TOY BOX: You'll like what you see from PictureMate

I really wanted to love the Epson PictureMate photo printer.

I really wanted to love the Epson PictureMate photo printer.

A small gray cube with black highlights, the thing just looks so cute, like a hi-tech lunchbox or small robot buddy. (OK, perhaps I was up too late when I wrote this.)

Unfortunately, my first experience with the product wasn't great. All the pictures I printed came out blotchy and the ink came off on my hands. I discovered the fault was mine, though, not the printer's. I had put the photo paper in the feeder upside-down, so I was printing on the back of the paper - which is never a good idea with glossy paper.

When I did put the paper in correctly, everything came out fine. The printer produces 4" x 6" prints and can print them directly from a camera's memory card with no need to attach it to a computer. Its small screen instructions were easy to follow and worked well. Print quality was excellent.

This is a handy device for printing photos, especially when you may find yourself in a remote location without a computer to attach it to.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to

  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek.

    Price $199

    Available at Best Buy,,

    Specs Average cost per print, 29 cents; 5,760 x 1,440 DPI resolution, USB connection, works with Windows or Mac operating systems

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