The Kodak ESP 9 All-In-One Wireless printer is the latest and greatest inkjet printer from Kodak. It is a 4-in-1 machine with great new features such as paper sensors, a 10" touch panel and low cost ink.
But will it measure up to the other all-in-ones out on the market today? We'll find out!
Kodak ESP 9 Specifications
The Kodak ESP line has prided itself on being an attractive, sleek line of printers and the ESP 9 continues that tradition. The whole machine is black except for a very thin strip of yellow where the scanner lid lifts up. The front of the machine is glossy, which seems to be popular among new printer models.
The ESP 9 takes up an average amount of space; its approximate dimensions are 17.5” × 10.0” × 17.0” and it weighs about 22 lbs.
The automatic document feeder and built-in duplexer are located at the top of the machine, above the scanner lid. The automatic document feeder has adjustable paper clamps on both sides for different media and can be lifted to create more space.
Lifting the lid brings the scanner into view. Its approximate dimensions are 8.5” x 12”.
Below the scanner, there is access to the inside of the printer. The printhead and ink cartridges can be found here.
The adjustable 10” touch panel with a 3.0” LCD screen is found on the front of the machine below the scanner. The power button, number pad and menus are found on the control panel.
Both paper trays are located below the touch panels. The dedicated photo tray fits up to 5” x 7” media and has two adjustable paper clamps.
The paper tray extends to hold up to A4 sized paper and can be adjusted to fit 4” x 6” paper.
The built-in card reader is to the right of the paper trays. It is compatible with Compact Flash I, II and microdrives; SD, SDHC; MultiMedia card; xD-picture card; Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO media.
There is also a USB/PictBridge Port below the card reader.
The phone jacks, Ethernet and USB ports are all located on the back of the machine. The inside of the machine can also be accessed from the rear for resolving paper jams, etc.
Setting up the ESP 9
Out of the box the ESP 9 is similar to other printers. Take the tape off and follow the Start Here guide which takes the user through installing the ink cartridges, connecting the printer to power, connecting the printer to a PC or network and loading paper/calibrating.
Having said that, the ESP 9 is the easiest printer to set up on a network I have encountered to this day. Turn the printer on, scroll the main menu to network settings and then choose WiFi Wizard Setup.
After that the printer will scan for all available networks and populate a list. Simply, choose the correct one and then enter the pass code if one is enabled for the network. The ESP 9 does everything else and worked as soon as I downloaded the printer driver. I do not know why every printer manufacturer doesn’t make connecting to a network that easy.
The software installation was easy as well. There are two separate CD’s – one for Mac users and one for PC users. The CD will check for the latest drivers if you choose or automatically download the one on the CD.
Next, it gives the user a choice between Kodak’s “essential” install and a custom install. After that, you choose how you want to register the printer and the CD installs the drivers. It takes about fives minute in all and at the end it will ask you how you are using the printer – on a network or directly connected to a PC.
Ease of Use
The Kodak ESP 9 is as easy to use as it is to set up. The large 10” touch panel is a breeze to use and includes a 3” LCD screen. The main menu on the touch panel is divided into 10 micro menus that are pretty intuitive.
Also, as a network printer, the ESP 9 brings up a list of computers on the network so you can make sure your scanned material is saved to the right PC.
The Kodak AIO Home Center is very similar to the home center on the Dell P703w I reviewed recently – not surprising since Dell partnered with Kodak on its first all-in-one machine.
The home screen provides six options: scan, copy, print photos, configure settings, tips and projects, and a reorder center.
The Home Center overall is easy to use although I did have a problem with it closing out in the photo menu – I figured out later it kept closing because it was opening to a folder where I keep all my sample images (over a 1,000) and I think it was just too much for the center to handle.
ESP 9 Performance
The first thing I noticed about the ESP 9 was how loud it was when warming up, printing, scanning, etc. It is definitely something Kodak might want to work on in the future.
Other than the noise level, I found the performance of the ESP 9 to be good, if not great. The photo quality was good and the colors were great. When comparing it to the Epson Artisan 800’s Ultra HD photos – the best photos I’ve seen from an all-in-one printer- there wasn’t much difference. The colors weren’t as deep and the focus wasn’t quite as sharp but overall very similar in quality.
The ESP 9 has two paper trays and sensors to monitor the paper levels to avoid running out of paper in the middle of a job as well as to make sure the right paper is fed for each job.
The black and white prints were good; no noticeable smudges or faded letters. The print speeds did not live up to the advertised speeds. Kodak has 32 pages per minute as the print speed for the ESP 9 but it was considerably less, even in draft mode. It took two minutes for the ESP 9 to print 30 pages in draft mode. However, I would say that Kodak has an excellent draft mode. The black text was almost as dark as it was in normal mode.
I had no problems with the scanner which was also similar to the Dell P703w. There weren’t as many advanced features as I’ve seen on other similar printers but the resolution was good and I didn’t notice any loss of sharpness between the original and the scanned print out.
The card reader worked well and the printer brought up pictures I had stored on my flash drive as quickly as a memory card.
The fax functionality worked well; I had no problems hooking it up or using it. It has caller id and gives the user the option to “answer” the fax.
The best part about the ESP 9 is that the ink is cheap; $9.99 for a black ink cartridge, $14.99 for the six color cartridge.
The Kodak ESP 9 is a great all-in-one machine for a home or business office. All four featured devices – print, scan, copy and fax - perform above average and the only real complaint I had with it was the excessive noise it can make.
While the initial cost can seem expensive at $299.99, the ink replacement cost is low and that is hard to come by with an inkjet printer.
The ESP 9 is as good or better than similar all-in-ones i've reviewed and I would recommend the ESP 9 to anyone that needs a quality, affordable all-in-one machine.
Pricing and Availability
The Kodak ESP 9 All-in-One printer is retailing for $299.99 on the Kodak website.
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