The newest inkjet maker on the block, Kodak, has reached the third generation of its all-in-ones and the ESP 7250 builds on what's gone before. Kodak admits to a different marketing paradigm from most makers, charging more for its machines, but less – as you’ll have noticed from its current advertising campaign – for the consumables.
The ESP 7250 is a substantial, square-cut machine with a black wraparound case and a silver front panel. The top surface is textured with a matrix of small, square indentations and the front has a heavily curved paper tray module extending forward from it.
The lower of the two trays takes up to 100 sheet of A4 paper and the smaller tray, above, can handle up to 40 sheets of photo paper, from 15 x 10cm to 7 x 5in. The upper tray slides into the machine whenever you select the smaller formats and since it can auto-detect paper type, it's quite hard to confuse the machine.
The main control panel, which swings out from the front, contains a 2.4in colour LCD display and surprisingly few other controls. A four-way, silver button-ring controls menu navigation, there's a toggling zoom button for displaying photo thumbnails, two buttons marked Home and Back and another two to start and stop a copy or scan job.
At the bottom right of the front panel are two memory card slots – which between them cater for CompactFlash, SD, MemoryStick, and xD cards – and a PictBridge socket doubles as a front panel connection for USB drives.
At the back are USB and Ethernet sockets, but you can also connect the machine wirelessly, which is the easiest option if you have a wireless router to hand. You have to enter any wireless pass phrase using the button-ring, but otherwise it's straightforward.
Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and there’s a front-end application called the AiO Home Centre. This includes OCR software for scanning text and setup is painless, though the setup program tries to update virtually everything the CD provides, which can take a while on a slow broadband link.
The two ink cartridges, one black and the other five-ink, clip into the head carrier very easily and apart from the fact that you will need to replace the entire colour cartridge when a single ink has depleted, the system is well-designed. As well as the CMY inks, there's a photo black and a clear cover coat.