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Epson PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition

August 28th, 2005 · No Comments

Pmdlx_216x144I have researched the purchase of a small 4 x 6 photo printer for home use that does not require a computer to print. This Epson seems the way to go. Most are dye sublimation printers. This one is an ink jet. Prints are about half the cost at 29 cents each.  That is about the cost of an online print service or an in store machine at a drug store. Quality appears to be excellent.

This from PC Magazine:  The review is on the previous version and his concerns were addressed with the new Deluxe Viewer Edition.  Something about the word “Deluxe” that bugs me.

By M. David Stone

The original Epson PictureMate impressed us enough to earn the Editors’ Choice for dedicated photo printers, and it has held on to that position against all comers. The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition ($249.99 direct) maintains all the features we liked in the first PictureMate (from true photo-quality output to a low cost per print) and adds still more, most notably a color LCD to let you preview prints. That makes it a shoo-in as our new Editors’ Choice.

Like the original, the new PictureMate is designed for portability, but even more so. Both measure 6 by 10 by 6 inches (HWD), weigh 5.5 pounds, and have a handle and a shape that make them look like a mini boom box. But the Deluxe Viewer Edition also has a battery option ($69 direct) with enough juice for a claimed 60 to 80 prints (approximately two hours of continuous printing, according to Epson), so you can take it with you to print photos on the spot, even if there’s no place to plug in a power cord.

Setup is just as easy as with the original. Simply slide the single six-color ink cartridge—with cyan, yellow, magenta, black, red, and blue inks—into the slot in the back, load the photo paper, connect the power cord, and you’re ready to print from a camera, external CD or ZIP drive, a USB memory key, or any type of memory card, although you’ll need an adapter for miniSD cards and some Memory Stick formats. To print from your computer, the only additional steps are to connect by USB cable and run the automated install program. You can also add Epson’s optional Bluetooth adapter ($69 direct) for wireless printing.

The most obvious difference from the original model is the color LCD and a slightly different set of menu control buttons. We found the menus easy to understand and use, and the LCD bright and easy to read. The menu choices are well thought out, with options, for example, to mark individual photos or print everything. You can also set the defaults to match the settings you use most often. And you’ll find options to crop and resize photos, adjust brightness, add frames, and more. The preview images were a little blurred, but once you realize that the output won’t also be blurred, it’s easy enough to ignore that.

The Deluxe Viewer Edition also improves on the original’s performance. We timed it at 1 minute 19 seconds to 1:45 for each photo, whether printed from a computer, memory card, or Canon PowerShot S60 camera. That’s roughly a 45-second improvement in speed. Even better, the image quality is just as good, which makes it a match for film-based photos.

Both models use the same ink and paper, which means the photos for the Deluxe Viewer Edition are also waterproof and smear-proof even immediately after printing, and they cost only 29 cents per print. That’s a big saving compared to thermal-dye printers, which can cost more than twice as much—or a 30-dollar difference for every 100 photos you print.

When we reviewed the original PictureMate, we said that we’d like it even better if it had a color LCD for previewing images, but that was the only important trick it missed. The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition adds that missing color LCD, as well as faster printing and a few more tricks. And, indeed, we like it even better.

Tags: Dental Diamonds · Digital Photography · Uncategorized

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