Kodak ESP-3 review

£78
Price when reviewed

Kodak’s ESP-3 is one of the best-looking all-in-one machines in the Labs: the glossy black chassis curves elegantly and eschews the boring grey of many other machines this month.

Kodak ESP-3 review

Unfortunately, the Kodak is almost entirely a triumph of style over substance. In operation, the ESP-3 is awkward to use – the 2.4in LCD, utilised so well in the Canon Pixma MP610, isn’t clear about which options are available or what’s happening: there’s no scanning progress bar, for instance, just a message to confirm that scanning is actually taking place.

Other aspects of the ESP-3 seem odd, too: there’s no option to scan in either standard or draft settings – it’s best or nothing, which doesn’t bode well for speed or file sizes. It’s also noisy.

Print quality isn’t impressive either, with only standard documents and photos providing respectable results, though they pale in comparison to most other machines here. Draft documents and colour documents were even worse.

Scanning and copying didn’t fare any better, either. The ESP-3 provided the worst scanning results on test. Standard-quality copies were handled reasonably well, but colour copies and photographs, again, lacked sharpness and accuracy.

The ESP-3 is reasonably cheap to run. Its combined colour tank ran out almost simultaneously with the black, so wastage isn’t an issue – and it worked out as cheap for photos as the better models here.

One positive aspect of the ESP-3 is its operating speed. Standard-quality documents were printed at 5.3ppm – quicker than five other machines on test – with colour documents being produced at a reasonable 2.6ppm.

While a 6 x 4in photo took almost three minutes to scan, documents and pictures at lower detail settings were far quicker: a 150ppi letter was produced in 15 seconds, which was only beaten by two other machines. Impressively, this figure only rose to 17 seconds when the Kodak was tasked with an A4 photo.

The speed, though, isn’t enough to mask the Kodak’s myriad faults. Quality is poor across the board, it’s awkward to use and it’s dear for what you get, which leaves us with little to recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Colour?yes
Resolution printer finalNot stated x Not stateddpi
Integrated TFT screen?yes
Rated/quoted print speed30PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno

Running costs

Inkjet technologyThermal
Ink typePigment-based

Power and noise

Dimensions422 x 298 x 173mm (WDH)

Copier Specification

Fax?no
Fax speedN/A
Fax page memoryN/A

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time45s
Mono print speed (measured)5ppm
Colour print speed3ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing?yes
CD/DVD printing?no
Input tray capacity100 sheets

Connectivity

USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?no
Bluetooth connection?no
WiFi connection?no
PictBridge port?yes

Flash media

SD card readeryes
Compact Flash readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
xD-card readeryes
Other memory media supportMMC

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?no
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?no
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no
Software suppliedKodak EasyShare Suite

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