Since Kodak launched its range of inkjet all-in-ones over five years ago, it has carved itself a based on the of the market, based on the cheap running costs of its printers. It also
offered economies by using the same print engine in all its machines. This made it easier
for customers, too, as there were only one pair of consumables to consider.
The company has now introduced a new design of print engine, which uses four inks
rather than the previous six, though cost per page is slightly higher. Are there good
reasons to welcome the ESP C110, then – the entry level all-in-one in the new range?
Big and black
Well, it’s cheaper to buy, for a start. At just over £60, the ESP C110 competes directly with
entry-level machines from the likes of Canon, Epson and HP. Cased in textured
black plastic, its vaguely reminiscent of a new-look executive saloon car, one with a
particularly tall radiator.
The paper feed tray folds up from on top of the case and paper runs from the back, using
a straighter path than previous range’s front-fed sheets. There’s only one tray, so you’ll have
to remove plain paper to load photo blanks. Paper ends up on the inside of a fold-down
and pull-out front panel, which forms the output tray.
The control panel is simple but functional, with a small LCD set into the printer’s top
surface at a fixed angle. The only PC data connection is a USB socket at the rear. There’s no WiFi on this basic model – though the slightly pricier ESP C310 is available, if you need a wireless link. There’s a single slot for SD and MemoryStick cards, but no PictBridge/USB socket.
Kodak rates the printer at 6ppm and 4ppm for black and colour prints, but we saw a
maximum of 3.8ppm for black and 3.3ppm for colour. These are slow – slower than from
the previous generation of Kodak machine.
Six inks good, four inks also good
Although the new machines use just four pigment inks, from one black and one tri-colour cartridge, the quality of prints is only slightly inferior to those from the previous system of five coloured inks and an overcoat layer. Kodak maintains that improvements in ink formulation have made the separate photo black and overcoats unnecessary.
The C110′s number 30 black cartridge is available in two yields, with one yield for the
colour. Costs work out slightly higher than before, but you’re still looking at 1.1p and
3.9p per page, which is very low in comparison with most rivals.
Contact: Kodak on 01442 261122
- Low running costs.
- Very small LCD display; slow print speeds.
While Kodak's new ESP C110 is a capable, entry-level all-in-one, its only major selling point is low running costs. While these are slightly higher than from the previous range, they're still considerably lower than from virtually all its competitors.
Many users may want to look a little higher up in Kodak's range for features such as wireless printing, but if all you're after is lower cost of ownership, the £63 price tag and cheap cost per page may be enough to persuade you into opting for the C110's utilitarian looks and lower spec.