Kodak ESP 7 review
Kodak’s ESP range of all-in-one devices has always been aimed very clearly at the novice consumer. The colour cartridges come inside a single sealed compartment, and there’s no mention of anything as high brow as print resolutions in the menus or on the website.
Kodak does, however, boast of the ‘most intelligent paper tray system’ in the industry, and while that may sound a strange claim, it turns out to be quite useful. It detects the paper size so you don’t end up printing to wrong media, and there’s also a sensor to measure how many sheets are in the input tray, so it can tell if a print job is going to finish or not. A built-in duplex unit further adds to the versatility.
The on-device controls aren’t quite so intuitive, but neither are they the worst we’ve seen. A simple list menu and four-way navigation buttons mean it’s not too complex to scan and copy, while the pretty driver software makes light work of printing from your PC.
Quality, on the other hand, is hit-and-miss. In our technical test text was sharp and defined, but areas of solid colour were grainy and lacked punch. Reds were orange and photos pale, while the claims of 28-second 6 x 4in photos clearly aren’t achievable in the highest quality settings; it took 47 seconds to complete prints in this mode.
That’s still as fast as Canon’s best offerings, though, and speed on the whole is a strength. An A4 photo took under two minutes while text arrived at a more modest 5.5ppm in mono and 5.6in colour. Scans were nippy – 17s for an A4 photo at 300ppi – and the two combined for fast copying.
The enclosed cartridges make printing quite cheap too: Kodak’s figures work out at under 2p per mono page and less than 5p for colour, but its claim of 6.4p per photo doesn’t factor in the high cost of Kodak’s Premium Ultra paper – the real cost will be closer to 40p.
All in all, though, the ESP 7 is a decent enough printer for its target audience. Those who like to print high quality photos and delve into the settings will be far better served by Canon’s MP630, but if you’re after simple everyday printing with a few holiday snaps on the side, the Kodak is well worth a look.
|Resolution printer final||2400 x 9600dpi|
|Integrated TFT screen?||yes|
|Maximum paper size||A4|
|Cost per A4 mono page||2.0p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||5.0p|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||446 x 432 x 188mm (WDH)|
|Fax page memory||N/A|
|6x4in photo print time||47s|
|A4 photo print time||2min 0s|
|Mono print speed (measured)||6ppm|
|Colour print speed||6ppm|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|