The Kodak ESP 7250 is a colour inkjet printer and multifunction scanner and copier, featuring good connectivity options and a decent print rate
Once upon a time, a printer that could do far more than merely print would have been novel enough to create a queue of feverish customers. Nowadays, the grizzled printer customer is much harder to impress. Even so, the 7250 deserves plaudits for its sheer wealth of features.
The connectivity options of the Kodak ESP 7250 are almost as in-depth as we dare ask for. The standard USB 2.0 is not only joined by Wi-Fi (supporting b, g and n), but there’s also a wired ethernet port, so it’ll slot seamlessly into virtually any office or home network.
It would be churlish of us to ask for Bluetooth on the Kodak ESP 7250 as well, although even this is available as an optional extra for those for whom Wi-Fi and Ethernet aren’t enough.
But there are plenty of other ways to hook up devices to your Kodak ESP 7250 as well. PictBridge is fairly standard, but the ability to lash the printer to a BlackBerry or (with a small software twist) an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, is an excellent move. Currently fairly unusual, it’ll probably seem an obligatory feature in devices a year or two from now.
A great many of today’s multifunction devices look extremely professional. In our opinion, the Kodak ESP 7250 doesn’t quite meet the sleek requirements of a typical office unit, and actually has a rather toy-like feel. It’s fairly straightforward to set up and operate though, with its large buttons and reasonably intuitive interface.
The design of the Kodak ESP 7250 printer itself is more sophisticated than some we’ve seen, with two paper trays offered. One of these is a standard 100-sheet A4 version, while the other consists of a 40-piece photo tray.
While the Kodak ESP 7250 lacks the impressive paper handling of the Canon MG5250’s dual-trays, having one dedicated to photos adds immeasurably to the printer’s ease of use – particularly since the printer can automatically detect which tray to use.
In general, we didn’t find the paper handling of the Kodak ESP 7250 to be flawless though. Several print jobs were marred by annoying pauses and delays while the printer thought about what to do next.
In fact, while good results were possible from the Kodak ESP 7250, it did need some work to get it looking at its best. With most printers, you can rely on the automatic print modes. But, with the Kodak ESP 7250, the standard options gave us banded images in the middle quality mode when using high-quality but not glossy paper.
It is possible to coax high-calibre prints from the Kodak ESP 7250, even in the middle mode, but you may have to experiment with the settings to get the most out of it.
At its quickest, the Kodak ESP 7250 turns out light and heavily banded prints at a rate of 7.9ppm. At the middle mode, speed drops off to just 3ppm.
In the highest mode, the quality is very good, with deep rich colours and good attention to detail. And the speed here is a still decent 1.2ppm. As you might expect from a printer with photo aspirations, the results on glossy paper are vibrant and fizz with life.
The Kodak ESP 7250 is very solid as a text printer. The 11.1ppm rate for the lowest quality mode still produces extremely legible (if slightly light) characters.
The 7.9ppm middle quality mode offers extremely clean text, although the overall speed leaves it lagging behind the likes of the Lexmark Prospect Pro205 and the Epson BX320FW.
Duplex is offered, and these facilities see the speed falling to just under half of the single-side speed (5.3ppm and 3.9ppm in the fast and middle modes respectively). This is just on the cusp of usability, although a tiny bit more speed wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The Kodak ESP 7250’s good-quality scanning component produced strong results. It’s also nice to see that running costs are very modest on the Kodak ESP 7250. The all-in-one colour cartridge is generally available in only one size (which Kodak seems to think is at a high enough capacity already), and produces relatively pleasing costs of around 2.9p a page.
The black cartridges are available in both medium and high capacity versions. The latter obviously gives better value for money, and produces a very palatable rate of 1.5p a page.
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