The new Home Center also lets you print 3D images, which means you'll need a pair of red-and-blue glasses to see them pop. The 3D print process works as you'd expect, with the device printing dual images close together but slightly offset so viewing through the paper glasses makes the image come alive. The 9.1 comes with a 3D starter kit that includes two pairs of 3D glasses and a sample pack of photo paper for experimentation.
The Hero 9.1 is also accessible on the run using the free Kodak Pic Flick App for iOS, Android, and Blackberry device. Though the app doesn't offer the opportunity for heavy photo editing, you can specify the print quality and canvas size from 2 inches by 3 inches all the way up to the standard 8.5 by 11.
Printing from the cloud is perhaps the most convenient feature across Kodak's entire Hero line, and you get two simple ways to print from any computer with an internet connection. The most ubiquitous is Google Cloud Print, a free utility that lets multiple users share your printer over the Web with a simple username registration and a compatible device running the Google Chrome Web browser. Google stores your device information on its servers to keep your computer clutter-free and simplifies the process even further by keeping drivers and firmware up to date.
The other side of the 9.1's cloud-printing diligence is Kodak E-mail Print. It's designed to release users from the shackles of the print driver by assigning a unique e-mail address to every printer that you can use to send jobs directly from any connected device. When you send an e-mail to the printer, you can choose to either attach a compatible file (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Excel, PDF, text files, BMP, PNG, GIF, TIFF) for formatted documents or just paste text in plain or HTML form to the e-mail body. Kodak provides the address for your particular device during the wireless setup process, and the virtual instructions walk you through it step by step.
The Hero 9.1 neither impressed nor disappointed us with its output speed results, though it did print at a noticeably slower rate than other printers in the $250 range. Kodak couldn't keep up in three out of the four tests, but actually fared well in the single-photo print test, placing third in the lineup with 0.96 page per minute (ppm). The disparity in the other three will likely appear negligible unless you're printing long-form documents.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Presentation Speed (PPM)||Photo Speed (1 Sheet)||Color Graphics Speed (PPM)||Text Speed (PPM)|
Once the printer eventually spits out your job, you'll be impressed with the resolution quality. Graphic documents and everyday text prints came out looking the best out of all the tests with acceptable saturation levels that I wouldn't hesitate to use as presentation materials for an office meeting. Scan quality is satisfactory as well thanks to the 9.1's new 2,400 dpi scanning bay, and the upgrade resolves the dark compression issues that marred previous Kodak models.
Service and support
Kodak supports the Hero 9.1 with a one-year warranty for toll-free phone and online-chat tech support available every day. The Kodak Web site provides access to manuals, driver downloads, troubleshooting tips, graphic tutorials, and a list of frequently asked questions.
Kodak's latest all-purpose machine shows off Kodak's versatile set of features like a fresh exterior design, cloud printing, and mobile print apps coupled with dual paper trays, an auto-document feeder, and simple double-sided printing. It might not outshine the competition in performance speeds, but homes shopping for a new multifunction printer certainly won't be disappointed by the Kodak Hero 9.1's array of intelligent technologies.
Find out more about how we test printers.