Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Epson America 05/10/2005 Press Release




EPSON

Press Release - May 10, 2005



At-Home Photo Printing Even More Convenient with Epson's PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition

Extension of PictureMate Line Features Premium Photo Viewer, Faster Print Speed And Enhanced Printing and Editing Features for Easier, More Versatile Digital Photo Printing




LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2005-- With digital camera adoption surging to nearly 46 million households(a), an increasing number of consumers want better solutions for printing lab quality photos in the convenience of home. One of the biggest annoyances has been having to download images onto a computer and then fuss around with software in order to format and print photos, which can be difficult and time-consuming. And what about the growing number of digital camera owners who don't even own a computer?

The top choice among consumers has been Epson's PictureMate personal photo lab, for easy printing of beautiful and affordable lab-quality 4" x 6" photos without having to use a PC or Mac. And now Epson is giving consumers yet another choice, expanding the product line with the introduction of PictureMate(R) Deluxe Viewer Edition. This premium version has all the benefits of the original PictureMate, plus new features such as a premium color LCD screen and extra printing and editing features for computer-free printing. In addition, PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition prints photos as fast as 75 seconds per lab quality print, 40 percent faster than original PictureMate(b), and supports an optional internal battery for added convenience and portability.

"Owners tell us they love PictureMate because, for the first time, they have an easy and affordable solution for printing brilliant, long-lasting lab quality photos at home without having to use a computer," noted Fabia Ochoa, group product manager, Photo Imaging, Epson. "With PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition, we've made the first and only true personal photo lab even better, with new features and enhancements that offer greater versatility and convenience for printing 4" x 6" photos at home."

PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition's new features and benefits include:

  • Built-In Premium Photo Viewer -- A high resolution, high quality 2.4" color LCD screen with tilt adjustment for easy viewing allows users to select images before printing, watch slideshows, easily crop photos and preview photo adjustments for brightness, saturation and sharpness.

  • Enhanced Editing and Printing Options -- In addition to a Personal Settings Wizard for customizing favorite print settings, only PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition features Epson's exclusive Print by Date mode for selecting and printing photos taken on certain dates. PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition also allows for manual photo adjustments for brightness, sharpness and saturation, as well as unlimited photo cropping options. And, in addition to simple printing of borderless, classic border and wallet size photos, the new PictureMate version allows for printing of 3" x 4" and mini-wallet size photos -- all without having to use a computer. Additionally, PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition includes 15 fun Disney frames with popular Disney characters such as Mickey and Friends, the Disney Princesses, and Winnie the Pooh. The Disney frames can easily be added to create a colorful and lively border to any photo before printing.

  • Faster Print Speed -- Users can print lab quality 4" x 6" photos as fast as 75 seconds -- 40 percent faster than original PictureMate.(b)

  • Improved Portability -- PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition's optional internal battery (MSRP ) supports approximately two hours of continuous printing (about 60 to 80 photos) and automatically recharges when PictureMate Deluxe is plugged into an AC.

Like the original PictureMate, this new personal photo lab is designed as a printing accessory for digital camera owners and supports all popular memory cards, as well as direct printing from PictBridge cameras. PictureMate and PictureMate Deluxe are the only dedicated 4" x 6" photo printers that directly back up photo files to, and print photos from, external USB CD-R, Zip or flash drives. This ability makes PictureMate unique, since printing and storing photos can be done completely independent of a computer. PictureMate also features wireless direct printing capabilities via an optional Epson Bluetooth Photo Print Adapter, allowing owners of Bluetooth-enabled camera cell phones and PDAs to also easily print their photos. With their compact size and handle and no need for a computer, both personal photo labs easily travel to wherever people are gathered -- from the annual family reunion to a memorable travel vacation, or just around the house.

Picture Quality

Both PictureMate models use Epson's exclusive archival six-color pigment printing technology for rich colors, perfect skin tones and smooth images that match the look and feel of traditional lab prints. This innovative archival technology also ensures superior photo longevity, including water- and smudge-resistance that is not available with other 4" x 6" ink jet photo printers, and fade resistance of up to 104 years in a glass frame and about 200 years in an album(c). PictureMate photos resist fading in a frame as much as two to four times longer than leading brands of lab prints and up to 25 times longer than photos from dye-sub snapshot printers.

"Printing at home does not mean having to sacrifice quality or durability," commented Ochoa. "Whether PictureMate users are printing from home or from their hotel room, they will get exceptional, long-lasting photos every time. In fact, third-party testing shows that PictureMate prints are the 'gold standard' for ensuring photos are preserved for your grandchildren's children to enjoy. No other digital camera photo printing option lasts longer than a PictureMate print."

PictureMate and PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition are supported by the PictureMate Print Pack, which conveniently includes a six-color ink cartridge and enough glossy photo paper to print about 100 borderless photos. Thanks to the PictureMate Print Pack Satisfaction Guarantee(d), PictureMate owners are assured they will never pay more than 29 cents a photo.

Pricing and Availability

The PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition will be available by June 2005 for a suggested retail price of . PictureMate and PictureMate Print Pack will continue to be widely available in stores at a suggested retail price of and respectively. As with PictureMate, PictureMate Deluxe Viewer Edition will be sold at consumer electronics retailers, computer superstores, mass merchandisers, office superstores and photo specialty stores. The PictureMate products also can be purchased online, via catalogs and through the EpsonStore.com. Both models come with a one-year limited warranty in the United States and Canada with Epson Exchange Warranty. More information about PictureMate products and accessories is available at www.MyPictureMate.com.

About Epson

Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) printers and transaction terminals for the retail market. Founded in 1975, Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality technology products that meet consumer demands for increased functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, California.

Note to Editors: Epson and PictureMate are registered trademarks of Seiko Epson Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any rights in those marks.

(a) Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Photo Industry 2004: Review and Forecast.

(b) Print speed based on printing without a computer, with border.

(c) Using the PictureMate cartridge and PictureMate paper, prints are predicted to last up to 200 years in archival sleeves in album storage and up to 104 years in a glass frame in indoor display conditions. See Wilhelm-research.com for test conditions. Actual print stability will vary according to image and storage or display conditions. Epson does not guarantee the longevity of prints.

(d) If you are dissatisfied because you receive fewer prints than the number of paper sheets in your Print Pack, return the remaining sheets of PictureMate paper from the Print Pack packaging within six months of purchase and Epson will refund a maximum of 29 cents per sheet, plus a maximum of .10 for postage. The Satisfaction Guarantee covers only end user claims in the U.S. and Canada, and does not cover any non-Epson ink or paper, or commercial use of the printer. For more details, go to epson.com/picturemateguarantee.





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