We’ve looked at a few of Kodak’s new Hero multifunction printers and we were therefore hoping that the Hero 9.1 – being the flagship model of the range – would embody all of the series’ finest points. It’s certainly the most costly of the set, at £199.99 (although Amazon is currently offering it at £169) but what exactly do you get for your money?
Well, for a start it is a genuine all-in-one printer as it incorporates a fax function, in addition to the usual print, copy and scan (as does the Hero 6.1). Like the Hero 6.1, the 9.1 also has an auto document feeder on the top, which can handle 30 pages at a time and this is in common with the 7.1. The Hero 9.1 does have dual paper trays at the base that are capable of holding 100 A4 sheets and 40 photo prints.
In terms of design, the Hero 9.1 is closest to the 7.1, having the same width and depth (445 x 432mm) but a little taller (231mm), to allow for the ADF and is consequently, a little heavier at 8.5 kg. While the 9.1 also retains the memory card slots and the USB/PictBridge port, it does have a much bigger 4.3-inch colour LCD touchscreen that makes previewing photos, and following the menu instructions so much easier.
Connectivity options are impressive; as well as the usual Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Ethernet and USB 2.0 to PC, you also have access to Google Cloud Print and Kodak Email Print. This is along with the ability to print photos, from Android and iPhones, thanks to the Kodak Pic Flick app. 3D pictures can also be created and automatic two-sided printing comes as standard.
We found the performance speeds were almost identical to those of the Hero 7.1, with standard black text documents emerging at a relatively sluggish 8ppm and draft versions of the same at 15ppm. Normal A4 colour photos appeared in 1’55″ (the same time as copies) and 10 x 15cm snaps at around 35″ each. However, the colour quality on scanned images looks decidedly anaemic, next to the originals. This is disappointing when compared to print copies that reveal only a slightly reddish hue, which are sharper and don’t suffer from nearly as much camera noise. Black text draft quality documents, on the other hand, are much more solid than many competitors’ printers and the overall ink usage is as cost effective as ever, despite there being only one colour cartridge.
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- Bigger and brighter LCD; draft text quality.
- Scan quality poor; not the fastest off the block.
Kodak's Hero 9.1 gives you all four multifunction-features and an excellent array of connections, while it manages to combine many of the advantages of its younger siblings. Printing speeds are plodding and scan quality is disappointing.