Kodak ESP 5 review: Kodak ESP 5

Luckily, you get more options in the print center. In the initial set up, you can set the software to automatically scan your computer for photos and is actually very easy to navigate, like an iPhoto for Dummies. Once you've chosen the photos to print, the software offers the opportunity to edit each individual picture with a variety of one-touch enhancements including color sharpening, red-eye reduction, color restoration, and Kodak's "Perfect Touch" technology that combines all three in one button. You can alter the severity of each adjustment under the settings menu. The software also lets you perform a custom facial retouch that analyzes portraits and fixes skin blemishes and discoloration accordingly. The result doesn't always work as well as a custom Photoshop edit, but the learning curve is much shorter and meant for the average users wanting to clean up their images with little to no hassle.

Performance
The Kodak ESP5 is a little inconsistent in terms of its speed. We compared it with several other all-in-one inkjets in a similar price range, and while it printed at almost the exact same speed as the ESP3, the rest of the results aren't as clear cut. The ESP registered at the bottom of the list for text, printing at a low 4.39 pages, yet it topped the competition in the photo speed test, standing tall at 1.37 pages per minute. It's worth noting that the rest of the sample scores aren't very widespread, and we doubt you'll notice a significant difference in speed over a long period of time. It's safe to say, however, that the Kodak ESP5 comes in at a very average pace.

Speed test (in pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Photo Speed   
Color Scanning Speed  
Graphics Speed  
Text Speed  
Canon PIXMA MX7600
1.11 
4.74 
2.08 
7.41 
HP Officejet J6480 AIO
0.92 
3.4 
2.17 
5.54 
Kodak ESP3
1.2 
4.16 
2.12 
4.42 
Kodak ESP5
1.37 
4.32 
2.13 
4.39 

We complained that the ESP3 produced blotchy, transparent colors and unrealistic skin tones, so we're happy to see the improvement Kodak has made in the ESP5. Color text under the "normal" setting still leaves a bit to be desired and we can still see visible banding in darker shading, but the transition from color to color is visibly cleaner with more distinct line formation. We recommend specifying "best" as the default print quality; you'll notice a significant difference between "normal" and "best."

Service and support
Kodak protects the ESP5 with a comprehensive one-year warranty that covers the printer as well as the print head. It also covers ink cartridges for 13 months from the date of manufacture or until it needs to be replaced, whichever comes first. The warranty includes toll free phone support from 9 a.m. to midnight ET every day, and an online chat system that lets you speak with a Kodak technician from Saturday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Kodak's site also has manuals, software downloads, and interactive tutorials to help with the troubleshooting process.

Find out more about how we test printers.

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