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Kodak ESP 3 All-in-One Inkjet Printer - Kodak ESP 3 All-in-One Inkjet Printer

By Simon Williams



Our Score:


Kodak claims 32ppm for black or colour printing in draft mode from this machine. The fastest times we saw for printing our black text and text and graphics documents in normal mode were 1:21 and 1:38, the equivalent of 3.7ppm and 3.1ppm. We suspect Kodak speeds are derived from printing large documents and are measured without rasterisation or paper feed times. This measurement technique is not restricted to Kodak, of course, but it does produce very unrealistic figures.

The quality of plain paper text prints from the ESP 3 is generally reasonable, without much spatter or bleed into the paper fibre. Colour prints are also good, though with lightened tints in areas of colour fill. A colour photocopy produced good quality output from the 1,200dpi CIS scanner, though colours were further lightened, in comparison with their originals. Kodak doesn't quote print resolutions for its all-in-one machines.

Photo prints are of very good quality, with neutral colours, close to those on-screen and with a fine level of detail. Areas of varying tint, like skies, are smooth and show little noticeable dithering. It's impressive to see photos of this quality from a comparatively low-priced all-in-one.

Kodak is quite selective in the costs it quotes to get its ‘Save up to 50%' headline on consumables. You have to be printing photos and buy ink and paper in Kodak's Photo Value Pack. When printing on plain paper - the main use of an all-in-one for most people - we calculate black print costs at 2.87p and colour at 5.51p, both using standard ISO test pages and including 0.7p for paper. For comparison, under the same conditions, we measured the HP Photosmart C5280 at 2.58p and 5.12p and the Epson Stylus DX8400F at 2.72p and 6.61p, respectively.


The ESP3 does its job well, but with an asking price of £70, you have to compare it with other all-in-one in the same price bracket. If you look at the HP Photosmart C5280 or Epson Stylus DX8400F, both costing much the same as the ESP 3, they both have colour LCD displays, which makes standalone photo prints easier. The HP also has twin, covered paper trays for plain and photo paper and can print CDs, too.

You do, of course, save money on ink with the Kodak machine, but the savings aren't that spectacular, unless you're printing photos on Kodak's standard photo paper, bought in its special media pack. In the end you have to assess what you want from a £70 all-in-one: photo economy or feature-set.


March 31, 2009, 7:05 pm

I have one of thesse and am content with it's performance. Even the noise is OK but when printing e-mails, surely one of the most frequent tasks, the extreme left hand text is cropped. Kodak have replied saying they know about this, have no solution other than save to word and then print!!! This one fault alone (had I known of it) would have sent me buying elsewhere. If you print normal everyday stuff I bet there are better out there.


June 28, 2009, 9:59 pm

This is an excellent printer and it's much cheaper to run than the Epson DX8400 quoted in the review.

Your calculations on the respective cost to print a black page on this printer and the epson DX8400 are rubbish. The kodak offers far better value, at approximately 2.27p per black sheet (including your 0.7p per sheet for paper), based on kodak data, which uses iso test standards.

Using official Epson statistics, the page yield of a black cartridge (T0711) is 245 pages. The cheapest genuine T0711 costs around £7 and thats being optimistic.

Hence, if you include 0.7p per sheet of paper, the epson DX8400 will cost 3.55 pence per sheet. Your value of 2.72 is quite simply ficticious.

So in summary you are likely to save over 1 pence per sheet with the kodak printing black, and I can vouch for that.

Bob Wales

September 9, 2009, 10:36 pm

I bought one of these from Currys. Very flimsy construction. After 4 weeks and many paper jams I noticed a small cog had fallen out. Took it back to Currys. Informed I had to return it to Kodak. Phoned their 9p a min "care line", which went dead after 40 mins! Eventually told to return the printer by post and wait 3 weeks! Argued my case and had a new one sent only to find that one broken! Asked for my money back and told by Kodak that I had good cuase and a refund is on the way, but would take 8 weeks to complete! Service is non-existant and my experience of two of these printers leads me to advise others to avoid at all costs.


September 11, 2009, 2:01 pm

its an ok printer although the colours do not print out properly on normal documents (bright red comes out an orangy colour)...have to clean it about 4-5 times every time I use it...spend more on the ink as it goes a lot quicker (it starts saying its empty half way through the cartridge...the cartridges may be cheaper but unless you only use your priner once or twice a week I'd advise to steer clear! I got a diff printer in the end and although the cartridges are slightly more they last much longer there for in the long run costing us less!!

Thaj Rehman

September 12, 2009, 3:21 pm

Bought this printer 2 months back. Totally disappointed. Recurring paper jams. Finally it is sitting in my garage. If you are buying printer to print, stay away from this one.

John 46

September 27, 2009, 8:31 am

This printer is horrible. I use it to print black text ONLY. I wanted an all-in-one unit so I thought I would try it. The print speed is at best 3ppm nowhere near their claim. It uses all the color ink and very little black even when printing only black text. The scanner is good. it does make nice copies. BUT, the printing is very slow and NOT true black for text, only a shade of gray.

chris frecknall

October 7, 2009, 3:07 am

I have had a Kodak ESP3 Printer for about 3 months and use it mainly for printing easjet online check in pages, so not a very big demand one the printer as I hardly ever use it to print photos, a maximum of 10 prints in those 3 months.

I am not at all happy with it. It needs the print head cleaned just about every time I use it , and it takes many attempts of the head cleaner to get even a half resonable print, Also the cleaning process uses a vast amount of ink . getting it up and running has cost me about 20 pc of the colour and black Ink each time, well that is according to the on screen level indicator and once it shows zero colour ink

you can I believe not continue to use what Ink you have left in the cartridge, or if you can then I cant find a way !!.

If the printer does use this amount of Ink to clean the print head then where on earth does it all end up ?? this process does not use any paper !. it certainly knocks it down on the indicator and when it shows zero I am not sure that it really is empty , so I think I am having to throw away a lot of Ink that it wont let me use,

I could be wrong but I dont think I am .

The few colour photos that I have printed have been only average in quality.

I would not recommend this printer to anyone. In its favour it does look nice and seems to be quite well built. but dont let that fool you , its not cheap to run.

chris frecknall

October 7, 2009, 11:07 pm

I now have the answer from Kodak regarding being able , or not to use, your black ink if the colour is empty , as follows.

Customer Reference Number: 60578944

Dear Mr.Christopher,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your Kodak All in One printer and the problem you are experiencing.

Your question about if you can use your remaining black ink if the colour is empty, the answer is no,the printer has recorded in its memory that the black is empty, you must first clear that error before using any other function of your printer.which mean you must replace the ink that is low or finished.

Your question regarding if the colour is low or out of one colour if you can continue to print and use up the Ink that you have left,the answer is no.

Kodak printers are designed is such a way that if there is one error message with the printer to enable you to continue using the printer you must first clear the error message.

I hope this is of use to anyone thinking of buying one of these printers

If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us. If applicable, please quote your printer service number or your customer reference number.

Yours Sincerely,


Kodak Digital Imaging Support Centre

The Kodak Digital Imaging Support Centre can be contacted on any of the numbers below:

UK: 0870 243 0270

Ireland: (0) 1 407 3054

International Toll line +44 (0) 131 458 6714


Repair Status On Line Tracking Tool: http://www.kodak.com/go/rep...

Live Chat: http://www.kodak.com/go/con...

Troubleshooting and Repair http://www.kodak.co.uk/go/itg


Register your camera at: www.kodak.com/go/register

Cameras http://wwwuk.kodak.com/go/d...

Inkjet http://wwwuk.kodak.com/go/i...

Software http://wwwuk.kodak.com/go/s...

FAQ’s http://wwwuk.kodak.com/go/d...

Dealer Locator http://wwwuk.kodak.com/go/w...


December 15, 2009, 3:40 am

The printer is a piece of junk. Can hardly read the light print and the color is so light that a picture printed is useless


December 27, 2009, 8:17 am

I got this printer for a Xmas present and I've been trying for the past three hours to get it to print!! ugh!! the paper goes thru but it keeps saying Paper Jam, but i can't see any paper jammed in it....very frustrating at this point. and when the paper comes out, nothing on it??? who the heck knows eh!

robert scholes

January 15, 2010, 5:04 pm

i have suffered this piece of junk for 12 months now.my partner bought it because the ink is cheap, the ink is cheap but by the time you get the bloody thing to print the right things its empty.i am not an expert but i cannot stress enough how infuriatingly bad this printer is.

jim boyd

January 24, 2010, 5:34 pm

totally agree with comments above, had printer about 15 months not used heavily, won't work now, support from kodak about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, won't be rushing to buy anymore of their products, RUBBISH!!!!!

Paul C

February 2, 2010, 10:24 pm

This printer is a total rip off! Steer clear. I use my printer for printing photographs and pictures i've downloaded. The colours are dull, very dull compared to the pictures on the screen. The detail is ok but you would expect alot better colour. Also the ink is used up really quickly, so as usual, what they are supposedly giving you in one hand they take away with the other. What is even more frustrating is i got rid of a Hewlett Packard printer that did far superior prints!! This printer would be ok if you use it for general letters and kids homework etc, but for any photo's etc, bite the bullet and either get another printer with more expensive ink that lasts longer or just go to max Spielmann!

Matt 18

August 17, 2010, 7:04 pm

In theory it's good. Slightly more expensive but cheaper ink offsets it. Designed to be easy to use with only 2 cartridges 1 black 1 colour. Appears to be designed to break though. Look at the kodak website look through problems with the printer and printhead not working seems to come up a lot as the reason. £25 for a new one. 11 months after I bought it and have barely used it my printhead decided to break. The advisor reckons my warranty ran out 3 months before I bought it.

Needless to say I won't be bying another of their poundshop printers. Buy a proper one.


October 1, 2010, 5:06 pm

I purchased this printer about 12 months ago. Initially it printed about 10 pages in black and white and 5 A4 colour. Phoned Lodal help line whoo sent a patch tp correct this. It now prints about 40 A4 pages in B and W. absolute rubbish and does not meet their claim


August 21, 2011, 5:01 pm

I traded in my old but very reliable HP printer for a Kodak ESP5250 because I thought, as proclaimed in all the advertisements, that I would make considerable savings on the ink cartridges. What a load of rubbish! In the 3 months that I have owned this printer I have had to change the cartridges 3 times! My HP cartridges easily lasted 3 months. Don't get fooled, as I did, by the advertising. This printer is noisy and really plasticy. I so regret getting rid of my HP.

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