Kodak’s new Hero range of all-in-ones has impressed us so far but today we're looking at a model meant for the much more exacting small office market, rather than just for the home. The Office Hero 6.1 packs in all the normal features of an all-in-one and includes a duplex scanner, and Kodak will be hoping it's among the models that will lift the company from number two here in the UK to number one.
The greatest difference from previous Kodak Office machines, like the ESP Office 2170 is the increased height of the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), which gives the printer a slightly top-heavy appearance.
The reason for the bigger ADF is that it’s duplex, so it can scan both sides of the page in one task, though each page does have to make three passes. Duplex scanners are a good thing for paper saving, particularly if you default to printing double-sided.
In front of the ADF is a well laid-out control panel that actually has the same layout as the ESP Office 2170 but is cosmetically different, and with a much larger, 61mm LCD display.
There’s a single paper tray, with no separate photo tray, which feeds from the front to an extending output tray, also at the front. A single memory card slot takes both SD and MemoryStick cards and sits next to a USB/PictBridge socket on the front panel. At the back are USB and Ethernet sockets, but most people will choose wireless connection, as this opens the opportunity for direct connection to the Internet.
Slightly surprisingly, this machine uses the same No 10 cartridges as earlier Kodak all-in-ones, offering text and photo blacks and a clear overcoat layer. We assumed the No 30 cartridges, with their cheaper, four-ink design, would be used throughout Kodak’s new range. The cartridges clip in very easily under the scanner section and the high-capacity XL black cartridge is supplied as standard.
Software is based on Kodak’s AIOCenter suite and includes OCR software. Surprisingly we had to update both the driver and printer firmware straight away, despite this being a ‘brand new’ machine.