By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Epson announced two new photo printers hoping to capitalize on the blistering market for dedicated 4-inch by 6-inch printers in addition to the smaller niche of advanced amateurs and discerning graphic artists.
The company updated its PictureMate standalone 4-inch by 6-inch photo printer with a Deluxe Viewer Edition that adds a tilting 2.4-inch color LCD screen alongside extra printing and editing features and support for an optional internal battery ($69) which offers up to two hours or up to 60 to 80 photos worth of printing.
The Deluxe Viewer Edition will join the existing PictureMate on the market.
The unit is 40 percent faster than its predecessor, capable of printing a 4-inch by 6-inch photo in 75 seconds. It also offers a new print-by-date mode, manual brightness, sharpness and saturation adjustments and photo cropping. The printer adds two new print sizes, 3 inches by 4 inches and mini wallet size photos, and comes preloaded with 15 Disney photo frames that can be added to pictures as borders before printing. It uses a six-color pigment ink system.
The unit supports PictBridge and the popular memory card formats, in addition to USB drives, external CD-R drives and Zip drives. The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer ships this month for a suggested retail price of $249.
For the advanced amateur, the company replaced its Stylus 2200 with the new Stylus Photo R2400 and debuted its UltraChrome K3 eight-color pigment ink set.
According to Epson, the new inks ensure a wider color gamut, improved black and white output and longer print permanence when used in conjunction with Epson photo paper.
The inks include cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta, along with a three-level black ink system that simultaneously uses black, light black and light-light black to create neutral and toned black and white prints from a single ink set, Epson said. There is a choice of two interchangeable cartridges — a photo black or matte black.
The printer's driver has been augmented with new black and white image controls, toning presets, separate controls for shadow and highlight tonality control, maximum optical density control, reduced gloss differential and custom tone control.
The R2400 can achieve droplet sizes as small as 3.5 picoliters and resolutions up to 5760 by 1440 dpi. It offers borderless printing in the various photo sizes from 4 inches by 6 inches, to 13 inches by 19 inches and panoramic sizes. It can produce an 11-inch by 14-inch photos in one minute and 47 seconds.
The R2400 ships this month for an estimated of $849.
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