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PC World has started producing its own printers, or at least Kodak has started doing it for them. These printers are similar in some ways to Kodak’s own range, but there are significant differences, not least in the prices.
Kodak made a conscious decision, when it launched its first all-in-ones, that their asking price would be relatively high and a major selling point would be the correspondingly low cost of ink cartridges. This policy has done well for the company and carved it a niche in a crowded market, to which it arrived late.
PC World, part of the Dixons Stores Group (DSG), works in a different way, with its own-brand offerings – under the Advent label – always very keenly priced. In the case of its printers, the A10 entry-level model comes in at just under £50. So how does this compare with other entry-level all-in-ones?
The A10 has a solid and workmanlike appearance, with a slight curve to its front edge and a red keyline on the top cover of its scanner. The large, rear paper tray folds up from on top of the machine and keeps the mechanism simple, without the need for a telescopic support. The 1,200dpi flatbed scanner is a simple, single-sheet device and to the right of this is an equally straightforward control panel.
There are 10 buttons in total, with a large square of menu navigation arrows and a single Start button among them. A small, but useful, 38mm colour LCD is set into the top panel and can be viewed from a surprisingly wide angle, both horizontally and vertically. Set into the front edge of the machine is a single memory card slot, which can take SD and Memory Stick cards, but no xD, without an adapter.
The front panel folds down to become the output tray and this one does have a two-stage telescopic support, which pulls out and increases the printer’s overall footprint quite substantially.
Lift the scanner section of the machine and a spring-loaded support flips out to hold it in place, so you can install or replace the twin ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour. The use of a tri-colour cartridge, without a photo black or clear overcoat is the main difference between the Advent machines and their Kodak cousins.
The only data connection is a USB socket at the back and power is delivered through an in-line black brick in the mains cable.
Clipping the printhead and cartridges into place is the work of moments, and installing the software is equally uncomplicated, although it can involve downloading lengthy updates. The software provided is the same as for the other two printers in the range and covers all printing, scanning and photo uploading essentials.