Epson PictureMate 500
We looked at the PictureMate 500’s predecessor for our compact photo printers feature in the May issue, and while we were impressed with the photo quality there were some areas where improvement could be made. With the PictureMate 500, Epson has addressed all the problems we found and added some extra features on top.
The first addition is a 2.4-inch colour LCD screen that allows you to preview images before printing. This is a real must when you’re printing from the memory card slots. The on-screen menu system is sophisticated, if not as attractive as those found on rival products.
The second addition is a rechargeable battery that charges automatically when the unit is plugged in. Thismakes it a genuinely portable printer and means the carry handle finally has a real use.
Epson’s blurb claims that the 500 is faster than the older model too, and it certainly is quick when you print direct from a memory card, taking 1 minute 22 seconds to print a 6x4in colour photo. But when you print from a Mac, it only shaved 17 seconds off the previous version’s time, taking two minutes to print the same photograph. However, speed is not really the selling point with this printer, it’s quality, and this is where the PictureMate 500 really shines. Picture quality is superb and it would be near impossible to distinguish its output from true photo prints.
Finally, because its made for one task and one task only, there are very few options on the printer driver which means there’s no messing about trying to getthe optimum settings and there’s very little that cango wrong.
A top-quality compact photo printer. It’s genuinely portable and the new LCD screen is a welcome addition.