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Portable Picture Printers

Digital cameras are such hot sellers, that digital photo processing services are thriving, both online and in stores.

Also popular are portable printers that churn out four by six prints right from your camera.

Consumer Reports took a look at seven such printers.

This Epson commercial focuses in on all the digital pictures that are being shot, but not printed.

Well I've been hanging here for six months, mom and this picture's still on your digital camera.

The Epson picture mate claims with the push of a button you can get the most affordable lab quality prints.

Consumer Reports looked at the Epson picture mate and six other compact photo printers including HP and Kodak. Prices ranged from $150 to $250.

This test pattern is used to assess the life of an ink cartridge.

We print it over and over again, until the ink cartridge runs out.

The Epson performed very well printing more than 200 copies before going dry more than any other printer tested.

Testers also printed out snapshots to judge picture quality. They found the prints were not quite as good as those from newer inkjet printers. Still they found the quality quite acceptable.

The photo quality ranged from good to excellent. Most people would be very satisfied with these pictures.

And these compact, take-anywhere printers are convenient. The ready to go 4 by 6 prints mean you don't have to cut pictures from large photo sheets which are nearly impossible to get straight!

The portable printers are fast, much faster than standard inkjet printers.

As for the $200 Epson Picturemate, it lives up to its' claims and then some Delivering very good quality photos at 20 cents a print. It turns out that's nine cents less than Epson's estimate.

Consumer Reports says the top rated portable printer is from HP. The photo smart 375. For $189, it delivers excellent photo quality. But the prints are pricey, costing about 50 cents each.


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