Kodak ESP 3.2 review
In January this year Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that it would no longer be making digital cameras. Happily the company is still making printers, and has recently launched two new inkjet multifunction peripherals (MFPs): the ESP 1.2 and the ESP 3.2. Both are reasonably basic devices for home users, with the chief difference between them that the ESP 3.2 has a colour touchscreen and the cheaper ESP 1.2 makes do with more basic controls.
The ESP 3.2 looks subtly better than the ESP C310 that it replaces, but it's still a basic design built from uninspiring black plastic with a splash of Kodak yellow. There's a sloped paper tray at the rear and a chunky fold down tray at the front. The scanner lid is on sturdy hinges, but these don't allow it to close flat on thick originals such as a book or magazine. There are slots for three memory card types, but the printer wouldn't recognise either a FAT-formatted 512MB SD or a FAT32 16GB SDHC card.
The printer's heads and ink tanks need to be slotted into place before you can begin printing, at which point we quickly discovered that the ESP 3.2 is quite noisy by inkjet standards, particularly when printing at draft quality. Similarly, the scanner head makes quite a racket as it moves across the platen, particularly during low-resolution scans and previews. In both cases using higher quality settings slows things down and reduces the volume.
In our tests, the printer produced reasonably good-quality black text, but it was let down slightly by a subtle horizontal tearing on one line. In general it was noticeably faster than outgoing ESP C310, but it still wasn't a particularly quick printer, delivering its default quality prints at 7.7 pages per minute (ppm). Draft printing seemed quite rapid, but we experienced repeated paper jams and mis-feeds when trying to complete our 25-page timed test. After four failed attempts we gave up.
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