Epson PictureMate PM235 photo printer
A well-priced photo printer with expensive consumables
- Cute design, fairly easy to use, quick print speeds, good black and white photo print quality
- Bluetooth connectivity costs extra, expensive consumables, inkjet technology means printhead cleaning and alignment required
Epson's PictureMate PM235 is diminutive and can print from a variety of memory cards and PictBridge devices. Unfortunately, print quality issues mar what is otherwise a decent option.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Epson's PictureMate PM235 photo printer is a step down from the PictureMate PM270 in terms of portability and speed, but it retains good overall print quality for the price.
Aesthetically, little is different from other Epson dedicated photo printers; it has the same bucket-and-handle design of the PictureMate PM270 that, when fully opened, takes up a surprisingly large amount of room. On the inside, however, the newer model has some noticeable differences. For one, the Epson PictureMate PM235 only has a 2.5in tilting display; it's fine for viewing photos and changing settings, but is too small to edit photos.
The PictureMate PM235 can't stray far from a power point, as Epson doesn't currently offer a battery pack for it.
Two USB ports on the back allow you to connect the printer to a computer or PictBridge-capable mobile phones and digital cameras; USB flash drives aren't supported. It can also print photos directly from memory cards, with support for SD, xD, MemoryStick Pro and CompactFlash formats. Bluetooth connectivity is also available, but only by purchasing a $79 optional accessory.
Oddly, the Epson PictureMate PM235 doesn't use the dye-sublimation printing method employed by most current photo printers. Instead, it uses the same inkjet technology found in standard-sized printers and multifunctions. This means the PictureMate PM235 prints quicker than dye-sub printers, though you'll have to deal with the endless print quality issues associated with printhead cleaning and alignment, which wastes ink as well as photo paper.
The only consumable is a single inkjet cartridge that combines three individual colour inkwells and a black pigment. Epson sells the cartridges with a 150-sheet pack of photo paper for $48.99 or 33c per 4x6in photo, which is more expensive per photo than Canon's SELPHY ES3. Unlike Canon's dye-sublimation consumable, paper and ink for the PictureMate PM235 aren't physically combined, so you can use any 4x6in paper of your choosing.
The PictureMate PM235 offers "speed" and "quality" print modes, with negligible difference in print quality. However, print speeds differ significantly; you can expect a photo to print in 32-36 seconds in "speed" mode, while full quality photos will take between 1m 15s and 1m 25s.
Overall print quality is quite good: colours are vibrant, images are detailed and monochrome photos are crisp. However, we did notice a slight banding problem in colour photos. It usually occurred in colour gradients. This issue was persistent across several test photos and despite attempts to clean and realign the PictureMate PM235's print head. Photos are quite good for the home, but the printer isn't quite the "mini photo lab" Epson claims.
We prefer the slow but consistently high quality dye-sublimation method for photo printing over the PictureMate PM235's inkjet technology. Compared to Epson's highly capable PictureMate range in the US, the PM235 also seems like a raw deal, and this printer's ease of use and print quality are inferior to similarly priced models like Canon's SELPHY CP780.
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Nest Hub Max (2019) review
- 2 Plantronics BackBeat Pro 5100 (2019) review
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (2019) review
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Australian review (2019)
- 5 Oppo Reno Z Australian review (2019)
Latest News Articles
- Brother pitch themselves at SMBs with new 'Inkvestment' options
- Canon unveils its latest range of Pixma Inkjet printers and CanoScan scanner series
- Epson Launches First Double-Sided A3+ 4-In-1 Inkjet EcoTank Printer
- Epson launches new Expression Premium Photo Range
- Epson Australia Unveils New Expression Home Range of Printers
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Best true wireless earbuds: Jabra vs Sony vs Beats
- The Pixel 4 has everything you expected (plus a killer price-tag)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Australian review (2019)
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?