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Epson PictureMate PM-400 Review

This machine renders top-notch results for a mid-size printer, but they come at a premium
Epson PictureMate PM-400
Credit: Jason Peters
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Price:   $250 List
Pros:  Great color rendition, good dynamic range, good tonal range
Cons:  Poor resolution, few paper options, relatively expensive
Manufacturer:   Epson
By Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Apr 6, 2020
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 13
  • Color - 35% 5
  • Black and White - 35% 7
  • Print Capabilities - 15% 5
  • Operating Cost - 10% 7
  • Set-Up - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Epson PictureMate PM-400 delivers color rendition on par with the full-size models and is surprisingly faithful to the original image. Conversely, the machine is limited to the smaller formats, maxing out at 5" x 7", which might be a good thing since the image resolution is poor. Additionally, this machine costs a pretty penny for a mid-size printer. Yet, when you add up all the pros and cons, if you want high-end results without having to go all in on a full-size machine, this model is definitely worth a look.

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Pros Great color rendition, good dynamic range, good tonal rangeBroad print dimensions, vast print mediums, low print costs, fantastic image fidelityHigh resolution, vivid colors, great dynamic rangeConsistent color, easy set-up, broad format optionsEasy to use, decent resolution, prints common sizes
Cons Poor resolution, few paper options, relatively expensiveHuge footprint, expensiveHard to set-up, big footprintMicrobanding in grayscale, relatively low definition in dark areasMicrobanding 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 rangeThis near-professional quality machine leaves little to be desiredThis is a top-tier, professional level printer at a reasonable priceThis printer yields high-quality images at a reasonable priceA 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
Color (35%)
5
8
8
6
6
Black And White (35%)
7
9
9
7
6
Print Capabilities (15%)
5
9
7
8
5
Operating Cost (10%)
7
8
7
7
5
Set Up (5%)
6
6
4
5
6
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
LCD screen Yes Yes No Yes No
Touch Screen No Yes No No No
Battery No No No No No
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)
Roller paper No Yes No No No
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
Hi-Speed USB
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)
Touch Screen No Yes No No No

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".

Performance Comparison


Credit: Laura Casner

Likes


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.

Credit: Laura Casner

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.

Dislikes


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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