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Not since Kodak launched its first range of all-in-one printers three years ago has there been a new player in the UK printer market. It’s an interesting coincidence, then, that the latest player, PC World’s Advent brand – should be using Kodak print engines in its three new all-in-ones. These are all low-cost models, with the AWP10 the most expensive of the three. Even this machine costs just under £70, though, which is the entry-level price for some of its competitors.
These aren’t simple rebadges of current Kodak machines; the marketing philosophy is very different. Kodak has an intentionally high purchase price, which it uses to offset the low cost of its cartridges. Few people can have missed the company’s recent saturation advertising, based around its ink costs.
The Advent machines are quite different, though, with low purchase prices and, as you’ll see, high running costs. This alone should differentiate the two ranges. The physical design is also quite different.
The AWP10 is surprisingly diminutive and is all cased in matt black plastic. The large flap covering half the depth of the machine lifts to become a paper input tray, which can be loaded with up to 100 sheets. It feeds through to an output tray that extends from the folded down front cover of the machine, giving it a surprisingly large footprint when open. If you need to feed photo paper, you have to remove the plain paper first.
To the right of the CIS-based flatbed scanner is a simple, well laid out control panel, with controls to zoom and rotate images displayed on the 63mm LCD screen, as well as standard menu navigation controls. The full colour screen, which is unusual in a machine at this price, is bright and clear, easily up to displaying images from SD and MemoryStick cards, plugged into the single slot in the printer’s front edge.
At the back is a USB socket, but since this is the only machine in the Advent range to support wireless connection, most people choosing it will be connecting to their Wi-Fi routers. This is pretty straightforward with an on-screen keyboard for entering any security passcode, though we were surprised the machine only registered a fair signal strength to the wireless router on the other side of our lab, when most machines see the signal as excellent. It didn't affect the printer's performance, though.
The printers are all Windows and OS X compatible, though there's no mention of Linux support, as yet. Software support covers both scanning and photo uploading, as well as a printer driver.
The two ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour, plug into the printhead, which itself plugs into the carrier, in a similar way to Kodak's own machines. It's very quick and easy to set up and replace cartridges.