- Review Price: £192.90
Laid out in a textured black livery with gloss black highlights and a dark silver front and control panel, the machine still has a comparatively small footprint and is solidly built. At the top is a 30-sheet ADF, which feeds out to the top cover of the flatbed scanner.
The front tray can take up to 100 sheets of plain paper and has an integral, powered photo tray fitted above it. Therefore, media can be loaded at the same time and the machine will take in the photo sheets on demand. Pages feed out to an extending support, which increases the overall depth of the machine quite a bit.
The control panel is well laid out, with a numeric pad for fax numbers and passcode entry, as well as buttons to start and stop scan and copy jobs and a robust, metal-faced ring of menu navigation controls. These work with the 61mm colour LCD to control the machine’s functions and display image thumbnails.
At the bottom, right-hand corner of the front panel are twin sockets for Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick and xD memory cards, as well as a PictBridge and USB memory drive socket. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet connections, though most people will probably use the printer’s wireless link.
Setting up the ESP 9250 isn’t a good experience. Though the setup applet does its job well, you don’t expect a brand new printer to require a download of both drivers and firmware before it’s ready to use. This one does – 40 min delay on a slow broadband connection.
Wireless setup is straightforward, with an on-screen keyboard to enter any WPA passcode. The machine has support for both Windows and OS X, though there’s nothing detailed for Linux customers. Kodak’s AiO Home Centre is a reasonably comprehensive software applet for basic scanning and photo housekeeping.
All Kodak’s all-in-one machines use the same print engine and this takes a black cartridge and a five-ink colour cartridge, which includes a photo black and a transparent coating for improved photo prints. Both clip quickly and easily into the semi-permanent print head.
Kodak quotes print speeds of 32ppm for black and 30ppm for colour, presumably both draft speeds, though this isn’t made clear. Under test, even when printing draft, these claims appear way off-beam. The maximum speed we got from this machine, when printing a five-page draft text document, was 8.6ppm. This dropped to 4.4ppm printing in normal mode and it only climbed back to 4.9ppm on the 20-page document.
These speeds are not particularly quick, when compared with machines from Epson, HP and Lexmark, and the duplex speed of four sides per minute – a duplexer is standard on the ESP 9250 – looks quite modest.
A colour copy took 32s and a five-page black copy from the ADF finished in 1:26, both of which are fair times, though breaking no records. 15 x 10cm photos took between 39s and 51s, depending on their source, which is comparatively quick.
The quality of the prints you get out of the machine is, as you’d expect, similar to the quality from other all-in-ones in Kodak’s range. Black text is clean and generally well formed. Draft text looks similar, though it’s grey and there’s the occasional missed registration from past to pass of the print heads.
Colour print is also good overall, though there is slight banding apparent in some solid fills and a little haloing around black text. A colour copy lost a little of the colour intensity compared with the original, but is easily good enough for general office use.
Photo prints show natural colours and good levels of detail, though, along with many other printers, some of the detail in shadowed areas is lost. Well up to printing holiday shots, though.
Prices of the two cartridges, the high-yield black and standard colour, has risen slightly since we last looked at a Kodak printer and these differences will, of course, apply to all machines in the range. On the best prices we could find, the ESP 9250 has a black page cost of 2.0p and a colour page cost of 4.3p, both including 0.7p for paper. Even though the cost is slightly higher than before, this is still one of the very cheapest ink-jet printers to run.
If you want the confirmed running cost advantages of a Kodak inkjet all-in-one, but still want fax, photo facilities, twin paper sources, and ADF and duplex print, the ESP 9250 can supply the lot for under £200. You need to weigh this against the fact that this machine is not particularly quick to print and there are machines at the same price that can give marginally better print quality on plain and photo papers.
Score in detail
Print Speed 6
Print Quality 8
|Card slot||Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), CompactFlash Type I, CompactFlash Type II, MMC, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card, Microdrive, CompactFlash Type I/II|
|Paper Size||A4 - 8.27" x 11", A5 - 5.83" x 8.27", A6 - 4.13" x 5.83", B5 - 6.93" x 9.84", Letter - 8.50" x 11", Legal - 8.50" x 14", Executive - 10.51" x 7.24", Index Card - 4" x 6", 5" x 7", C5 Envelope - 6.38" x 9", C6 Envelope - 4.49" x 6.38", DL Envelope - 4.33" x 8.66", Envelope No. 10 - 4.13" x 9.50", Envelope No. 9 - 3.87" x 8.87", Envelope No. 7 - 3.94" x 7.48", 4" x 7", 4" x 12", 8" x 10", A2 - 16.54" x 23.39", A4 - 210 mm x 297 mm, Letter - 216 mm x 279 mm, Legal - 216 mm x 356 mm, 102 mm x 152 mm|
|Sheet Capacity||140 sheets|
|Rated Colour Speed (Images per minute)||32 ppmipm|
|Scan Resolution (Dots per inch)||2400 dpi|