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Epson PictureMate PM-400 review

The easiest printer to use. Ever.

PictureMate
PictureMate

If you've made it this far into the review, you're probably like me: you want a printer that's fun to use, convenient to store, doesn't require an engineering degree and won't print blurry garbage. The Epson PM-400 fits the bill, but is it worth your money?

PM-400

We liked

There's nothing more enjoyable than purchasing new technology, opening the box and getting set up without any major hiccups. You'll be hard-pressed to find anything easier to use than the PM-400. It has an intuitive installation process that even the most tech-challenged person can navigate.

Once you've got the PM-400 up and running, you'll have a ton of fun running off image after image. Although the print quality won't win you the Arles Photo Festival, you'll be proud to hang any of these prints on your wall or sit them on your desk.

The PM-400 is a delight to look at – not that this should heavily factor into which printer you should buy. It's got a pretty bone white frame that tucks away neatly, and the 4-pound printer can be easily transported wherever you go.

We disliked

Let's start with the obvious: $250 is a lot of money. I have a hard time justifying the cost of this printer. You can buy a professional-grade photo printer for less than the cost of the PM-400. So, you're paying a lot of money for something that doesn't do very much.

Additionally, the print speeds and low paper capacity are deterring factors. I don't personally mind waiting 90 seconds to print a 4 x 6 image (because I'm at a desk all day), but if my goal is to turn prints out at a fast clip, there are printers available that can double this print speed without reducing the image quality.

Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed using the Epson PictureMate PM-400. What better way to make use of the photos on my phone than to print one after another and hang them around the house? In a few hours I was able to set up the PM-400 and relive the first six months of Mila's life. I printed 125 photos and enjoyed every second of the process.

Isn't that what tech is all about – creating fun experiences that will last (physically and emotionally) for the rest of our lives? If this is what you're after, money isn't an object and you don't require professional prints, then the PM-400 is a worthwhile purchase.

Unfortunately, most people don't have $250 to spend on a niche printer. If you're looking for something in that price range, you can buy something that's faster and more powerful.

But here's the thing: I've used those printers. They're heavy, ugly and much more complicated to use. They come with a bunch of ink cartridges, they jam, their setup processes require much longer than four minutes, and oftentimes they do way more than you actually need them to do. (When's the last time you sent a fax or made a photocopy?)

So, if you happen to come across $250 – or if you want to wait a few months for the price to drop – I highly recommend the Epson PictureMate PM-400. It's a great printer for small images that were taken with large amounts of love.