* Prices may differ from that shown
A few months ago I bought a printer from a well known company, (who I won't mention here), whose products I had used for many years, unfortunately, the printer I bought was not one of there better ones and, much to my disgust, and fell far short in what I had come to expect from the well known company.
So, I decided to try another printer from another company in the hope that this new printer would offer me more than just a great printing quality but also a way of saving money when having to go to the expense of replacing the ink cartridges.
The printer I had got my hands on was in fact from a well known company who, when I hear the name, I always instantly think of cameras and photography, but as I know that they have branched out into the technical world, as I have used many of there other products before, I didn't hesitate when choosing this product from them.
The company I am talking about is in fact called Kodak and the printer I have now been using for a few weeks, nay months now is called the Kodak ESP 7250 series all in one.
When I say all in one I mean that it's not just a printer, it's a scanner and a photo copier as well, offering more than just a chance to print out your family photos, it gives you the chance to scan and copy any documents and more.
Firstly though, let me tell you that it's not a laser printer, or any fancy modern style printer that seems to be creeping onto the market these days, it's a simple inkjet printer which requires two ink cartridges, one black, the other being combination colour. But these ink cartridges, combined with the printer, are designed to cut the cost of daily printing, making this particular printer ideal for the household of today.
The actual running cost is claimed to be around 0.03p per black text document, 0.26 for a standard photo size print and 0.10p for an A4 graphic print...
It's not the greatest looking of printers and wouldn't win any awards at the Munich's Vogue Printer show of the year ceremony, (No, there's not really a fashion show for printers so don't be asking me where you get tickets from..?). But if you're after performance rather than looks, (as my wife is, luckily for me), then this is certainly something to look into.
It's pretty much a rectangular box, being 440mm wide by 560mm deep and 190 high. On the back, slightly to the left as you look at it, there is the USB port, an Ethernet port and of course the Power cable port.
With what they call a 'rear access cleanout area' and the 'Duplexer' more to the centre.
Then on the front, which is what will no doubt be on show, to the right hand side, there is a slot for memory devices such as CF/MS/XD/SDHC, and there's also another USB port just to the side of these slots.
There's also the main control panel in the centre, which is a nice sized rectangular panel and is laid out in a simple to understand manner.
On this control panel, starting from the left, there is a small LCD screen, which shows you such things as the menu selection and images. The navigation buttons are next which allow you to scroll through your images, choosing which one you want to print. Then, next to this you have the 'Home' button, which takes you back to the 'main screen', and the 'Back' button, which takes you back one step. Then you have the 'Zoom' controls coming next, which let you resize the images before printing. Then, there's the 'start' button, with a 'cancel' button' right above it.
Finally, to the far right, there is the power button and a little light which tells you if the Wi-Fi is on or not.
The top of the printer lifts up to reveal the scanning/copier, and then underneath this is where the ink cartridges are housed, although this housing is well hidden so that the inner working can't be seen, but they can be heard.
Also inside the printer there are two paper trays, the main one being for up to A4 size paper, up to 8.5 x 14 inch, with a smaller tray inside this main one being for smaller paper, such as 4 x 6 inch up to 5 x 7 inch.
You just place the paper in the tray, with the main tray holding up to 100 sheets, whilst the smaller tray hold up to 40 sheets, and slide the tray back into the machine itself, then the wheels go into their motions and gently drag the paper sheets if and when required.
Before setting it up, in fact before thinking of buying it, you'll have to make sure that your computer can run the software that comes with this device. It will run on Windows Operating Systems from XP and above, and it will quite happily run with a MAC OS10 too.
Then, once you've made sure that it will work with your computer, it's a matter of setting it up, which is, in a word or two, a doddle, so to speak, to actually do, especially with the easy to understand instructions that come with it.
The first thing I had to do was configure it, choosing the language, setting the time and date and even turning the button sounds on or off, and more.
Then it was a simple matter of connecting it to the wireless router so that the home-network I have at home would recognise it, allowing the wireless laptops to print from anywhere in the house. The printer actually scans for any wireless networks and displays them on the LCD screen, so all you need is your SSID password to gain access.
If you don't want to print wirelessly you can opt for the USB wired method or by using an Ethernet cable.
There is a warning that I might have to disable my firewall until the printer has been recognised but all I had to do was allow access as the installation did its work.
Then it was time to install the software onto each computer, which needs to be done on all computers that you want to use with this printer. This process took around five minutes on each system but once installed it's done and dusted and you can start printing without the need for wires.
Once up and running, connected to the home Wi-Fi system, I was ready to start testing the printing capabilities of this device, unfortunately my kids soon realised that the printer was ready to go too, so they soon proceeded to begin their printing process, giving it a good test run in the first few minutes, which caused no ends of arguments as they both insisted that there 'prints' should come out first, (happy families...).
It did take a few attempts to get that perfect 'composition of colour', with some images coming out as dull as dish water whilst others came out brighter that the sun itself. But eventually, without using too much ink, I found the right settings so that the prints were coming out almost as good as you'd get from a professional printers.
And now, nearly three months of use, and many many things being printed, this Kodak printer is still going strong, although I do have to change the setting ever so slightly on some occasions when printing certain things, but as for a standard letter, with just your basic black wording, there's been no trouble at all.
As for the actual printing speeds, well, these aren't sluggish, starting from around 11 sheets per minute for a page full of text to around 2 prints per minute for top quality pictures which will give you a full colour image which is as clear as it should be.
I won't go into too much detail about actually using this device, such as how to change the settings so the printer knows which size paper you want to use, or how many prints you actually want and of what, as this could be seen as padding. But I will say that it only takes a few attempts to get the hang of how to use it, with it being so simple to get that perfect print every time.
When it actually prints you do have to pull out the tray extender and the paper stopper, but you do have to do this with any printer really.
One of the good things about this printer is the fact that you can print on both sides of the paper at once using the 'duplexer' system. This is easily achieved with some good effects, saving you a little bit of time and taking away the need to keep turning the paper over.
Apart from the printing, this is an All-in-One device remember, you can scan and copy documents and images by lifting the lid of the unit, revealing the scanner. This is then used like any other scanner, simply place what you want scanning onto the glass panel, image side down, lower the lid onto the document and press the scan in the settings, checking that the scan is how you want it before either printing it off or sending it to your computer. Using the copier is simple, the hardest thing is getting the right settings to create that perfect image, but once the settings are achieved the copied image is as good as the original, with the colours being just as clear. Plus, you can even shrink or enlarge the images, and even copy a selected part of the image to be copied using the zoom button. Again this is all trial and error and is a matter of personal preference to gain that perfect result
You can print from other devices, not just your PC, such as memory cards, flash drives, wireless smart phones and even Bluetooth devices, although for the Bluetooth you will need an adaptor which slots into the USB port.
** My overall opinion...
To be honest he main reason I bought this one was that I was thinking of the cost in the long run, thinking really about the replacing the ink cartridges that is, not the actual printer cost. Basically, with both my kids wanting things printed off almost all the time, using several small forests between them in a single week due to what they call 'school homework'.
Having mainly always used HP printers in the past, as they are cheap and cheerful, although the last one I got my hands on really wasn't a good advertisement for HP quality, and having to take out a second mortgage every few weeks in order to replace the ink cartridges in the HP's I opted for this more expensive printer in the hope that the ink replacement process would be cheaper, and to be honest it certainly is cheaper by a long shot.
The printer itself achieves great quality prints, once the right setting have been found, and the speeds are good enough for every day use. It can be noisy at times, especially when actually printing, with the whirring of cogs and juddering of something or other. Don't get me wrong, it's not excessively noisy, but I wouldn't set it going if you're trying to get some sleep at night.
The wireless feature is a boon, allowing the household to print what they want from where they want without tripping over those dreaded wires, and as the paper tray holds enough paper to re-write the New Testament on there's no worries about running out during the printing process.
As for the price, I got mine on sale at a well known store, buying it for just under £70.00, and after a quick check online I found it sells for over a hundred quid in some places, even going for as much as £120 or more.
For £70.00 I think I found a bargain, especially as, after many prints later, there's still plenty of ink left in the cartridges and covering the cost of the two ink cartridges needed should only takes around £15.00 from my wallet, (compared to the HP cost of probably triple that or more), then I've bagged a bargain.
But even after using it, and finding very little to moan about, I can't say that the higher price of £120 or more is worth paying as there are a lot of All-in-One's out there for that price which are as good if not better looking.
I purchased this printer from pcworld.co.uk (review available now!).
I was originally quite sceptical as to buying a Kodak printer, as they boasted of their low ink prices. I thought this may be a gimmick to get consumers to buy a Kodak printer, then afterwards, boost the prices up to the same price as other printer/ink manufacturers.
My printer was delivered and I was reasonably pleased with it, though slightly large but still smaller than my previous printer. It was to be used for quite heavy document printing, however it was intended to be used for photo printing too. I set the printer up, installing printhead, ink and following the step-by-step instructions on the disc. All was working fine.
It wasn't until about a month later I began noticing the print quality decreasing. White or faded lines were appearing (especially on photo prints). This irritated me as I was told on various websites that the printer was great for all round use. So I persisted in increasing the print quality to the highest setting, other than using much more ink it did very little.
Eventually after cleaning the printheads, spending £20 on more ink and getting to a point close to throwing the printer at the wall I took the printer to my local PC World store to see if the TechGuys could tell me any more. It turned out that this was a common problem with Kodak printers. The printhead had become faulty. So after paying £130 for the printer and £20 on extra inks (as you could imagine) I was slightly annoyed. I tried to stay as calm as I could with the gentleman that was serving me, however I could not help but convey my anger slightly with the position I was in.
The guy behind the desk looked it up on his system, discovered that it was possible to swap the printer for anything in store. After speaking to a sales guy I chose to go for a HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One (yet another review to write!) which had higher ink prices but I can honestly say I have never had a problem with a HP product before.
It cost £150 and my problem was resolved. However, with regards to my Kodak, I would discourage anyone from buying one and advise you to go for a HP printer instead. Ink prices may be low, but so is build quality by the looks of things.
Sorry Kodak, stick to Cameras?