Kodak ESP-3 AIO unit 

Rather like their cameras I suspect this AIO (All IN One) unit is aimed at the novice and occasional user. While not doing anything special it works reasonably efficiently and perhaps most useful has some acceptable hand holding software.
Kodak ESP 3 all-in-one colour printer
click to enlarge

The Kodak ESP-3 All-in-one printer is 41x33x16cm. However depth (middle figure) increases by 12cm when there is paper in the drop down tray waiting to be printed. All the controls are grouped together to the right of the landscape flat bed. This is a total of seven bar buttons and eight LED's all clearly marked as to their purpose. Mine was black, very un-lounge.

Like all modern USB items it's install the software first and only connect the USB lead when instructed. The installation went without problem until I tried to print a test page as unlike other units it does not change the default printer to itself. So from Windows control panel you need to select the Kodak unit and set it to default. I then found some rather unusual UK choices were also made and these again could only be changed permanently from Control Panel. Not great for a novice user to get things like paper mismatch messages.

The box claims to save 'up to 50% against other manufacturers units' I never did find if this was a media, ink or power claim. I doubt it was the latter as power is still going to light an LED at the rear of the unit even when the power switch on the unit is off.

These units allow you to copy without the PC being turned on of even connected. Doing a default copy took 70seconds. If you copy from within Windows you have choices and it is also somewhat quicker.

There is a rather nice software suite that allows and helps you to do every action from printing, to scanning and copying and while an experienced user would not want this degree of help a novice would appreciate it. Six icons appear in two rows of three. Scan Pictures and Documents, Copy Pictures, Print Pictures, Configure Settings, My Resource Centre and Order Supplies.

On the first icon there are five pre selected choices but you can go to advanced settings and manually enter your choice. The copy has seven basic options but again you can go to advanced to select exactly what you need. The print has a front end that shows thumbnails much like a number of basic standalone packages and you can do basic editing red eye removal etc. The let the unit improve option works quite well.

As a printer the basic nonsensical 200 word document printed at 16PPM. The more normal 1500 word document spread over four pages was a tad faster than 12PPM. Printing an A4 borderless print took two minutes and 40seconds it was okay but no real choices were available. The software will only print three 15x10cm images on a sheet so I choose to print two images on a page and this took the same time as the A4 image.

The scan quality was fine both for pictures and documents, normal proviso give it good input and get good output.

Trying to put myself in the shoes of a novice user 'would I like this unit' possibly. As anything else then probably not. You can of course print direct from most recent Kodak cameras and if you have one of these then you may well opt for the ESP-3

The two cartridges were in fact six ink and not the more normal four ink. Not having a TFT may make this uninviting for some. I see there is a ESP-5 shown on the Kodak site that does have a TFT. It can read from most card types. Review will follow when it arrives.

Doing my Internet searches found the Kodak ESP-3 at a best price of £59.99 including free delivery from the first link below.

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Comment by papagard, 3 May 2009 21:25

After reading the article above, I am starting to believe that I got short-changed when my ESP3 was packaged, because I did not get any software package "For Dummies" which the author speaks about.  All the software I got came pre-loaded !!

Comment by R.M. Gard, 3 May 2009 20:54

I would like to know the procedure for scanning a page or a paragraph into MS Word; I hate to type because I'm so slow at it (I'm 73 and never learned typing correctly).  The ESP-3 AIO Manual is very vague on the topic; and I'm certainly No Rocket Scientist.

I would also like to know if there is some trick to extending the use of the ink cartridges; they only last about a quarter as long as my old HP 3740 cartridges.  I got the Kodak as a gift; but I'm about to switch back to my old "Horseless Carriage", this fancy new "Muscle Machine" is just not my style !!!!

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