Kodak EasyShare 5300 review
Kodak is taking a brave gamble with its first foray into the world of all-in-one inkjets, aiming to reverse the oft-bemoaned model of dirt-cheap printers and sky-high consumable costs. The EasyShare 5300 costs a hefty £119, but Kodak claims users will recoup that in no time thanks to 6 x 4in prints for just 7p each!
Surprisingly, the firm’s calculations aren’t as wildly optimistic as they first look. This 7p figure is based on a value pack containing a five-colour cartridge – cyan, magenta, yellow and a dedicated photo black, along with a tank of clear gloss – and 180 sheets of Kodak’s 3-star photo paper. With packs costing around £13, it shouldn’t take long for the 5300 to pay for itself if you print a lot of photos.
But there’s a big catch: the 3-star paper is so thin it will barely last five minutes outside the protection of an album, and when you switch to using 5-star premium paper those savings go out the window. We used the 5-star paper for our quality tests to ensure a level playing field, but this makes the 7p price rocket to more than 40p per photo.
Economics aside, the Kodak EasyShare 5300 is an intelligently designed printer, with a 3in screen that makes it a doddle to print photos from a memory card. You can select 6 x 4in paper by simply pushing in the photo tray, and on the front you’ll find two USB ports, effectively turning your printer into a hub as well.
We’re not huge fans of Kodak’s rather basic driver options, but the quality of its results was impressive. The scanner is the weakest link, with all of our test images appearing oversaturated and tinged with yellow. This didn’t affect the copier, though, with clear text and vivid graphics putting it top of the home devices. Finally, print quality wasn’t quite up there with either Canon, but certainly topped the rest of the group for detail and sharpness. As you’d expect, the quality of photos noticeably differed between the 3- and 5-star paper, with the former being grainier.
All things considered, the Kodak EasyShare 5300 is a well-designed printer, with decent quality output and some clever touches. But there’s no getting past the fact it’s expensive, and you’ll only recoup that outlay if you’re happy with less-than-premium results.