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Epson Picture Mate PM-520 Review: Click and print in less than 50 seconds

Epson Picture Mate PM-520 is a portable printer that comes with a price tag of Rs 14,299.s

Pros

Lightweight Portable Good for studio owners

Cons

Price Page size limitation

Epson has been coming up witha lotof exciting solution addressing the printer needs of consumers and professionals. Recently they added Picture Mate PM-520 to their portfolio, which isa portableprinter which can be used by professional and consumers to print photographs. It hasa pricetag of Rs 14,299.

Here we present to the review of Epson Picture Mate PM-520 but before that let’s have a look at the specifications:

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Inkjet (Piezoelectric)

Maximum Print Resolution: 5,760 x 1,440 dpi

Control Panel: 2.7 inch Colour LCD

Number of Paper Trays: 1

Standard Paper Input Capacity: 50 sheets, A5 Plain paper (75g/m2), 20 sheets, Premium Glossy Photo Paper

Maximum Paper Size: 136 x 420 mm

Paper Sizes: A5, A6, 9x13cm(3.5×5″), 10x15cm(4×6″), 13x18cm(5×7″), 16:9 wide size

Envelopes: #10(4.125×9.5″), DL (110x220mm), C6 (114x162mm)

Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, SD card

Mobile App: App for both Android and iOS, box,

Cloud: Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive

Supported OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later

Design

At just 2.3 kg), the PM-520 is a lightweight printer that won’t give you any portability issues. It’s a small printer that measures 265 mm (10.4”) x 196 mm (7.7”) x 137 mm (5.4”) in size can easily becarriedalong.

The quality of the plastic used to make the body of the printer is rugged and durable. The plastic cover that is used to protect the 2.7-inch screen though seems to be a bit fragile as compared to other flapsof the printer.

If we talk about the display, Epson chose to go with button navigation rather than a touch screen. In myopinion,it’s a good move as it simplifies the user experience. The printer hasahome, back, power direction pad and help buttons to access different settings displayed on the screen. The navigation between the buttons issmooth, intuitive and easy to use.

Setup

Epson PictureMate PM-520 is very easy toset up. One can go for wired connectivity using USB 2.0 drive or wireless (WiFi,USB and SD card ). If you go for the wired option, the process is a simple as plug and play.

In case you want to setup WiFi connectivity,the processis shortand sweet. Select the Wi-Fi settings, fromthereyou willbe promptedto select your network and you are done. Next step would be todownloadthe Epson Connect app and select the PM-250 asthe printerof choice.Once the action is completed, open the home screen on the app and selected print photo option, chose the picture that has to be printed load paper and, boom, the printer gets started with its job.

But before, settingup theconnection, power on the printer and insert the four-pronged ink cartridge – that fits only one way, so you can’t mess it up and within 3- 4 minutes for the printerwill initialise.

Performance

Onaverage,it took me 50 seconds to print and shoot a picture in A5 size using glossypaper andkeeping picture quality at standard. When I choose picture quality as ‘best” and retained all theparameters mentioned above it took me around 1: 15 seconds to complete the task.

Also, the picturequality andcolour reproductionarefantastic if youdo n’t doa lotof cropping or zooming. But in case you zoom a picture by more than 20% beforegiving the print command the prints will show grains and colour reproduction will be a bit off.

I also, noticed that that prints of photographs which had been shot in low light orTwilight didn’thave the same kind ofcolourreproduction asthose which werecapturedin broad daylight or with right lighting conditions. We did try out takingpassportphotographs, and theresultwas good with proper demarcation to cut the pictures.

Setting up the printer is a 5 minutes job and doesn’t require any special technical skills. Even using the app, Epson iPrint, is smooth asbutter. The app interface isself-explanatoryand easy to use.

So, nowlet’stalk about what we didn’t like. If you are professional, the cost of the printer can be justified over some time, but if you are using it for personal use, it is on thehigherside. Let me explain it through a real case scenario, last year on all my trips,professional and personal, I tooka lotofphotographs butgotthe print only of five pictures that too because my kid needed to submit photosof his last vacation in his school. So did I delete the remaining images? No, I stored the best ones on the cloud and uploadedsome of them on facebook.

Oh forgot to mention! I went for photo studio as well to get passport size photographs and spend RS 80 for 12 pictures. So, all in all,I spent less than RS 200 from my printing needs. But if you areprofessional or own a photo studio thing are bound to be different.

The printer does support a battery pack to provide mobility so one can carry theprinter tocare of printing needs when a person is on the move. Our unit didn’t have the battery pack so I wouldn’t be able to comment on the battery performance.

Verdict

I did enjoy using the Epson PictureMate PM-250. After a long, I hit the print button for taking out photo prints. In spite of all the goodness, ease of use, print out quality, size and mobility, the most end user will find the price of the printer and refill cartridge which is priced at around Rs 1,400 a bit steep and limitation of not able to take of A4 size printouts will weigh on the mind. But on the other, the product can be considered as a good buy for small photo studios as well as tourist photographers looking for instant prints.

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