* Prices may differ from that shown
I have had a few printers, beginning with my dear little Epsom over ten years ago, through a very large and pleasing HP all-in-one to my last, a space saving printer/copier/fax machine from Lexmark. This last did its job, but I became more and more frustrated with the need to have exactly the right amount of paper in the holder to prevent it jamming or issuing sheets of plain paper at a rate of knots. That was without the annoyance of knowing that the price of cartridges meant that I had paid for the thing several times over just by feeding it. As our relationship deteriorated, I decided that enough was enough and I would look for a replacement. Something which only needed 2 cartridges (seems a rarity now days), that didn't cost an arm and a leg and which I could turn my back on while it did the job for which I had bought it.
Whilst browsing PC World I found what looked like just the thing, the Kodak ESP C315. It was one of only two inkjet printers I saw which needed only 2 cartridges and, what is more, they were truly inexpensive. I paid £21.98 for a duo pack of tri colour and black and they can be obtained for less. The machine cost me £69.99 and I have seen them for £61 at Pitman online. It came as a neat matt black 42cms x 28cms x 17cms width, depth and height and sits easily on a small table beside my computer desk. The paper tray folds down from the front and the whole thing is pretty space saving. As is the norm these days it prints and copies.
No usb cable came in the box and fortunately I had a spare. I plugged this into the front of my tower and connected the electric cable to the trailer socket. The disc- prompted link to my computer was a doddle. I will stress here that if you want a wonder machine or if you are in a hurry, best switch off now. Only kidding, I hope you don't.
Printing with this device is a very thoughtful process. Having pressed the correct button on my task bar there is a short pause before the paper sheet slides half way down in its slot. Another pause---wait for it, it will happen---- before I hear the printer start its measured pace towards the first sheet sliding neatly into the tray. The whole thing is accompanied by the sound of cogs turning and wheels whirring. It has all the finesse of Wallace and Gromit and the heavy speed of " The Wrong Trousers". However, both printed and copied work is clear and clean and accurate.
Replacement of the cartridge duo is simple. Just lift the top section and the unit beneath swings over to show you the spent cartridges ready to be lifted out and replaced with the new.
For me the C315 comes into its own when reproducing photos. The Kodak printer appears to have attached itself neatly to "My Pictures". This means that a right click on the pic of choice brings up a doorway into the Kodak Home Centre, ready to adjust and print - although slow to load as I have now come to expect. A generous preview of the picture lays to the right of the window with zoom invitations on the photo itself.
With Lexmark, I gave up fiddling with adjustments as I followed endless instructions followed by "next" which was rather like those annoying requests on the telephone to "press 1 for.....press 2 for....". The Kodak has 1 button choices, but editing was, even for me, simple and rewarding. A left hand box offers slider or button adjustments to be played with, including a border and a text option with change of font, size and colour with which I experimented for the sake of this review. A picture of my carp swimming in their pond was adjusted in brightness and exposure in a flash and the result compared with the original photo. It worked and I was pleased with the result.
Would I recommend my new toy? In all honesty I can't say that I could as I am sure that there are better printer/copiers out there possibly for this price. Is this the printer for dummies that I really want? Yes it is. I don't need to create a run of company reports for HSBC shareholders or the minutes of a parliamentary select committee. I am retired and have time to play a game of free cell as it clunks away. Actually it is not that slow, but you get the picture. So why am I so comfortable with it? Because for me it works. It churns out good reproductions of documents and I find the photo prints pleasing. The replacement of cartridges will not be resented because of price and above all I can go and pour my coffee knowing that I shall not return to either the "paper jammed" report or several blank pages which have sneaked out behind the single page I printed.
I suppose, to sum up, this review is for someone who wants to know what they get for not too much money and truthfully I am comfortable with my C315.
Kodak ESP C315 Multifunctional Printer
We have had this printer since February 2012 and it was working really well. One of the features that I was impressed with was the Wi-Fi capabilities of this printer and I also like the appearance of the printer too - especially when compared to the last printer I had which was an ugly, grey Epson printer (but it was a very reliable printer).
- Printer specifications (from the curry's website)
*Memory card printing (SD, SDHC, MMC, memory stick and memory stick pro)
*Up to 20 pages per minute
*2.4 inch display screen - colour
*Multifunction printer - printer, scanner, copier
*Height x width x depth: 173 x 419x 312 mm
As mentioned previously the last printer I had, before this one, was an Epson which definitely was not the prettiest printer in the world - obviously printer quality is not linked to appearance but it is nicer to have a more high-end looking printer. The printer appearance is in my opinion one of the best things about this printer (as well as the Wi-Fi, screen, speed of printing etc). The printer is mostly all black in colour and it has a few button underneath the screen. The screen is in colour and it has easy to read and easy to navigate. The screen when not printing goes into a kind of screen saver/sleep mode (until you start to print something) which shows the ink levels of the printer on the screen - which I like. The buttons are easy to press, they are clearly laid out and overall I think the printer looks quite high-end and a bit more expensive than it was. The printer also has a couple of memory card slots on the front of the printer, I have used my SD card with this printer and it works fine. This printer is a bit bigger than the Epson and it is also fairly heavier than the previous printer, at 5.4kg (nearly five and a half bags of sugar).
- Setting up the printer, Wi-Fi and navigating the printer screen menus
There is an instruction booklet and an installation cd supplied with the printer (Kodak All-in-One Printer Software CD) which works with both pc and mac - of which we have both and it works fine with both operating systems. To set up the Wi-Fi on the computer/printer you use the screen and button on the printer - not your computer. The Wi-Fi networking setup guide is included with the printer and it does not take long at all to set up - and the booklet is easy to read and follow. This printer can be connected wirelessly to your computers or it can be connect via a USB cable as well. It took about 10 minutes (maximum) to connect the printer to our route/wireless network and it took approximately 15 to 20 minutes (no longer than) to install and set up the printer software on the computers.
In terms of the printer menus on the screen, they are very easy to navigate as the menus are clearly laid out and the buttons are easy to press/use while navigating the printer's menus. There is one main menu which has numerous options to click, for example, maintenance (an opinion I have been needed to use a lot over the past few weeks). The screen is in colour and it is easy to read the text on the screen as well as view the images when my SD card is attached (although the photographs when displayed on the screen are nowhere near as clear and crisp as they are on my camera).
- Printing (via SD card printing and Wi-Fi)
I have only tried printing with the SD card from my camera (Nikon L120), as that is the only memory stick I have. The process of printing with an SD card is incredibly easy and I am a bit surprised at how easy and fuss free it was. I just placed my SD card in the slot on the front of the printer and it slotted in, not fully so don't keep pressing it in. Then the pictures show up on the screen, which I like and the photographs on my SD card fit the screen of the printer so you can see clearly which pictures you would like to print. To print them you just go through the pictures from your SD card and press 'ok' to select them and then you just press 'start' at the bottom of the printer keypad/buttons and the printer will start to print the photograph selected. I have only printed photographs as one photograph per page, so I don't know how it would print if you selected multiple photographs. When I have used my SD card to print with this printer, I have found it incredibly easy and very quick too - this is one of my favourite features of this printer!
Printing via the computer (via Wi-Fi connection) is also really easy - well, at first it was. To print from your computer, after you have set up the Wi-Fi with the printer and your computer is really easy. You just print a document, such as a word document, as you normally would - file, print etc. Then the printer will print, as long as the computer you are using to print from is in range of your Wi-Fi router. The only downside to the Wi-Fi aspect of the printer is that when the printer starts ups and prints, it is quite loud, which can make up jump - especially if you don't know that the printer is going to start printing! When the printer starts up it is really noisy (although sometimes the printer, when starting up does not make any noise, which is strange) and when the printer is printing it is fairly noisy too - which I do not like and the loud noise level was a bit of a shock as the Epson we had previously was virtually silent when compared to this printer. The print speed for this product is really good, the printer is stated to be able to print 20 pages per minute, which I personally do not think the printer could do, but it is fairly quick.
The printer does not take long to print out text only word documents, but it obviously takes a bit longer to print colour images - but not too much longer, in my opinion. Also as the printer speed is really quite quick, I find that you have to have the paper holder (where the printed pages are deposited) fully extended as the paper can fly out of the printer and on to the floor very easily otherwise. Also I have tried to print double sided with this printer (with the doubled sided option, on printer settings enabled) and it has not worked at all. Concerning the times I have tried to print double sided (to save paper) the printer has printed one side perfectly fine but then as the printer tried to print on the other side there has been a slightly disastrous paper jam every time.
Scanning documents with this printer is really easy - you just lift up the 'lid'/top section of the printer and lay the document on the scanner and use the controls/buttons on top of the printer to scan the document/photographs. You can scan and have the document/photograph printed or you can send it to a computer to be stored etc. The scanning process is like the printing speed - fairly quick, which is good and the scanner is really accurate and prints/scans the document or photographs as it was. Scanning a document is a bit noisy but it is not where near as noisy when compared to the printer printing a document or photograph.
- Reliable or not reliable, that is the question...
The reliability of this printer is the worst point about this printer. For example, one day the printer will print out a document (just black text) and it will print out perfectly fine but then later on that day the printer will print out another document (just black text) and the sentences will have lines though them or they will have parts missing. Also sometimes the printer will only print the text in colour and it will not print the text in black. Concerning photographs, the printer will very occasionally print photographs off really quite well, just like the Epson printer. But most of the time the printer will either print them off with lines through them, white/blank lines through the photographs or it has printed some photographs in completely different colours to those on the screen/document on the computer. As well as the very unreliable printing and print quality, the other problem we have been having with this printer is the connection.
The Wi-Fi connection with the printer has not been working well at all for the past two to three weeks and when this happens the printer will not print anything and a pop up shows on the computer screen saying 'printer not responding' which is very annoying and it is not due the internet connection as the internet works perfectly fine all of the time - even when this happens. So overall, this printer is extremely unreliable, which started to happen within two months or so of having the printer. The printer, the print quality and the Wi-Fi capabilities of the printer started out really well but they decreased very quickly and the printer is now having to be taken back to pc world/currys (after having this printer for a three/four months) - and has now been replaced so hopefully the new printer will not have the same problems as this one.
- Additional information (cartridge installing and quality)
The cartridges for this printer come in a set of two (black and colour cartridges) and installing them in the printer is fairly easy. You just lift the top of the printer and a section of plastic will be released which will hold up the top of the printer. You just snap off the orange section on the cartridges and push them into the correct slots on the printer - the cartridges will click when they are in place, which sometimes does not happen. The cartridges are a bit expensive in my opinion at £20 for the black and colour cartridges - the ink levels can be viewed on the printer screen. I find that the cartridge quality from the beginning has not been amazing, and the quality of the printer has decreased rapidly over the past month or so.
- Overall positives in my opinion
The overall positives in my opinion are as follows: The first positive point about this product in my opinion is the design and appearance of the printer. The printer screen, the SD card slot and the Wi-Fi capabilities are the main positive selling points of this product, in my opinion. I really like the Wi-Fi capabilities of this printer as it is just so convenient and it also means that there are no wires/cables too. The ease of setting up this printer and setting up the Wi-Fi connection between the route and the printer is really easy and it does not take very long at all. The display screen and SD card slot come in very handy, as you can control the printer from the actual printer - instead of searching though the printer settings and options on your computer. The speed of printing is another positive point, as the printer speed is really quick and it prints both text based documents and image/photograph based documents quickly, which is convenient. Other minor positive points: the installations/setup guides are really easy to read and follow, the cartridges are fairly easy to install and the printer can print 3D pictures. Although I haven't been able to try this feature as the printer cannot print a normal, basic photograph, never mind a photograph that is 3D (when viewed with the cheap, flimsy 3D paper glasses provided with the printer).
- Overall negatives in my opinion
The overall negatives in my opinion are as follows: The first minor negative is the weight of the printer, which in my opinion is fairly heavy and big. Secondly the printer is really quite noisy when starting/powering up which is a bit annoying and it is also really quite noisy when printing and also sometimes when shutting down. The main negative point, for me, concerning this printer is the issue of reliability. This printer has been so unreliable, printing off text and photographs horribly and connection issues as well. Other negatives include: cannot print double sided as doing so causes a paper jam, print head/calibration have not worked very well at trying to fix the print quality issues and the last negative point is that the printer cartridge ink levels go down fairly quickly (even when the printer has not been used that much and probably because of the printer calibration print pages printed to try to fix the print quality issues). Also the cartridges are a bit expensive, especially when compared to Epson cartridges which were two for £8 at asda!
- Price and availability
This printer was purchased from pc world/currys which are now one company I believe. We have never owned a Kodak printer (only HP and Epson before this) but I thought Kodak was a good/reliable brand. The price of this printer currently at amazon.co.uk is just over £50, currys/pc world: £59.99 (reduced from £99.99). Also the cartridges for this printer are priced at about £20, which included a black and a colour ink cartridge.
*Screen and design of the printer
*Speed of printing and scanning
*SD card slot - for convenient photograph printing
*Ease of navigating around the menus on the screen
*Ease to install printer software and easy to set up Wi-Fi on printer
*Cannot print double sided
*Very noisy - when starting up, when printing and sometimes when shutting down
*Sometimes a document (text or photographs) can have lines through it, parts missing or be a different colour when printed!
*Heavy and it does take up a fair amount of space, in my opinion
*Price of the cartridges could be considered to be a bit expensive
Thank you for reading my review - this review is also posted on ciao under my username labellavita1992