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Kodak ESP 5210 - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams



Our Score:


Kodak claims speeds of 29ppm in colour and 30ppm in black. We assume these are for draft mode prints, so we printed a five-page text document in draft mode to start with. While it is considerably quicker than normal print mode, which is the default, we still saw no more than 8.8ppm, less than a third of the claimed figure.

Kodak ESP 5210 top

In normal mode, the black print speed is around 4.4ppm, though on a longer 20-page document it does rise to 5.1ppm. On the first run of this test, the printer paused for over two and a half minutes before starting up as if nothing had happened. This only occurred once and the second run completed without a hitch. Printing our five-page black text and colour graphics test produced 3ppm.

These speeds are quite acceptable for an inexpensive all-in-one, so it's a shame Kodak, like most of its competitors, feels the need to hype them out of all proportion to what will typically be seen.

Kodak ESP 5210 paper tray

The quality of the prints is pretty good, with reasonably clean black text showing only a very occasional character misshape. Draft mode print is lighter than normal mode, with occasional misalignment from line to line but, as the term suggests, it should be quite suitable for draft documents.

Colour print is bright and attention-grabbing, though there's slight haloing of black text over coloured backgrounds. A colour photocopy produced reasonably accurate colours and although text was considerably fuzzier, it's still OK for day-to-day use. Photo prints are generally sharp, with good colour rendition and reasonable foreground detail, though a lot of this is lost in areas of shadow

Kodak vaunts the low running costs of its inkjet printers and we can confirm that costs come out considerably lower than most of its competitors. We calculate a black page cost at 2.1p and a colour page at 4.4p, both including 0.7p for paper.


As we’ve noticed before, new models in Kodak’s range aren’t always better value than what they replace. Compare the ESP 5210 with the ESP 5, for example, which started life at £89 and is still available for around £65. The older machine had a 76mm (3in) LCD and card readers for SD, MemoryStick, xD and CompactFlash cards, plus a port for PictBridge cameras. The ESP 5210 drops all but SD and MemoryStick and has a comparatively meagre 43mm (1.7in) display, though it does include wireless network support. Even so, since the design and print engine is very similar in both, it’s hard not to recommend the earlier machine over this one.

Bill H

August 28, 2011, 4:50 am

Maybe Kodak should stay with Cameras and stay out of the printer business. Printed and copied 20 pages the first day, 2nd day paper jam code. There is no paper jam and after several attempts to clear the code it still will not clear. What a piece of junk!


September 21, 2011, 11:06 am

I started a small business and purchased a Kodak ESP 5210. The first few days that I used it everything was great so I decided to buy a second one. After several day's of using the printers I have had nothing but problems with both of them. I have had to reinstall the software into my computer on several occasions and one of them is not working anymore. I do NOT recommend this printer to anyone.


September 21, 2011, 6:00 pm

When I managed to get mine connected to the network (only 2 weeks out of the last four months so far)...I tried to print on some branded inkjet labels, which managed to wrap themselves around the roller...

Mine worked wirelessly for about a week then it went completely haywire and I've had problems ever since...hope you don't get the same network problems too!

Absolutely waste of money this printer...couldn't agree more! In fact just 4 months old and I'm ditching it for a HP or Epson.


September 30, 2011, 9:40 pm

The Kodak ESP 5210 is absolutely the worst printer I have ever bought. For the first couple of weeks it worked ok, although heavy on cartridges, after that it has just been a nightmare. It gobbles ink cartridges, continually misfeeds paper (so you can end up printing three/four copies of a document before getting a semi-decent version). BE WARNED - DO NOT PURCHASE ONE !!!!!

Chris P

October 11, 2011, 12:33 pm

Don't touch it, or any other Kodak printer if you are buying on the basis of perceived ink savings.

Like many others, I bought the Kodak 5210 based on advertising and promotion about ink price. Kodak incessantly rabbits on about being the lowest price ink replacement with comments on its advertising saying "Print and Prosper" and "Beautifully Cheap Printing". What they don't tell you is that they consume way too much ink, that you cannot use the printer if one of the cartridges fails or if you replace one cartridge, you inevitably have to replace both of them. Don't be misled by their cleverly manipulated advertising.

It doesn't do what it says on the tin.


March 19, 2012, 8:37 pm

I don't usually write reviews, so this is the exception.
I've got the Kodak ESP 5250, essentially the same as the 5210 on this page.
AVOID this series of printers:
* It DRINKS INK like no-one's business. Yes the replacements are cheap, but the cost mounts up. I've even taken to writing the date on the print cartridges to remind me when I put a replacement in –it's not long between replacements and I'm not a heavy user of the printer.
* WIFI is hit and miss. Now there could be other factors, such as home network issues. But there are too many times when the printer hangs and/or I have to kill the Kodak processes to get the printer to do anything. I have the latest software updates too.
* Print quality. Was fine to start, but soon deteriorated. Print output is usable, but you may have to print a few times in different quality settings to get the output you need.
* Scanning. Again hit and miss. Sometimes it scans first time, other times the scanner will only work after it has been switched off and back on.

It's 2012. There's been 20+ years to perfect printers. The ESP should just work. First time, every time.
I'm afraid I won't be buying another Kodak printer. And I suspect I'll be buying another printer within a year of purchasing this one. Very annoying.


February 6, 2013, 1:50 pm

I purchased this printer December 2010 and [for most of the time since] it's been nothing but a "pain in le derriere"! Wholeheartedly agree with everything said in the previous comments! Currently, simply can't get it to print even a test page! Have tried resolving problems through Troubleshooting, Kodak AIO Home Centre Support, Kodak Online Support but all to no avail!!! So, think my best [perhaps only] option now is to purchase a new printer but it definitely won't be a Kodak!!!


March 7, 2013, 4:41 am

Marcus John. Please wait while I review your question.
Marcus John: If you have an incident reference number from a previous contact or from a My Support on-line session, please provide that to me.
glen swiger: i dont have 1
Marcus John: No problem, I can certainly help you with this I would just like to get some information about your printer before we begin.
Marcus John: What is the model number of your printer?
glen swiger: ok
glen swiger: esp5210
Marcus John: Thank you, May I please have the Kodak Service Number for your printer? You can find this number by opening the printer access door like you are going to change the ink cartridges. This number will be located on the left hand side.
glen swiger: w087982
Marcus John: In what month and year was this printer purchased?
glen swiger: i have used the printer 24 times changed the ink cartridges and it will not print
glen swiger: 05 2012
glen swiger: i have went through the clean print head process and all
Marcus John: Where was this printer purchased?
glen swiger: its like the print head cloged
glen swiger: walmart
Marcus John: I am glad that you have given us an opportunity to assist you and will make sure to provide you with the best resolution possible.
glen swiger: ok ty
glen swiger: i removed the print head and there is clear tubes you can not see the ink
glen swiger: i have bought 3 different ink cartriges for it
Marcus John: Okay, May I know are you getting blank prints or missing colors?
glen swiger: it has blank pages no color or black
Marcus John: In order to check the exact issue , We need to print a test page from the printer.
glen swiger: i am just upset spending money on a printer that ive only used a couple dozen timess now wont work
Marcus John: On the control panel of the printer, press Home.
Select Maintenance, then press OK.
Select Print Test Page, then press OK.
Press Start.
Marcus John: I do understand please try to print a test page and Review the printed test page and verify that:
o the left color blocks are cyan and black.
o the right color blocks are magenta, yellow, and black.
o each block is completely filled with color
glen swiger: ive done thatseveral times along with cleaning the print heads and still blank pages
Marcus John: Is it completely blank or do you see any ink on the test page?
glen swiger: its blank
Marcus John: Have you tried printing the test page from the printer or from the computer?
glen swiger: the ink is good my mom has the same rpinter and it works in hers
glen swiger: printer and computer
Marcus John: Okay, May I know are you using Kodak Ink cartridges?
glen swiger: ive went through every step to clean and all with no results
glen swiger: yes
Marcus John: IMPORTANT: If you are not going to use your printer for an extended period of time (a week or more), keep the printer turned on and the ink cartridges seated in the printhead.

Marcus John: Please Check the control panel on your all-in-one printer:

Press Home (Menu).
Press Cancel.
Is the message "MfgMode=1" displayed on the control panel?

glen swiger: no
Marcus John: Okay, Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling both the Ink cartridges?\
glen swiger: yes with new
Marcus John: Okay, After reseating the Ink cartridges have you tried printing the test page?
glen swiger: it did tell me a couple times no ink cartrige installed but they were
glen swiger: yes
Marcus John: Okay, May I know how many times have you done the clean printhead ?
glen swiger: probably 15 times
Marcus John: I am sorry about that, We do not recommend you to clean the printhead process more than twice.
Marcus John: As it consumes lot of Ink.
Marcus John: Could you please confirm me one last question, After cleaning the printhead process have you tried printing a test page?
glen swiger: yes each time
Marcus John: Is the test page completely blank?
glen swiger: its showes ink full to but prints nothing
glen swiger: yes
Marcus John: Glen, as we have tried the possible troubleshooting steps and the issue is with the printer hardware.
Marcus John: And the printer needs to be replaced.
glen swiger: ok
Marcus John: I see that the connectors of the printhead which connects the printer had gone bad.
Marcus John: In order to fix , We need to replace the printer.
glen swiger: ok how do we do this
Marcus John: Let me help you with that.
glen swiger: i have had alot going on with my wife passing away and just getting the time to get this done
Marcus John: I am sorry to hear this, and I understand how you feel.
glen swiger: yea its been a mess
glen swiger: i just want my printer all i have ever bought has been kodak
glen swiger: this is the first problem ive ever had with a kodak product
glen swiger: are u there
Marcus John: Yes, I really apologize for the delay in responding as we are facing latency in the internet connectivity.
glen swiger: ok
Marcus John: Glen, As I see that the printer is out of one year warranty, I apologize as we cannot replace the printer free of charge. However, I would be glad to offer you the below options.
Marcus John: You may Purchase a recertified printer the recertified printer has a 90-day warranty, but it will not come with a new printhead or ink cartridges.
glen swiger: for how much
glen swiger: and i just bought this printer less than 1 year ago
Marcus John: Do you have the proof of purchase?
glen swiger: some where
Marcus John: If you have the proof of purchase please do send us, And we will be more than happy to replace you the printer free of cost.
glen swiger: how much is the printer
Marcus John: The ESP 5210 Refurbished cost $79.00+ shipping and taxes

glen swiger: i only payed 79 for this one i will be contacting the better buisness office concerning this matter i will never buy kodak products again if this is the way its gonna be and i will write very bad reviews on your products and support
Marcus John: I do understand your concern,If you have the proof of purchase please do send us.
glen swiger: i dont know where the papers are i have this house torn apart looking for papers for her funeeral Do Not Buy kodak products they are junk and the company will do nothing for you except rip you off read all above


December 16, 2013, 12:01 am


BEWARE. This is the worst printer ever. I used many, including the first HP all in ones and those were horrid but nothing as bad as this KODAK ESP 5210.

I bought one due to the good price but haven't used it for a long time. Then when I did I realized all the cons and it was too late to take it back.


-INK usage is beyond acceptable leading to extremely High Cost. If you don't use the printer for a while you'll need new inks. If the color is out you CANNOT print just black. Only for this part I would fire the guy who came up with this idea, then would play a fun game with his fingers and a hammer.

-PRINTING, crappy quality, the pages are almost ALWAYS skewed, don't remember if it ever printed straight, the edges are torn when it feeds the paper about 6 out of 10,

-CONNECTION, the WiFi is useless, it works for a day then it quits, uninstalling the software, updating firmware and everything won't help either.

-SOFTWARE is a joke. I scanned 19 docs, wanted to scan 1 more and it says "an error occurred" and had to abort the scanning. I said ok, I save the already scanned docs but guess what. from there there is no option. you cannot, scan anymore, "next" doesn't work, you can only "cancel". It asks are you sure? you have unsaved docs but it WON'T LET YOU SAVE them so that's it. You lost all your work.

-SUPPORT: The only time I talked to them (before the 1 yr) they were more concerned about the age of the printer than anything. so If it's 13 months old what?? It was still made by kodak, and you ppl should stand by your creation.

PROS: Hahahahahahahahaha...............

! DO NOT BUY KODAK EVER ! They failed with the cams, failed with printers and failed to support any of them.


February 18, 2014, 12:30 am

This is the last time I ever purchase anything with the Kodak name.

The fact they let this printer off of the assembly line is a disgrace. Brand new out of the box and I have never gotten a single page to print with quality that would be anywhere near good enough to turn in. Oh, and this is for a simple word document. words are overlapped, does not print where the margins are supposed to be. The printer also frequently crumples paper and gets jammed; this probably occurs 2 out of every 10 pages.


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