Kodak's ESP series boasts printers to suit home and office users, with the budget end currently filled by the very usable Kodak ESP C310. We got an exclusive early look at the new Kodak ESP 1.2 and can report that - along with its partner the Kodak ESP 3.2 - it's a worthy successor.
Stylish in matt black and orange trim, the Kodak ESP 1.2 is a pretty chunky feeling budget printer that won't take up much room in your home office. One thing stands out immediately though - there are fewer physical buttons on the body of the multifunction printer. These have been rethought and designed into a control panel mounted on the all-in-one. See also Group test: What's the best inkjet printer?
The “all-in-one” aspect here is the Kodak ESP 1.2's ability to print, scan and copy. Of course, printing is the real emphasis and, as expected from a Kodak device, photo printing is the focus. There's no separate tray for photo paper - it simply shares the same rear feed slot as plain. That takes 100 sheets of document paper or 20 glossy photo sheets.
Kodak inkjet printers do tend to cost a little bit more than their rivals, which can put them at a disadvantage in head to head to tests where unit price is the common factor. However, running costs are lower, with cheaper cartridges and more economical usage of ink meaning that over its lifetime the Kodak ESP 1.2 should save the extra cost of the initial purchase several times over.
As for quality, it's just the high quality you'd expect from a Kodak printer. The print time for great looking photos is a very decent 38 seconds - though printing to plain paper is a little slower with the Kodak ESP 1.2. You can also print to standard paper, card stock up to 200 gsm, envelopes and a range of odd sizes.
A more than serviceable scanner lurks under the Kodak ESP 1.2's lid, capable of reproducing images at an interpolated 9600 DPI and accepting documents around A4 size. Copying's achieved with the push of a button.
The Kodak ESP 1.2 and 3.2 are very similar indeed. In fact, they ship with the same manual. The differences between the ESP 1.2 and its slightly more expensive cousin the 3.2 are pretty much all in the control panel. The ESP 3.2 boasts a 2.4 inch touchscreen. The ESP 1.2 has a smaller LCD augmented with a few physical buttons that enable you to page through and navigate choices instead.
You can connect to WiFi, print from mobile devices, memory cards and other forms of data storage all without a PC connected. With the Kodak ESP 1.2 you can print forms and search for images on external data storage too.
The smaller screen makes it a little more difficult to preview images - especially if you're printing from a memory card or stick. Still, it's easy to navigate through folders full of images despite this disadvantage.