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On the surface, Kodak’s new ESP 7250 All-in-One Printer seems much like any other device in its class. It prints, it scans, it copies. On closer inspection, however, the 7250 stands out thanks to some notable features and even a plan to save you some green with every print job. And we’re not talking ink colors--we’re talking money.
The savings come because Kodak is promising lower costs for ink than its competitors--its black carts go for $9.99, and the five-color carts cost a reasonable $17.99. According to Kodak’s math, that saves you up to $110 per year if you print as few as four pages per day. But that’s not the only feature worth noting. In addition to USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports, Kodak’s latest also includes the ability to print or scan wirelessly over a Wi-Fi b/g/n connection and to print photos directly from your iOS device with the free Kodak Pic Flick app from the App Store.
Wireless printing made easy and affordable.
We had no problems printing photos wirelessly from iPhoto--the 7250 features a small upper tray for 4x6 or 5x7 photo paper, as well as a lower tray that accommodates sheets up to 8.5x14, and it intelligently senses when photo paper is installed. Prints at both 4x6 (which print in as little as 29 seconds) and 8.5x11 were some of the richest we’ve seen from a printer in this class, although the contrast and color saturation tends to be a little low for our taste. We resolved most of those complaints by turning off the Scene Balance mode, which automatically adjusts the image brightness and contrast (it’s on by default). We printed nearly two dozen 8.5x11 photos and the same number of 4x6 prints, and that barely took a dent out of the black ink, while a third of the five-color ink cartridge remained.
Printing directly from our iPhone 4 and iPad with the free Kodak Pic Flick app was also effortless, although it’s best suited for the higher-resolution photos you actually shoot with your iPhone. Because images synced via iTunes are optimized for your device’s display, smaller 4x6 prints look fine, but printing to 8.5x11 only really looked good with photos from the Camera Roll. Sadly, the Pic Flick app is a very basic affair: select your photo and tap to send it wirelessly to your printer--that’s it. There are no cropping, resizing, or pre-printing enhancements of any kind, and you’ll have to set which paper tray to use on the 7250 ahead of time. It’s also not a universal app, so the experience on an iPad isn’t as great as it could be. And true to its name, the app is for printing photos only--but yes, we know it’s too much to ask to expect it to fire a Word doc or PDF off to the printer from Mail on your iPhone.
Back on our Mac, we were able to wirelessly scan (at up to 2400dpi) into both Preview and Image Capture, but there’s no native import plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. Thankfully, you can set up a scan on the printer itself and have it sent directly to any application (including Photoshop) on any computer on your network.
For less than two bills, Kodak’s ESP 7250 is a very capable photo printer with a host of features such as double-sided printing, automatic paper selection, and direct printing from a range of flash memory cards, cameras, and mobile devices. If you haven’t experienced wireless printing and scanning, this is a great place to start, especially if you already have an iOS device.
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.4.8 or later, iOS 2.2 or later for mobile printing, 1.2 GHz or faster Intel or PowerPC G4 (or later) processor, USB 2.0, Ethernet or Wi-Fi network (Bluetooth printing optional)
Real photo-quality prints for less. Fast, unmetered printing and scanning. Easy setup and user interface. Print photos from your iOS device.
Contrast and color saturation are a little low with default settings. iOS app lacks ability to customize or control printing. No direct Adobe Photoshop scanner support. Mac Home Center software lacks features included in Windows version (OCR, Facial Retouch Editing, and Perfect Touch).