Epson PictureMate PM235 photo printer

A well-priced photo printer with expensive consumables

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 3
Epson PictureMate PM235

Pros

  • Cute design, fairly easy to use, quick print speeds, good black and white photo print quality

Cons

  • Bluetooth connectivity costs extra, expensive consumables, inkjet technology means printhead cleaning and alignment required

Bottom Line

Epson's PictureMate PM235 is diminutive and can print from a variety of memory cards and PictBridge devices. Unfortunately, print quality issues mar what is otherwise a decent option.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)

See all prices

Epson's PictureMate PM235 photo printer is a step down from the PictureMate PM270 in terms of portability and speed, but it retains good overall print quality for the price.

Aesthetically, little is different from other Epson dedicated photo printers; it has the same bucket-and-handle design of the PictureMate PM270 that, when fully opened, takes up a surprisingly large amount of room. On the inside, however, the newer model has some noticeable differences. For one, the Epson PictureMate PM235 only has a 2.5in tilting display; it's fine for viewing photos and changing settings, but is too small to edit photos.

The PictureMate PM235 can't stray far from a power point, as Epson doesn't currently offer a battery pack for it.

Two USB ports on the back allow you to connect the printer to a computer or PictBridge-capable mobile phones and digital cameras; USB flash drives aren't supported. It can also print photos directly from memory cards, with support for SD, xD, MemoryStick Pro and CompactFlash formats. Bluetooth connectivity is also available, but only by purchasing a $79 optional accessory.

Oddly, the Epson PictureMate PM235 doesn't use the dye-sublimation printing method employed by most current photo printers. Instead, it uses the same inkjet technology found in standard-sized printers and multifunctions. This means the PictureMate PM235 prints quicker than dye-sub printers, though you'll have to deal with the endless print quality issues associated with printhead cleaning and alignment, which wastes ink as well as photo paper.

The only consumable is a single inkjet cartridge that combines three individual colour inkwells and a black pigment. Epson sells the cartridges with a 150-sheet pack of photo paper for $48.99 or 33c per 4x6in photo, which is more expensive per photo than Canon's SELPHY ES3. Unlike Canon's dye-sublimation consumable, paper and ink for the PictureMate PM235 aren't physically combined, so you can use any 4x6in paper of your choosing.

The PictureMate PM235 offers "speed" and "quality" print modes, with negligible difference in print quality. However, print speeds differ significantly; you can expect a photo to print in 32-36 seconds in "speed" mode, while full quality photos will take between 1m 15s and 1m 25s.

Overall print quality is quite good: colours are vibrant, images are detailed and monochrome photos are crisp. However, we did notice a slight banding problem in colour photos. It usually occurred in colour gradients. This issue was persistent across several test photos and despite attempts to clean and realign the PictureMate PM235's print head. Photos are quite good for the home, but the printer isn't quite the "mini photo lab" Epson claims.

We prefer the slow but consistently high quality dye-sublimation method for photo printing over the PictureMate PM235's inkjet technology. Compared to Epson's highly capable PictureMate range in the US, the PM235 also seems like a raw deal, and this printer's ease of use and print quality are inferior to similarly priced models like Canon's SELPHY CP780.

Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters

Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Read more on these topics: Printers, Epson

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?