print a photo from a PC--noticeably longer than other snapshot printers we have tested. But the output was worth waiting for: colours in the photo looked bright and luminous, detail popped out in sharp focus, and highlights and shadows looked natural.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
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