Kodak Office Hero 6.1 All-In-One Printer review

It's competent and very cheap to run, but there's little else worth holding out for in the Office Hero 6.1

8 Nov 2011
Our Rating 
2/5
Price when reviewed 
146.06
inc VAT

Specifications

print speed, USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 260x462x432mm

This inkjet multifunction peripheral (MFP) is one of the four models that together make up Kodak's new Hero range. While the other three are general-purpose devices, the Office Hero 6.1 is aimed specifically at micro offices that need one device to print, scan, copy and fax. It's not the cheapest office MFP, but it's fairly well specified, with automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, wired and wireless network connections and a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF) for multi-page copies or faxes.

The Office Hero 6.1 is hardly stylish, but it's an interesting asymmetric shape, with a racy red stripe rather than the more typical Kodak orange. It's made from matt black plastic, with a gloss black control panel punctuated by silver buttons and a 6.1cm colour screen. The menu is easy to use, but we quickly turned off the beep that accompanied each keypress.

Kodak Office Hero 6.1 All-In-One Printer

Despite opting to download the latest drivers during the installation, we got off to a shaky start. At first the printer seemed reluctant to deliver our 25-page draft text test; spitting out only a single blank page on its first attempt. The driver status panel spent more than a minute telling us it was spooling the second attempt before finally coaxing the printer into life; only on our third attempt did the printer start the job promptly and finish without problems.

Our other print tests completed without a hitch and at fairly average speeds, but the results were a little disappointing. Black text was acceptable, if very slightly jagged, but colour prints on plain paper lacked the vibrancy we'd expect from a good inkjet – we've seen better from other Kodak printers. Photographs were also quite underwhelming and wouldn't print without borders.

Our photocopying tests didn't begin too promisingly, either. With a 10-page colour document loaded in the ADF we hit the colour start button and waited while several pages were drawn through the scanner, but none emerged from the printer. After a while the scanning stopped, and the MFP helpfully suggested we disabled the default 'collate' option before retrying. Although this fixed the problem, colour copies had very poor colour accuracy, with blues in particular being blackened and darkened.

Kodak Office Hero 6.1 All-In-One Printer controls

While Kodak's TWAIN scan interface isn't as good as Canon, Epson or Brother's, it did at least work smoothly right from the beginning. Scans were reasonably quick, particularly at low resolutions, and the results were sharply focused. Photographs had good colour accuracy with just a slight loss of detail in the very darkest shades, but documents were disappointingly dark with sombre colours.

Despite the hitches we experienced this is a reasonably competent MFP, but many rivals produce better results. As with other Kodak inkjets we've reviewed, low ink costs make the Office Hero 6.1 incredibly cheap to run, but some other manufacturers are closing the gap. If you can live without wireless networking, HP Officejet 6500A is better value, while the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4535 DWF is a far better bet for anyone with a larger budget. Both have similarly low running costs.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Maximum native print resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
Max optical resolution 2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 6m 9s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 4m 12s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 260x462x432mm
Weight 9.6kg

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 290gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 200
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 200
Duplex (code, cost if option) Yes

General

Printer technology thermal inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.5
Other inkjet features 6.1cm colour screen, automatic head alignment
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £146
Consumable parts and prices £10
Price per colour A4 page 2.2p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 425 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 420 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one-year RTB
Supplier http://www.oyyy.co.uk
Details www.kodak.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 6
Number of ink cartridges 2
Maximum number of ink colours 6
Maximum number of cartridges 2
Quoted photo durability 259 years
Quoted photo durability source Wilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 7s
A4 document at 150dpi 8s
A4 document at 300dpi 22s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 40s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 1m 22s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 20s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 34s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 4m 31s

Photo Features

PictBridge support Yes
Borderless printing A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick (Pro)
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution 1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution 300x300dpi
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) 100

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