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Although it’s quite capable of working autonomously, with any compatible Kodak camera, the EasyShare printer dock can also be connected to a PC with a standard USB 2.0 cable, so you can print images stored or edited there.
EasyShare software is supplied with the device and this is, indeed, easy to get to know. It provides simple photo editing, as well as image management, online print ordering and email attachment.
When printing the paper is passed back and forward through the printer body, adding each of its three colours: yellow, magenta and cyan in turn. A fourth pass places a transparent gloss layer over the print, to protect it from water and scratches. Although each pass is relatively quick, there are four of them, so the overall print speed is unimpressive.
It took 68 seconds to produce a print from a PC, which is quite good, but nearly two minutes when printing straight from a camera. The P880 camera supplied by Kodak for this review is an 8megapixel device, which produced some well-balanced and highly-detailed photos, but with this size of image, the long print times could be directly related to the amount of data being processed.
Print quality is very high, with good colour balance and little swing to any particular primary. The level of detail belies the notional resolution of 300ppi and even areas of shadow in our test prints were as well reproduced as we’ve seen them.
An extra point to Kodak for making my job that bit simpler. Working out the running costs on the EasyShare printer dock involves just one division. Kodak supplies consumables in pack suitable for 40, 80, 120 or 160 prints. Each pack comprises the relevant number of 15 x 10cm print blanks and a film cartridge sufficient for that number of images.
We took the 160 pack, since that gives the best economy, and found it at just £31 from Pixmania. That gives a cost of 19p per print, which is very competitive with the best inkjet running costs, and up to 50 per cent cheaper than other thermal dye printers.
There are plenty of good things to say about the EasyShare printer dock plus series 3: it’s inexpensive, very versatile in the cameras and phones it can work with, cheap to run and produces excellent full colour, coated prints. It may not be the fastest photo-printer on the planet and it’s limited to 15 x 10cm prints, but if that’s what you want, and especially if you have a dockable Kodak camera, it a great choice. Somebody should work on that name, though.
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