We don’t really print photographs much anymore—most of the time, there’s some display we can show them on, and for the rare times we want physical copies, it’s cheaper to order through an online service like Shutterfly than deal with the total cost of owning a photo printer. But maybe you’re more retro than that or need instant gratification with your pics, in which case you might want to read Slate’s side-by-side showdown of six different photo printers.
All but one of the middle-ranked printers are priced around $100 (the odd one out is $150). The clear winner is the Epson PictureMate Dash PM 260, an inkjet printer that averages a competitive 25 cents per print (similar to online services) and is fast and easy to use.
The worst of the bunch is the Panasonic KX-PX2M, and Slate’s reviewer flat-out states, “Don’t buy this printer.” Lines ran through every print, it doesn’t accept CF cards, the controls are hard to use, and customer support is incomplete.
Oddly, though, if you look at the actual image samples in the article, the bottom-ranking Panasonic seems to have some of the most accurate color reproduction of the bunch, while top-pick Epson’s prints are all clearly too red. Did the scans not correctly capture the visual quality? Is the writer color blind? Am I? This is why we hate printing photographs.