The Epson PictureMate Dash PM260 is the lower end offering from Epson’s 2007 Picturemate Snapshot line. It is both faster and less expensive than Epson’s 2006 lower end offering. It is extremely easy to use and has a line-up of some really great features.

The PictureMate Dash PM260 looks a lot like the PictureMates which came before it. It does however have a bigger LCD ( 3.6 inch) as compared to 2006’s high end models and the LCD can be flipped up when required. Also, instead of its all silver look, it is now two-toned and has a white and dark grey exterior. It is compact and weighs just 5.3 pounds. It is 13.6 inches in width, 4.1 inches in depth and 8.7 inches in height. It looks like a high-tech picnic basket and has a pivoting handle and lid. The lid opens to give access to the control panel and also acts as a support to the photo paper. A panel in front can open to catch the printed pictures. The Control Panel consists of a Menu button, four directional keys and an OK button for navigating the menus. It also has a zoom button, thumbnail display key and stop and start buttons. It has two memory card slots, which are positioned in the front and these accept most major types of cards. The USB port for connecting PictBridge devices, storage drives and the optional Bluetooth adaptor is placed at the back of the printer. It would definitely have been more convenient to have had the USB port in the front, but as the printer is small, it is not difficult to turn it around in order to access the USB port.

The PictureMate Dash PM260 comes with enough paper and ink to be able to print approximately twenty 4 X 6 pictures. The printer uses Four-colour printing, and the ink comes in a single, large cartridge, which fits into a slot at the back of the printer. Extra ink and paper is sold together in a print pack. In these packs the amount of ink is calibrated for the paper supplied and this makes it extremely convenient. The paper for printing is available in both, glossy and matte. Printing costs have been found to be similar to those of its competitors.

The PictureMate Dash PM260 has been designed for stand- alone use but it can be connected to a PC using the USB connection. It comes with a power cable and converter. One has an option of buying a lithium-ion battery and a Bluetooth at extra cost. The carry case, which Epson offers with its printer is extremely useful as it houses the printer, its accessories, paper and ink.

With the PictureMate Dash PM260, the photos can be displayed on the large LCD, using the many useful options integrated within. The Standard view gives a top and bottom cropped version of each picture, while the full view gives an image of the entire picture. Two more options, which are available are the half size version with five thumbnails arranged along the bottom and the sixteen thumbnail view. Within each view one has the option of choosing the picture, information on how to select the picture, number of pictures selected and the number of the particular image overlaid. There is also an option to change the number of prints required. It also has a slide show option, which can be turned on.

The Main menu allows one to choose from all photos or choose those taken on a certain date or range of dates. When both the storage device and memory card are plugged in, source selection is possible. There is also an option of transferring images from the memory card to the storage device.

The PictureMate Dash PM260 also offers many layouts and editing options. The layout choices include proofsheets, wallets prints of different sizes, passport prints, four and ten image portrait packages and CD index among others. A choice for automatic or manual enhancement is also available. Some other possibilities are rotation, cropping of pictures, added effects, removal of red eye and addition of decorations.

However, the PictureMate Dash PM260 has a major drawback where the print quality is concerned. The pictures are a little grainy and blurred around the edges. The speed on the other hand is extremely fast and gives 1.42 prints a minute.

Epson’s PictureMate Dash PM260 comes with the standard one year warranty and the other support options include manuals, documents, FAQs, drivers and downloads.

The PictureMate Dash PM260, is a photo printer recommended for those who require a PC independent printer, which is easy to use, has a wide array of functions and is extremely fast.

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