Epson PictureMate Zoom PM 290

Epson PictureMate Zoom PM 290

Epson's PictureMate Zoom PM 290 is a little dynamo of a printer.

 

It’s all Martha Stewart’s fault. Before the domestic-arts queen came into prominence, all it took to throw a party was food, drinks, music, and, of course, energetic partygoers. Those days are gone. Now, a party is a big production, with themes, festive decorations, and the one thing that really, really gets us: party favors. It’s not enough to feed your guests and give them a venue to socialize, apparently. In the New World Order According to Martha, you now have to hand out goodie bags full of trinkets. But even some clever photos will do.

 

We approached the Picture Mate Zoom PM 290 with hopes of using it as our Savior of Party Favors. Hand out wacky photos of your guests while they’re at the party, instead of days afterward via mail or on a website. But in true Martha fashion, you can’t have any ol’ printer churning out your photos. It’s got to be fast, and the pictures need to widen the eyes of all your partying friends.

 

The Zoom isn’t just up to the task - it exceeded our expectations. It’s an awesome little printer, producing stellar images at a brisk pace. Our 4-by-6-inch photos had excellent color accuracy, where everything looked the way it should - skin tones, metals, bright colors, you name it. The shadow detail is superb. It only takes about 40 seconds to print a 4-by-6, and they’re dry, right out of the printer. There’s no need to shake it like a Polaroid picture - well, unless Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” is blaring at your party. Then it only seems appropriate.

 

The Zoom doesn’t need your Mac to print. It has PictBridge and USB Direct Print support, so you can print directly from your camera. The printer has built-in slots for your memory cards and two USB ports - one for connecting to a Mac, the other for plugging in picture-packed flash drives or Epson’s optional Bluetooth Photo Print Adapter ($39) for wireless printing from Bluetooth devices. There’s even a built-in CD burner, so you can transfer files from a camera to a CD (sounds like another party favor to us).

 

You might want to have your Mac around to do some image editing, but the Zoom lets you do minor edits such as cropping, red-eye removal, and tints. The controls are easy to use, and the printer’s relatively gigantic 3.6-inch LCD is sharp and clear (a nice touch, since we occasionally have one too many when we party, if you know what we mean).

 

The lunchbox-like Zoom has a carrying handle, but for it to be a truly portable printer, you need to spend $50 on the PictureMate 200-Series rechargeable battery. Epson sells replacement ink and paper in Print Packs, and you might want to buy a couple at a time. The Matte Print Pack ($32.99) comes with 100 sheets, while the Glossy Print Pack ($37.99) has 150. Our only major quibble with the PM 290 is that it prints only 4-by-6-inchers. It can’t do 5-by-7-inch prints.

 

The bottom line. We liked the Zoom so much, we decided to throw a party just so we can show off the printer and have something to print. Of course, the printer isn’t just limited to party fare; it’s a 4-by-6 workhorse for the office, home, or even on location. Good times, good times.

 

COMPANY: Epson

CONTACT: www.epson.com

PRICE: $199

REQUIREMENTS: USB

Marvelous picture quality. Portable. Good speed.

Stock up on ink and paper. 4-by-6-inch prints only.

 

 

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Lorrie

EVERYONE HAS GREAT REVIEWS ON THIS PRINTER BUT YOU CAN NOT FIND IT ANYWHERE. EPSON CAN NOT EVEN TELL YOU WHEN THEY WILL HAVE THESE IN, I HAVE A PICTUREMATE PRINTER BUT I WANTED TO UPGRADE AND I CAN NOT GET ANY ONE TO TELL ME WHERE I CAN GET IT OR WHEN IT WILL BE AVAILABLE. EPSON NEEDS TO GET ON THE BALL IF THEY WANT TO SELL THESE. I AM VERY UPSET!!!!

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reddy.hkcs

   Top post. I look forward to reading more. Cheersparty products

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Paul

Nice review - except that the product appears to be vaporware. Epson lists it as out of stock and it does not appear to ba available anywhere: Ebay, Amazon, BestBuy, BH Video, Abes of Maine, Adorama, Crutchfield...

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