Kodak ESP 3.2 - Performance and Verdict



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Kodak rates the ESP 3.2 at 8.0ppm for black and 5.5ppm for colour, while it only claims 8.0ppm and 4.0ppm, respectively, for the ESP 1.2. The extra 1.5ppm in the colour speed represents an increase of 37.5 percent, but in practice, we didn’t see this. The ESP 1.2 produced our 5-page black text and colour graphics document in 1:26, a speed of 3.5ppm, while the machine under review here took 1:22, equivalent to 3.7ppm. This gives the ESP 3.2 an increase of just 6 percent.

The black print times, as you would expect from the spec sheet, were very similar on both printers, though the ESP 1.2 was marginally faster on shorter documents. This printer managed 5.9ppm on the 5-page, black text document and 6.9ppm on the 20-page, long document. These speeds are respectable for a machine in this price bracket, but not that close to the claims.

A single page colour copy took 36s, also slightly longer than on the cheaper machine, but 15 x 10cm photos  took around 50s, including one from Kodak’s Android Document Print app, which was considerably quicker than from the ESP 1.2.
Kodak ESP 3.2 - Open
Prints from the machine are reasonable, though with occasional misalignment of one head pass with the next, giving a slightly drunken appearance to text in places. Draft mode print, though paler than normal mode, is fine for internal documents.

Colour graphics are bright and generally smooth and a colour copy gave good results, though with some darkening of blues. Photographs were also good, with smooth colour transitions, good shadow detail and natural colours.
Kodak ESP 3.2 - Cartridges
Working out running costs for printers can be a bit like dealing in the spot markets; cartridge prices seem to change daily. The black cartridge is available in standard and high yield, XL, versions and using the best prices we could find gives costs per page of 2.0p for black and 5.3p for colour. These are still very low for this class of printer, though if you print a lot in one colour, the multi-colour cartridge could prove less economic than a printer with separate colour tanks.

We couldn’t see much difference between the speeds of this Kodak ESP 3.2 and the cheaper ESP 1.2, so really you’re paying the £20 or so difference for a 61mm touchscreen, rather than a 38mm LCD with a touch frame. You’ll have to decide how important touch controls are to you. The rest of the machine is a perfectly serviceable, low-end all-in-one at a fair price, though not a bargain one.

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