By Brian Chen Tech Advisor | on January 01, 2010
Price When Reviewed: £139 . (+ £4 delivery direct from Kodak)
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The Kodak EasyShare 5300 is a multifunction device that features scanning, copying, and printing capabilities.
It also comes with a special promise from Kodak: the company asserts that the Kodak EasyShare 5300 will save you money on ink, thus reducing the cost per print.
The EasyShare 5300 utilises a two-cartridge, six-ink system; the total cost for an ink refill is only £16.98 (£6.99 for black and £9.99 for five-ink colour). And although youll save money in the long run, there won't be a compromise in the quality of your scans and prints. In our testing, the EasyShare 5300 was a solid performer, with the exception of a minor scanning glitch that Kodak says it plans to fix in a software update soon.
If you'd like more options, Kodak provides two more models in the Kodak EasyShare 5300 series. The base model, the EasyShare 5100, sports the same features as the EasyShare 5300 except for the LCD screen and photo-card reader. The top-of-the-line model, the EasyShare 5500, costs £209 and adds duplexing, an automatic document feeder, and a fax.
The EasyShare 5300 is slightly bulky, weighing 9.7kg, but setting it up is a breeze. The two-cartridge ink system certainly makes ink installation easy. When we've tested other printers with two-cartridge ink systems, we usually needed to swap out the standard colour cartridge with a photo-colour cartridge whenever we wanted to print photos. Kodak's colour cartridge contains five inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, black and a protective coating for photos), so it relieves you of the hassle of cartridge swapping. After you insert the cartridges, perform a quick scanner alignment procedure, and install the MFPs drivers, the EasyShare 5300 is ready to print, scan and copy.
The Kodak EasyShare software is included with the Kodak EasyShare 5300.
You can use the Kodak EasyShare 5300's control panel to perform a quick print, scan or copy. A bright, 3in LCD screen displays an intuitive menu, which is easily navigable using an arrow-button system. You can also print your photos using the Kodak EasyShare 5300's photo-card reader on the front of the MFP (compatible with xD, SD, CF and Memory Stick) or via PictBridge.
Despite the low cost of its ink cartridges, the Kodak EasyShare 5300's print quality is impressive. Our panel of experts gave the Kodak EasyShare 5300's photo-print quality a rating of Very Good: colours were very pleasing, shadow detail was excellent, and the image was crisp and clean overall. The MFP's text quality was decent: fonts looked smooth, but some skinny capital letters of the alphabet, such as N, were slightly jagged. Text quality received a Good rating from our jury.
The Kodak EasyShare 5300's scanner is also good. Interestingly, Kodak representatives declined to disclose the optical scan resolution of the EasyShare 5300. In any case, when scanning a colour photo at 600dpi, colours reproduced accurately, and the image overall was rich in detail, earning a Very Good rating. In our 1,200dpi scan of a line chart to test the Kodak EasyShare 5300's scanner resolution, the results were impressive, except for a few irregularities found in extremely fine lines. This earned the scanner's clarity a Very Good rating.