Kodak was always going to release two All-in-One machines. The EasyShare 5300, tested a couple of months back, left a good impression and is designed for the home market. The EasyShare 5500, reviewed here, is more a SoHo machine and comes with both Auto Document Feed (ADF) and duplexer for double-sided printing, as standard.
Again available only through DSG – PC World, Dixons Online and Currys – it comes in at £199, which is competitive with most of the opposition. Print costs, particularly for 15 x 10cm prints, come out at less than half the price of the other guys, though, at a true 7p per print.
The EasyShare 5500 has a very similar footprint to its smaller sibling and much of the hardware is shared between the two devices, too. For example, the same arrangement of A4 paper feed tray with a 15 x 10 centimetre photo paper tray set in above it, sits at the front of both machines. You switch paper sources by pushing or pulling the photo paper tray forwards and backwards.
The same twin memory card slots cater for all the common types of card and a pair of USB 2.0 sockets at the bottom can either be connected to a PictBridge camera or can take an optional Bluetooth adapter or memory drive.
The control panel juts out from the front of the machine, but doesn't run its full width, to give you better access to memory and USB sockets below. It includes an array of illuminated function keys for scanning, copying, printing photos and faxing, as well as a square of navigation keys, with OK in the centre. There are Start and Cancel buttons and a number pad for entering fax numbers.
The controls are well laid out and the menu system on the LCD display is also logically organised. Slightly surprisingly, in this more expensive model, the LCD display is smaller than in the EasyShare 5300, at just 61mm.
The main hardware differences between the EasyShare 5500 and the EasyShare 5300 are the duplexer and the ADF in the 5500. The ADF can take up to 35 sheets, making multi-page documents much easier to scan or copy.
The EasyShare 5500, like its smaller sibling, uses an external, power brick. The brick on our review sample made a constant twittering sound, as if it had a small bird trapped inside, for the whole of the test period. We hope this is a reasonably isolated problem, but the supply on the EasyShare 5300 also made odd noises.