Kodak's ESP 5250 is a compact all-in-one printer that includes scanning and copying features, as well as integrated Wi-Fi. Kodak also claims that it's one of the cheapest inkjet printers around in terms of running costs. You can pick it up for about £70.
Gloss over it
The 5250's body is made entirely from plastic, with a slightly textured, dotted pattern used on the lid, and glossy highlighting on the front and top control panel. There's also a flash of yellow -- Kodak's corporate colour -- used on the edge of the scanner lid.
The right-hand side of the top of the printer is home to a flip-up, 2.4-inch colour screen along with the various buttons to help you navigate through the easy-to-use menus. The printer's card reader supports SD and Memory Stick media, but it doesn't have a PictBridge-compatible USB port for directly attaching a camera -- something found on some other models in the Kodak range.
The 5250 can be connected to your computer either via Wi-Fi or a standard USB lead. The Wi-Fi connection is very easy to set up.
Unlike the ESP Office 2170, the 5250 uses Kodak's 10-series cartridges. There are two distinct cartridges: one black one and one that contains five ink colours. These slot into a print head that then slots into the main mechanism under the scanner.and
Kodak's printers may cost slightly more than rival machines, but their running costs are lower, thanks to their cheaper ink cartridges. This model is no exception, as a black and white A4 sheet costs around 2.25p to print, while a colour sheet works out at around 3.79p. That's very cheap for an inkjet printer.
Ponderous print speeds
When it comes to the actual printing process, paper is fed into the 5250 upside down via a paper tray at the front that can hold up to 100 sheets. Rather inelegantly, printed material comes back out at the front and is plonked on top of the unprinted sheets. This type of configuration may be common on budget models, but it's still a very clumsy approach and you often have to reseat the unprinted paper to stop it from interfering with new sheets that are being spewed out.
Print speeds are also quite slow. The printer took 2 minutes and 4 seconds to print our ten-page black and white text document, which isn't bad, but it was very slow to finish our ten-page colour business presentation, taking 4 minutes and 15 seconds.