Quality Prints, Competitive Pricing

  • Ryan Shaw (PC World)
  • 04 November, 2004 08:07

Two new inkjet printers from Epson and Lexmark are both touted as photo-quality printers and are designed to appeal to digital camera enthusiasts.

Even people who may not consider themselves very tech-savvy appreciate the high ease of use and functionality of digital cameras - the point-and-shoot mentality appeals to photography amateurs and professionals worldwide. Accordingly, photo-quality printers are booming in popularity even as they reduce in price, producing convenient quality prints without visiting a development lab.

Lexmark Z818

The Z818 is excellent value for money and is targeted at the small and medium business market. If you're after a printer that offers fast print speeds and fine printing up to 4800dpi, the Z818 is hard to pass up. It delivers speeds of up to 22ppm in black and 15ppm in colour, and has a duty cycle of 3000 pages per month. Six colour ink cartridges (three colours per cartridge) are used, which are very easy to install. The unit itself is very light and is black and silver in colour. A rear fold-down tray holds the paper in place and another retractable tray collects the prints upon completion.

Lexmark Z818 printer

The Z818 doesn't support direct printing from a camera or memory card slots; it must be connected to a PC via USB 2.0 to produce prints. The vibrancy of photos was very good during testing, and borderless printing takes approximately 32 seconds per 4x6in paper.

Price: $199 Vendor: Lexmark Phone: 1300 362 192 URL: www.lexmark.com.au

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Epson PictureMate

This compact and end extremely portable unit looks more like a space-age toaster than a printer. It has a small footprint and a fold-away handle for easy transport, and uses PictBridge technology for direct connection to a digital camera. Memory card slots encompass all major memory formats and an optional Bluetooth module can be purchased to allow printing from any Bluetooth-capable mobile phones.

We noted superb colour representation during testing. Epson's range of UltraChrome Hi-Gloss inks and photo paper produces prints that are said to last 200 years in archival sleeves and 100 years in a glass frame.

Epson PictureMate

Costs are approximately 50 cents per page and the printer is priced at $399. It is a shame we couldn't get hold of this unit last month; it definitely would have given the other dedicated small form factor printers a run for their money.

Price: $399 Vendor: Epson Phone: 1300 361 054 URL: www.epson.com.au