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Kodak ESP 7250 review

Kat Orphanides
22 Jul 2010
Kodak ESP 7250
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

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Specifications

32ppm print speed, USB, PictBridge USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, 188x445x431mm

The ESP 7250 is near the top end of the price range for home MFPs, but Kodak clearly hopes to make up for this with the printer's low ink costs of just 4.3p per mixed-colour page. This is phenomenally cheap, giving MFP print costs similar to business inkjets like HP's Officejet 6000.

The ESP 7250 also has plenty of features to help justify its price, with an automatic duplexer, a 2.4in colour screen, a dedicated tray for smaller photographic paper, a memory card reader, PictBridge USB port, as well as 802.11n wireless and a wired 10/100 Ethernet port to go with the standard USB port. iPhone and Blackberry users can even download apps allowing them to print directly from their phones.

Kodak has opted to use a single colour cartridge, with pigmented photographic black, cyan, magenta and yellow inks, plus a clear coating designed to reduce the bronzing and improve the permanence and water-resistance of your photos. Combined-colour cartridges can have hidden costs as it's almost inevitable that you will use more of one colour than the others. Cyan is often the first to go, particularly if you're printing the snaps from a seaside holiday. However, at £12 for a 420 page colour cartridge, this still won't be a major worry. A 770 page black cartridge costs a little over £11, but the printer comes with a 425 page black cartridge and an introductory colour cartridge of undisclosed capacity.

The ESP 7250 is certainly cheap to run, but it still has to compete with the astonishing print quality of Canon's Pixma MP640. It's here that the Kodak printer's failings become apparent. Standard quality mono text looks clear and sharp, but printed at a slow 4.1ppm. Draft text was much quicker at 13.8ppm, but the letters had jagged edges and some lines of text were broken in the middle.

Our illustrated business documents were a mixed bag. Text was sharp, but normally rich areas of solid red and blue colour looked pale and insipid, while dark shaded areas looked black, rather than gradated. Light shading was perfectly smooth, though. Photo quality is good enough for snapshots, but the print head left marks even at best quality and after a re-alignment. Photos looked rather gritty, with visible dithering on areas of shading, while low-contrast images looked dull. We also found it hard to correctly align our 6x4in prints in the dedicated paper tray, which meant that many of them had fine white borders.

The integrated CIS scanner produced quick and reasonably accurate scans but we noticed occasional colour reproduction imperfections and odd pixels that were simply the wrong colour entirely. Copy quality was much worse. Mono copies had visible print head marks but were otherwise fine. Colour copies, however, were patchy, murky and slightly fuzzy.

Although it's cheaper to run, the ESP 7250 can't compete with the speed, quality and price of our Best Buy, Canon's Pixma MP640.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Maximum native print resolution9,600x2,400dpi
Max optical resolution2,400x2,400dpi
Output bit depth48-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A432ppm
Quoted speed, colour A430ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.03m 6s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.02m 58s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, PictBridge USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Optional printer interfacesnone
Size188x445x431mm
Weight8.5kg

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight260gsm
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity100
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity100
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

General

Printer technologythermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4.8+
Other inkjet features2.4in screen, automatic print head alignment, Blackberry app, iPhone app
Other inkjet optionsnone

Buying Information

Price£170
Consumable parts and prices£11
Price per colour A4 page2.9p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge425
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)N/A
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://shop.kodak.co.uk
Detailswww.kodak.co.uk

Print Quality

Number of ink colours2
Number of ink cartridges5
Maximum number of ink colours5
Maximum number of cartridges2
Quoted photo durability132 years
Quoted photo durability sourceWilhelm Imaging Research

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview5s
A4 document at 150dpi6s
A4 document at 300dpi18s
6x4in photo at 600dpi15s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi1m 5s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.024s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.033s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, CF, Memory Stick PRO, MMC, xD
CD printingNo

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies99

Fax Features

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