Review Price £97.00
Kodak hero 5.1 - Performance and Verdict
Kodak rates the hero 5.1 at a pragmatic 8ppm in black and 6ppm in colour, but our five-page black text print only managed a numerically appropriate 5.1ppm. When the printer was given its head on our 20-page document, though, the speed increased to 6.1ppm and in the very respectable-looking draft mode, we saw 8.8ppm.
The printer supports duplex print as standard and the pigmented inks Kodak uses mean the printer doesn't have to wait so long between sides, but even so our 20-side document took 3:16 to complete, a speed of 3.7 sides per minute.
The five-page black text and colour graphics document returned 3.6ppm, not that close to the 6ppm specified, but a single-page colour copy took just 31s and 15 x 10cm photos took between 38s and 50s, all impressive times for this class of machine.
A photo sent through Google Cloud Print printed as a borderless A4, but came through in a respectable time, once it started printing. However, remote prints need to move across various servers, so the start of print can be a minute or so after the e-mail is sent to the printer.
Print quality, from the four Kodak inks, is generally good, with reasonably clean and clear black text and a remarkably well-formed draft mode. Colour graphics are zingy and unblemished, while photo prints are clear and bright with natural colours and good definition.
Duplex pages were inexplicably reduced in size, compared with single-sided ones and some headers were foreshortened, so you may need to check the header and footer margins on your double-sided documents.
As with previous Kodak machines, running costs are low, though black print comes out at 2.6p per page, which is slightly higher than, for example, the Epson Stylus SX235w, at 2.2p. When it comes to colour print, though, things are very different. The Kodak hero 5.1 manages 6.0p, while the Epson costs 10.7p.
Kodak has consolidated its position well with the introduction of the hero range and although this is the entry-level machine, it's well specified with duplex print, card and PictBridge sockets and a decently sized LCD. Print quality is well above average and speed is also fair, so heros look set to continue squeezing other manufacturers in the crowded consumer all-in-one marketplace.