By Rob Mead Tech Advisor | on February 01, 2010
Price When Reviewed: 150
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The Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 is a big, black and bulky multifunctional printer.
But the looks aren't all bad: the Kodak EasyShare ESP 5's curved front and yellow pin-striping are pleasing enough.
On the top left of the Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 you'll find controls for basic multifunctional printer functions, such as copying and scanning, along with a 2.9in colour LCD for navigation.
The Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 has a single input/output tray capable of holding up to 100 sheets of plain paper, but the paper guide feels flimsy. This wasn't the only build-quality issue either, most notable was the floppy scanner lid and a fragile-looking plastic arm that holds the scanner section up while you change the two ink tanks (one black, and one five-colour).
The Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 makes printing easy. The printer can automatically determine what kind of paper you're feeding and adjusts ink levels accordingly - that's great for no-fuss printing, although we'd like a bit more flexibility than the default settings.
With mono prints the Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 delivers decent black levels, thanks to the separate pigment-based black cartridge. However, it's distractingly noisy and isn't quick - it took 35 seconds to output a single page, while 10 pages took 3 minutes 30 seconds. There's no duplex option.
The Kodak EasyShare ESP 5 fared better with photo prints, taking 2 minutes 30 seconds from when we hit Print. Output using Kodak Premium Paper was disappointing. Although colours seemed accurate, the overall effect was a little washed out - something that won't please those who like their photos to have a little punch. Our test photo print from the ESP 5 passed both the water and scratch tests.
One of Kodak's USPs is the low cost of ink and paper. A single black ink cartridge costs £6.99, while the pigment-based cartridge costs £9.99. With page yields of 914 pages for both cartridges, the average cost per page works out at 4p per sheet. Print life is said to be 100 years plus, even without having to place your photos under glass.