The PictureMate line of small-format photo printers has always stood out, but Epson has really outdone itself this time, with its newest value addition, the sub-$100 Dash. Although the Dash is the low-cost version of the newest generation of PictureMates, it offers features I’m used to seeing only on printers that cost far more - from a surprisingly big 3.6-inch LCD screen to the ability to print from a wide range of sources. It’s also the fastest small-format photo printer I’ve seen at any price.
Though, like its predecessors, the Dash may resemble an ordinary lunchbox, opening the unit’s top cover reveals the controls and the surprisingly large 3.6-inch LCD screen panel underneath. The Dash is a little bulky, but a separate battery option helps with portability. The unit can churn out about 140 photos per charge, according to Epson.
After a simple setup, the Dash can print from a memory card, PictBridge camera, USB key, or computer. The tiltable LCD screen offers an impressive array of editing commands that let you adjust brightness and color saturation, select black-and-white or sepia modes, remove red-eye, and add frames and graphics.
The Dash is aptly named, coming in at 42 seconds per photo on our standard suite, the fastest time of any dedicated photo printer I’ve ever tested. The Dash excels in terms of output quality as well. All of the photos I printed, regardless of source, qualify as true photo quality. They’re one step down from what you might get at a professional photo lab or from a much more expensive printer, but easily a match for what you would expect from a local drugstore or photo shop. Cost per photo-25.3 cents per print for glossy and 32.3 cents each for matte-is the lowest of any dedicated small-format photo printer I’ve seen.
The Dash delivers a combination of features, speed, and output quality unheard of at this price.Epson PictureMate Dash ReviewPrice range: $99.99 directCheck This Out:Samsung CLP-300 Review: Cheap Color Laser PrinterLexmark C782n Review: Paper-Handling WizXerox Phaser 8860 Color Printer Review: A $2,500 Bargain Color Laser