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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Published by Brad Grier

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