Feedback indicates much higher print capacity
Soon after this review was first published, we received some interesting feedback concerning the capacity of the Epson PictureMate's unusual ink tank. William Studholme, from third party ink manufacturer, Jet Tec, wrote:
ďJust to let you know Ian, we have been testing the picture mate here at Jet Tec and have found it prints more than 100 prints from one cartridge. The first new install cartridge printed about 160 sheets for us using a colour photo test page. The next cartridge actually printed over 250 sheets. You can actually buy the paper separately as well. Just though you might be interested.Ē
We didnít run an ink exhaustion test while we had the printer as we only had one ink cartridge, the one supplied with the printer. Brand new printers sometimes use up a portion of the ink to charge the print head so we only run ink consumption tests on a replacement set of cartridges. We had no reason to disbelieve Epsonís figure of 100 prints per PictureMate ink cartridge, especially as the cartridge comes with a hundred sheets of photo paper.
Armed with Williamís comments, we contacted Epson for confirmation. Their line was that it was possible that their figure of a hundred sheets was a Ďsafeí figure. The last thing they want is a situation where people find they are getting less than the declared number of sheets printed by one cartridge. If Williamís experience is representative, it would seem that Epson has been very conservative.
Top up paper?
Itís great news that the ink lasts longer, but what do you do once you have run out of the supplied 100 sheets of paper. William suggested PictureMate paper was available on its own, but we havenít been able to confirm this and Epson actually recommends the use of their 6x4 inch Premium Glossy photo paper, which is actually designed primarily for use with Epsonís dye-based ink-jet photo printer range Ė the PictureMate uses a modified UltraChrome pigment ink.
We did ask whether Durabrite paper, developed for Epsonís printers that use Durabrite pigment inks, would be suitable, but no, Premium Glossy is the official recommendation.
Our experience of printing UltraChrome ink onto Premium Glossy paper hasnít been very promising when using an Epson Stylus Photo 2100 (2200 in some other countries), with the ink failing to dry quickly enough, so print rollers leave tracks in the print surface.
So we have done some extra test prints using Epson Premium Glossy, as well as Durabrite glossy. Results were not that far off the standard Picturemate paper for both types of paper, though personally Iíd probably go for the Durabrite paper as this designed to work specifically with pigmented inks, even if for Durabrite rather than Ultrachrome inks.
If you have any feedback about the Epson Picturemate yourself, please get in touch!
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