Review Price £86.80
If Kodak's ESP 3250 is equivalent to an ESP 3.25, the ESP 5250 is like an ESP 5.25. It takes the earlier machine and gives it a tweak, specifically adding wireless connection. This is an extra convenience, but it's about the only improvement over the older machine.
The ESP 5250 is a very similar machine, physically, to the ESP 3250, with the same case and print engine. It provides a paper feed from the front, once you've folded down the front panel hatch and extended the paper support, and pages again turn through 180-degrees, ending up in a pile on top of the feed stack.
Comparing it with the ESP 5, however, there are a few things missing from the ESP 5250. For a start the hinged LCD monitor behind the control panel has a 61mm diagonal, while the ESP 5's is 76mm: 25 per cent larger.
Then there's provision for reading memory cards and connecting devices. The ESP 5 has sockets for SD, MemoryStick, xD and CompactFlash cards. The ESP 5250 drops the CompactFlash slot, which probably won't disturb too many people, but also drops the front panel USB socket, which works with PictBridge cameras and USB drives. This socket can also take an optional Bluetooth adapter on the ESP 5, where there's no provision on the new machine.
Physical setup is very straightforward. The semi-permanent print head clips into the head carrier and the two ink cartridges clip just as easily into place in the head. The printer does its own head alignment and is then ready to go.
Networking is similarly easy, working in similar fashion to connecting to a Wi-Fi network on a laptop. All you need do is follow the instructions on the LCD display, search for available wireless networks, select the one you want, enter the passcode from the on-screen keyboard that pops up and the printer's on the network. After that the driver software then spots the printer and completes the connection.