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Kodak ESP 5250 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 125
inc VAT

Despite excellent networking features and reasonable print costs, mediocre print quality makes this an average MFP.

Specifications

colour inkjet MFP, 30ppm print speed, USB, 802.11b/g wireless, 175x422x300mm

http://www.play.com

Unlike most wireless MFPs, Kodak’s ESP 5250 doesn’t have to be connected to a PC to be configured.

Instead, you can use the menus on its 2in screen. Once connected to the network, it’s easy to add it to new or existing Kodak driver installations on your PCs.

The front of the ESP 5250 folds out into a 100-sheet paper input tray, which doubles as an output tray. Printed pages emerge from just above the input feed. This isn’t very practical for large print runs, but is no problem if you print only a few pages at a time.

The scanner interface is basic but functional, with picture and document modes. In picture mode, the scanner can recognise multiple items on the platen and scan them as separate images thanks to accurate auto-cropping. After scanning, your preview isn’t retained, but the interface remains open. Scans had accurate colours and subtle shading, but some sharp edges appeared uneven, and faint vertical bands were visible, particularly on dark areas. This isn’t enough to detract from images for the web, but could be a problem if you want to archive photos or make enlargements. Copy quality was fair, if a little fuzzy.

Standard-quality prints emerged at a slow 5ppm and were also fuzzy. Colour prints suffered from slight banding. Draft mode saw the rate double to 10.3ppm and produced dark, legible text, but some lines were slanted or broken. 6x4in photos cost around 29p including paper and are among the quickest we’ve seen at just over half a minute per print. Unusually, the ESP 5250 uses pigment-based inks for photo printing. A five-chambered colour cartridge comprises black, cyan, magenta and yellow inks, along with a clear overcoat. Photos had strong dark and light tones, but the overall effect was somewhat flat and grainy.

Although it doesn’t have individual ink tanks, the ESP 5250 has very reasonable print costs, particularly if you use coloured inks at an even rate. However, flat-looking photos and imperfect text make Canon’s MP640 a better choice if you value print quality.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 9,600×2,400dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 30ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 29ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 3m 59s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 3m 14s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 802.11b/g wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 175x422x300mm
Weight 6.4kg
Power consumption standby 6W
Power consumption idle 7W
Power consumption active 23W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4/legal
Maximum paper weight 260gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 100
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 100
Duplex (code, cost if option) No

General

Printer technology thermal inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X 10.4.8+
Other inkjet features 2.4in colour screen, automatic print head alignment, replaceable print head
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £125
Consumable parts and prices 442 page black ink cartridge (3947058), £7, 219 page colour ink cartridge (3947066), £10
Price per colour A4 page 4.6p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 442 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 219 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) 156 (Kodak)
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.play.com
Details www.kodak.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 2
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 2
Quoted photo durability 132 years
Quoted photo durability source Wilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 13s
A4 document at 150dpi 15s
A4 document at 300dpi 46s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 45s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 2m 23s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 29s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 32s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

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

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max colour copy resolution 4,800×1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A