Kodak now has a range of all-in-one inkjets for the home enthusiast and small office. Most are priced at over £100, but the new ESP 5210 is available through limited outlets at £90. So, what has been cut back to lower the asking price?
To look at the new machine, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an ESP 5250, as it’s built into the same case. The only obvious difference is the size of the LCD. The one in the ESP 5210 has a diagonal of just 43mm (1.7in) – the 5250's LCD is 61mm (2.4in) – which means that menu text appears very small, though it’s just usable.
In front of the small screen is the same column of control buttons as on recent ESPs, with a square of navigation arrows, as well as zoom and rotate buttons for photo thumbnails.
Set into the top right corner of the front panel is a single memory card slot, which can take either SD or MemoryStick cards, and a blue indicator for wireless connection. It's disappointing to see no USB/PictBridge socket on the front panel, so you can print photos directly from a camera or a USB drive. It's a small extra manufacturing cost for a lot of extra flexibility.
The centre section of the front panel folds down to become the main paper tray and a telescopic extension pulls out to act as an output tray. This is a common technique in low-cost all-in-ones, but it does increase the footprint of the machine considerably. The same tray is used for up to 100 sheets of plain paper or 30 photo blanks, though you can't load both media at the same time.
At the back is a single socket for USB connection, though we suspect many customers will use the wireless link. The printer’s firmware offers a wireless connection wizard and the on-screen alphanumeric keyboard is easier to navigate than most, making the input of WEP passcodes a quick and simple process.
Although drivers are provided on CD for Windows and Mac, the software is keen to upgrade itself and downloads files totalling nearly 100MB. On a slow broadband link, this takes a while and spoils the out-of-box experience. You can understand downloading one updated part of a software suite, but when the whole lot needs replacing, the CD becomes redundant.
Physical fitting of the print head and the two ink cartridges – one black and the other four-colour – is the work of seconds. The all-pigment inks work together with a clear cover coat, designed to produce high-gloss photo prints.