- 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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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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