Epson PictureMate PM-400 Review
Pros: Great color rendition, good dynamic range, good tonal range
Cons: Poor resolution, few paper options, relatively expensive
Compare to Similar Products
Epson PictureMate PM-400
|Price||$250 List||$800 List||$500 List||$350 List||$100 List|
|Pros||Great color rendition, good dynamic range, good tonal range||Broad print dimensions, vast print mediums, low print costs, fantastic image fidelity||High resolution, vivid colors, great dynamic range||Consistent color, easy set-up, broad format options||Easy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes|
|Cons||Poor resolution, few paper options, relatively expensive||Huge footprint, expensive||Hard to set-up, big footprint||Microbanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areas||Microbanding in larger formats, off skin tones, over saturation|
|Bottom Line||This spendy machine is among the best of mid-size printers in color rendition and dynamic range||This near-professional quality machine leaves little to be desired||This is a top-tier, professional level printer at a reasonable price||This printer yields high-quality images at a reasonable price||A quality mid-size machine that will appeal to the casual user|
|Rating Categories||Epson PictureMate...||Epson SureColor P600||Canon PIXMA Pro-100||Expression Photo...||Canon PIXMA TR4520|
|Black And White (35%)|
|Print Capabilities (15%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Set Up (5%)|
|Specs||Epson PictureMate...||Epson SureColor P600||Canon PIXMA Pro-100||Expression Photo...||Canon PIXMA TR4520|
|Resolutioin (dots per inch)||5760 x 1440||5760 x 1440||4800 x 2400||5760 x 1440||4800 x 1200|
|Max photo deminsions (inches)||5" x 7"||13" x 129"||13" x 19"||13" x 44"||8" x 10"|
|Cost per print (4" x 6" or mini print)||$0.45||$0.36||$0.40||$0.45||$0.58|
|Machine deminsions (HxWxD inches)||3.3" x 9" x 6.9"||9" x 24.2" x 14.5"||8.5" x 27.2" x 15.2"||6.3" x 18.7" x 14.5"||7.5" x 17.2" x 11.7"|
|Printing technology||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Theromal DOD)||Inkjet (Piezo DOD)||Inkjet (Theromal DOD)|
|Print time per 4" x 6" (or mini print)||86 seconds||63 seconds||55 seconds||34 seconds||128 seconds|
|Color palette (ink cartridges)||Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black||Matte Black, Cyan, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Vivid Light Magenta, Light Black, Light Light Black||Black, Gray, Light Gray, Cyan, Photo Cyan, Magenta, Photo Magenta, Yellow||Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Gray, Red||Black plus color cartridge|
|Memory cards supported||SD, SDHC, SDXC, MiniSD, MiniSDHC, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Ink type||Dye-based||Pigment-based||Dye-based||Dye-based||Pigment (black) and dye-based (color)|
|Connectivity||Hi-Speed USB 2.0/Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, WiFi Direct4 Printing from a Mobile Device:
Epson Connect 6, Epson Email Print, Epson iPrint Mobile App, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Android Printing, Remote Print
|Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print support; USB 2.0, Wireless n1, Wi-Fi Direct1 and 100Mbit Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (1 port), 100Base-T Ethernet (1 port), Wi-Fi CERTIFIED (802.11n only), Wi-Fi Direct
Epson Connect 4: Epson iPrint Mobile App, Apple Airprint, Google Cloud Print
|Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n), Ethernet
Hi-Speed USB, PictBridge (Cable not included)
|iPad, iPhone and Android tablets, Alexa and smartphones; Ethernet networking, andard Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, USB Host, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n5, Wi-Fi Direct 5, Ethernet 10/100
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n wireless networking, 2.4 GHz)
|Operating system requirements||Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 8.x (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows XP SP3 (32-bit), Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Windows 10, Mac OS X 10.6.8 — 10.10.x8;
Internet access is required to install drivers and software.
|Apple macOS 10.13.x-10.12.x, OS X: 10.11x-10.7x
Microsoft Windows®: 10, 8.1, 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
|Windows 7, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Vista SP1, Vista SP2, Windows XP SP3 32-bit Intel processor
Mac OS X v10.5.8 - 10.9.x7
|Windows 10 8/8.1/Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
Windows Vista (32-bit , 64-bit)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 — macOS 10.12.x6
|Windows:20 Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 SP1, Mac:21
Mac OS X v10.10.5 - macOS v10.13 (High Sierra)
Mobile Operating Systems:22 iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and Fire OS (Amazon Fire) devices
|Scanner||No||No||No||No||Yes (bed and feed)|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Epson PictureMate PM-400 is at the top end of the mid-size printer class in overall performance. However, this status belies the drawback inherent in this machine's performance. Case in point, this model renders colors on par with machines costing hundreds of dollars more, yet the resolution is poor. This machine has a broad dynamic range, yet it slumps in the dark grays. This machine has a below-average cost per print, but it is relatively expensive. Despite the inconsistencies, this machine fills a hole in the market left by the other mid-size models: it's compact and it kicks out quality prints up to 5" x 7".
We have to say that we were really surprised at the Epson's color output. It is top-notch. Despite some of the stepped transitions in the dark grays, we were also quite impressed with the range of tones from white to black — what is referred to as the dynamic range.
While the printer doesn't have tons of options for paper and print sizes, it has more than some of the other mid-size models. All said this machine would be a good option for printing pics for the photo album or to hang on the fridge.
The main thing we don't like about this machine is the cost. This machine is significantly more expensive than its peers and we do not see what exactly one is getting for that extra money. Ture, the color is good, but the resolution is really poor. Yes, the dynamic range is good, but not so good as to warrant the price hike.
Our tests for color and grayscale were run on both economy and high-end paper. Unfortunately, this machine's best work is done on the high-end paper, potentially adding to the long-term operating costs.
Bottom line, we do not find this machine to be a very good value. It costs significantly more than comparable machines in the same size class. Moreover, we found its attributes to be counterbalanced by its deficits.
Long story short, the results of the Epson PictureMate PM-400 tests were all over the place. In some evaluations, the machine punched way above its weight. However, the machine followed up these performances with utter flops. Add to this a hefty price tag and it should be no wonder why this machine garnered no awards.
— Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer