Pros: High quality photo prints (for a consumer printer), touchscreen LCD, dedicated photo tray, low running cost
Cons: Printing a little slow, integrated three colour cartridge
The Hero range of all-in-one printers all benefit from built in Wi-Fi and low running costs. They all make great colour and monochrome prints for home users. Still, the Hero 7.1 distinguishes itself from its cousins in key areas that make it great for home photo printing.
At the same price point as the Office Hero 6.1, the Hero 7.1 has the good looks and styling of its siblings. The modern combo of black, red and chrome is a cut above the usual, generic looks we see in lots of printers. It’s a little bigger too - but at 7.5 Kg not so heavy it can’t be moved if necessary.
All the Heros have connectivity features that make printing photographs easy. From Wi-Fi enabled Google Cloud Printing support to dual USB ports (one front and back). PictBridge technology enables you to plug your camera straight in and print. If that’s not enough, you can send documents and images from a mobile device using Kodak’s free Pic Flick app. With more and more smart phones, like the iPhone 4S, shipping with high resolution cameras, this has to be one of our favourite features.
The Hero 7.1 has two visible advantages that make it good for photographers - or anyone who wants to print from their digital camera. The first is a larger LCD screen for viewing and selecting images. Mounted on the front of the machine, at 3.5 inches it’s a full inch above the spec of the 5.1. What’s more, it’s a touchscreen, enabling you to tap through and find images to print without the need to connect to a computer.
The prints themselves are of the high quality we’ve come to expect from the Hero series, with the same 9600 dpi resolution for colour. Like it’s cousins, printing is also a little on the slow side. A plus for photo fans though, there’s a separate tray where your glossy 4x6 snaps are delivered.
Printing’s just one part of the equation. If you need to scan in old, analogue photos you’re well catered for. The 2400 dpi scanner is great for picking up the detail in all your old images. They’ll be perfect for retouching and reprinting. And, of course, it handles home office chores like document printing and copying effortlessly - though the scanner lid may struggle with anything thicker than a few sheets of paper.
Standard colour documents print crisply with solid, flat colour and photocopying is fast and easy. It’s a great little all-rounder, that just happens to be brilliant photo-printer.