Kodak All-in-One is awesome asset in the digital darkroom

“Man that sucker’s huge”, was my first thought as I unboxed Kodak’s new flagship All-In-One photo printer. But that stands to reason, as the Kodak ESP 9250 All-in One Printer (henceforth known as ‘the 9250’ or ‘Kodak Unit’), does a lot more than just print.

k1.jpg

And that’s why it’s so hard to write about these Swiss army knife computing appliances — there’s so much that you’d use regularly (printing, scanning, copying), and the other things that you’d never use. In my case, it’ FAX — I don’t use it so I’m not going to talk about it :smileyhappy:


For my use case (sorry, had to work in a buzzword), digital photography hobbiest, I mostly print text and photos. I enjoy using a darkroom that’s no longer in the dark, and also not wet :smileyhappy:

So to be looking at photo creation hardware from a company long associated with old-school film photography was a treat. I was looking for (and found) a serious dedication to paper and ink that I’ve not seen often in other makes of printers.

Slices, Dices…
At the higher end of the Kodak All-in-One line, the 9250 rolls all the basic office document station features into one single piece of hardware.

Let’s first take a look at the unit’s specs as provided by Kodak:

It’s a Fax:

  • black-and-white and color;
  • 33.6 kbps modem speed, 3 seconds per page;
  • 100 page memory capacity;
  • store up to 60 numbers for speed dialing;
  • 30-page auto document feeder

It’s a Copier.

  • up to 27 pages per minute in black, and 26 pages per minute in color;
  • copy up to 8.5 × 11 in. (US letter), —8.25 × 11.17 in. ;
  • up to 99 copies at a time on a 20–500% scaling or fit to page range;
  • 30-page auto document feeder

It’s a Scanner:

  • 2400 DPI optical scanner (CIS), 24-bit 9600 interpolated DPI;
  • scan to memory card or USB flash drive;
  • scan multiple pictures simultaneously and software will create separate image files automatically;
  • scan and edit your documents with optical character recognition;
  • Perfect Page Technology corrects your scanned image;
  • 30-page auto document feeder

It’s a Printer:
And this is what really impressed me — it’s a darn fine photo printer!

  • two paper trays—includes auto-engaging photo paper tray which holds 40 sheets of photo paper and a general purpose document tray which holds a maximum of 100 sheets (20 lbs)
  • 9600 optimized DPI[5]for high-resolution color photo printing / 1200 × 1200 DPI for highest monochrome text resolution
  • photos: borderless KODAK Lab-Quality 4 × 6 in. photos[1]in as little as 29 seconds
  • documents: up to 32 pages per minute in black and 30 pages per minute in color
  • automatic two-sided printing
  • Print directly from Blackberry, iPhone, iPod, or iPod touch with available Apps
  • Fully-Auto engaging 4×6/5×7 photo paper tray knows when you want to print snapshots

k2.jpg

What did I think?

Impressive.
For me, the Kodak Unit is first and foremost a good photo printer. It’s got the extra touches that I appreciate such as double sided printing with an easily removable paper turn-cassette should your paper ever jam (it didn’t happen to me, but it’s nice to know it’s easy to clear the jam).

I also liked the paper bar-code reader that identifies Kodak paper when loaded into the trays, and adjusts the ink colour mixture accordingly. Kinda reminds me of the Tassimo bar-code coffee makers :smileyhappy:

And it did a great job with the photos! Using Kodak as well as ‘generic’ photo paper, the photos created were clean, sharp, and looked as if they came from a photo lab. The prints were dry to the touch as they were ejected from the unit, though the old-school wet-darkroom dude inside me cringed as I kept testing the print surface.

As far as copy and scanning, it works as expected. I especially appreciated the convienience of the sheet feeder, and the ability to scan to popular image formats

Setup and usage
A piece of cake. Load up the installation CD. Let it check for updates, and just follow the prompts. Wireless as well as wired network connectivity set up quickly. USB connectivity was also easy.

And, if you’ve got one of Apple’s iOS devices, you can easily download the free Kodak Pic Flick App and dump your images wirelessly to the printer.

If you prefer running the printer without any computer connectivity, that’s an option too as all the popular photography data card formats are supported through easy to access front-panel slots.

k3.jpg

Value
One of the primary marketing points of Kodak printers is that the total cost of owning and printing with a Kodak printer is less than with other printer manufacturers. To support this, Kodak has:

“…conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research to determine printing habits of inkjet printer users. This research determined that the average user’s annual printing behavior by percentage is as follows:

* Photos = 13%
* BW text = 52%
* Mixed graphics = 35%”

From this data, Kodak calculated the annual cost of ink of inkjet printers for the typical user by multiplying the number of pages printed in a year (based on the above printing mix) by the cost-per-page of ink of each printed page.

The following graph illustrates the results of the calculations.

k4.jpg

You can read the full report here.

Now I don’t print four pages a day, but for comparison purposes, that number is pretty impressive. And for hobby photographers, any way to save money to put toward more camera gear is always a good thing.

Conclusion
In my opinion, the Kodak ESP 9250 All-in-One Printer is a great and inexpensive addition to anyone’s home computing or home digital-darkroom.

Disclosure: A sample of this product was provided for review by the manufacturer.

[ad#Future Shop Post Attribution]