Design and features
Somehow skipping the even numbers in the logical iteration of things, the ESP 7 is the follow-up to Kodak's previous multifunction device (MFD), the ESP 5.
In regards to style, it shares a lot in common with the other black behemoths on the MFD market right now, like Epson's. This is where the similarities end though, as Kodak can't lay claim that the ESP 7 was designed by one of the top design firms in Milan.
Not that there's anything wrong with the appearance of the printer per se — it just feels a little cheaper made than its Italian cousin. It certainly has a lot less buttons, which is good for simplicity value, but does make you feel like there is some functionality missing. There's no numerical pad for starters, which gives the game away that it has no fax, and the scanner that lies flat at the top of the unit doesn't have an automatic document feeder or anything else fancy. There is a built-in duplexer though, and connectivity is well met with Wi-Fi and Ethernet support.
The 3-inch LCD screen is the hub of all activity on the ESP 7 — the menu system is also intuitive enough to make the printer just as useful as a stand-alone unit. At the bottom right on the front fascia sit the standard PictBridge connections and the two paper trays underneath the printer (which slide out easily). The lowest one takes up to A4-sized paper and the upper one can take a myriad of smaller sizes, including standard 10x15cm photo paper, which automatically detects the size you've inserted.
Unlike many other photo-capable MFDs, the ESP 7 uses only two ink cartridges, one for black and a combined five-ink colour tank. This is great for economy but not so good for accurate colour reproduction, as we see later on in this review.
With the r-word winding its way ever further into everyday conversation it was only a matter of time before printing companies began touting the economic viability of their latest offerings. The ESP 7 is no exception, with Kodak claiming that users can print up to twice as many prints on the unit compared to other inkjets on the market.