Kodak's ESP printer range refresh continues with the Kodak ESP 3.2. It's a reasonably compact, nicely styled multifunction printer, aimed directly at hobbyists and home users.

At first glance, the Kodak ESP 3.2's nearest ancestor would seem to be the hugely popular Kodak ESP C310, now edging towards extinction (but still available, the last time we looked). That was, like the majority of Kodak's printing range, a solid entry - this one at the higher end of the budget printer market. See also Group test: What's the best inkjet printer?

The Kodak ESP 3.2 comes in a case that's very similar to the C310 - with an extra curve or two and a bit more of that trademark Kodak orange trim. Aside from that, the most noticeable difference is the graduation from manual buttons to touchscreen goodness.

In operation, the Kodak ESP 3.2 all-in-one is virtually identical to the slightly cheaper Kodak ESP 1.2, apart from the aforementioned touchscreen control panel.

As is becoming more common with home inkjet printers, you don't actually need to plug in the Kodak ESP 3.2 to a PC to set it up. You can install both ink cartridges (one colour, one black), load paper and print a test sheet without so much as connecting a USB cable. It supports a range of devices and connectivity options. You can print from BlackBerry, Android or iPhones, as well as tablets, slot in a memory card or, if you're hopelessly old fashioned, connect your computer when you've installed the appropriate driver.  WiFi connectivity is configured through the touchscreen control panel.

In the Kodak ESP 3.2's case "all-in-one" means print, scan and copy. The printer's easy to load with a rear feed that takes up to 100 plain sheets of A4 or 20 sheets of 4x6 photo paper. The adjusters simply nudge into place.

Kodak's schtick over the past few years has been an insistence that they deliver the lowest total cost per page and low prices for replacement ink. You may pay a little more up front, but the Kodak ESP 3.2 produces prints on photo quality paper you'll be happy to bung straight into a frame. And over the lifetime of the printer it will cost you less than ostensibly ‘cheaper' rivals.

The scanner's easily accessible under the Kodak ESP 3.2's lid and produced some fine results in our tests. We were impressed by the Kodak Home Centre software's multiple picture scan technology in this case. It enables you to scan several photos at once and save them as separate file. Copying is still a touch button affair, but in the 3.2's case the button's on a touchscreen.

The 2.4 inch touchscreen is worth a moment of exploration as it replaces a cluster of physical buttons found on its predecessor the C310 (though a few remain, built into the control panel). The screen's quite a bit larger than the ESP 1.2's - which is main difference between the two devices.

Kodak ESP 3.2: Specs

  • Inkjet Multifunction Scan/Copy Number of Colours: 4 Maximum sheet capacity with standard tray 100 sheets or 20 sheets photo paper Print resolution: Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi Standard Number of Input Trays 1 LCD Type: Colour Touchscreen: yes Screen Size: 2.4 in Maximum Size Photo 216 x 297 mm Maximum Size Document 216 x 356 Interfaces: WiFi, USB 2.0, USB thumb drive, Wi-Fi, SD, SDHC, MMC, MS, PRO Dimensions: 177 x 419 x 312 mm Weight: 5.1 K Monochrome print speed 8 ppm Colour print speed 5.5 ppm Colour 4x6 photo speed 38 seconds Scanner Type: Flatbed Scan Resolution: 24 bit 9600 interpolated DPI
  • Inkjet Multifunction Scan/Copy Number of Colours: 4 Maximum sheet capacity with standard tray 100 sheets or 20 sheets photo paper Print resolution: Up to 9600 x 2400 dpi Standard Number of Input Trays 1 LCD Type: Colour Touchscreen: yes Screen Size: 2.4 in Maximum Size Photo 216 x 297 mm Maximum Size Document 216 x 356 Interfaces: WiFi, USB 2.0, USB thumb drive, Wi-Fi, SD, SDHC, MMC, MS, PRO Dimensions: 177 x 419 x 312 mm Weight: 5.1 K Monochrome print speed 8 ppm Colour print speed 5.5 ppm Colour 4x6 photo speed 38 seconds Scanner Type: Flatbed Scan Resolution: 24 bit 9600 interpolated DPI

OUR VERDICT

Your PC is no longer the focus for Kodak's ESP range, with WiFi and support for multiple devices. Print speeds are a little on the slow side but photo printing speeds are more respectable, and the quality is worthy of the name “Kodak”. The Kodak ESP 3.2 will be good purchase for home and small office photo printers.

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