Kodak ESP 7 all-in-one inkjet printer

Photo printing doesn't get much cheaper

The device can scan at up to 4800 x 9600ppi, so is more than capable of scanning photos for enlargement and grabbing text for optical character recognition. Scan quality is fair, with some lightening of colours, but nothing that can’t be compensated for through software.

Kodak ESP 7

The ESP 7 delivers good scanner quality

One thing not normally noticeable in an inkjet all-in-one is a high noise level. While the ESP 7’s print engine is quiet enough, its paper handling is another matter. Although there's no ADF, paper feed from either of the two trays generates a lot of noise. We measured peaks of 68dBA at half a metre, louder than many laser printers. It's all the more noisy because it will often be used in a quiet home office, where it hasn't got general background noise to mask it.

The only running costs are the two cartridges and if you shop around you can find these for about £5.60 for the black and £8.20 for the colour. This gives a cost per ISO black page of about 1.6p, with 2.2p for a colour one. These figures are low, compared to, for example, the HP Photosmart C6380 which, on the same calculation, produces figures of 1.9p and 6.1p, respectively

So what about that 7p headline figure for a 15 x 10cm print? It is possible to achieve this, by buying your consumables in one of Kodak's Photo Value Packs. Each of these packs contains a five-ink cartridge and 180 sheets of paper. There's the Photo Value Pack and the Premium Photo Value Pack, the difference being the quality and thickness of the paper. The base level Photo Value Pack can be had for around £11, giving a cost per print of just over 6p.

Kodak ESP 7

Two paper trays: one for photos, one for plain

Kodak resolved to sell on price when it first launched its 5000 series of all-in-ones a couple of years back. It has continued to keep its consumables prices low, so maintaining the lowest range of running costs for small office and home office all-in-ones currently on the market.

Verdict

This is generally a good all-in-one, with reasonable print quality on plain paper, excellent photo quality and very low running costs for a comparatively low-cost inkjet. True, it’s slow and noisy, but these two attributes are outweighed by the main things most people buy a printer for: good print quality and low running costs. ®

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Kodak ESP 7

Kodak ESP 7 all-in-one inkjet printer

Good quality print at low cost, but the ESP 7 is slow and noisy.
Price: £170 RRP