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 user 2007-04-06 at 11:30:00 am Views: 37
  • #17647






    Kodak’s New Inkjet Printer — and Bold Claims — Put To The Test

    10-cent prints? Not quite….and not quite “lab quality.

    Eastman Kodak’s recent entry into the inkjet printer market came with much
    fanfare and bold claims. Among them: 4×6-inch color prints for as little as
    10 cents each. That’s up to 50% less than their competitors.

    In an exclusive analysis in the Pop Photo Lab, we put Kodak’s boasts to
    the test.

    According to Executive Technology Editor Michael J. McNamara, the Kodak
    EasyShare 5300 All-In-One printer ($199, street) turned out only 165
    borderless color photos from an $18 package of paper and ink that is billed
    as producing 180 photos.

    “That’s about 11.5 cents per print,” said McNamara. “But
    more importantly, the quality of the prints was so low in color saturation
    that they could be deemed no better than ‘draft’ quality by professional or
    lab-print standards.”

    To get what photo enthusiasts would judge “lab-quality” prints,
    says McNamara, requires more expensive Kodak paper, which boosts the cost to
    more than 35 cents each. 

    Hundreds of prints showing a range of colors and subjects were produced on
    the Kodak unit, and the results were analyzed in the magazine’s
    $1-million-plus testing facility.

    To see how the Kodak stacked up against other all-in-ones in a range of
    prices, McNamara pitted it against units from Epson, Canon, and HP (ranging
    in price from $150 to $379). The AIOs were tested on various criteria,
    including printing and scanning quality and speed.

    “For the price, the $150 Epson Stylus Photo RX580 features the
    highest print image quality and extremely fast print speeds,” said
    McNamara. “While the more expensive Canon and HP machines offer high
    print quality and more features.”

    “For it’s price the Kodak is not for photo enthusiasts,” he
    said. “It is aimed at budget-minded consumers who will accept
    draft-quality prints.”

    Kodak’s cheap inkjet claims all talk?
    We were pretty stoked to hear Kodak
    was planning
    on running full tilt at the current status quo of “loss
    leader” printer tactics, that has unwitting consumers picking up inkjet
    printers for a dime, and spending a fortune on printing supplies.
    Unfortunately, it looks like Kodak hasn’t come upon any magical printing
    techniques to pull this off yet, since its new printers didn’t do so good up
    against the likes of Epson, HP and Canon. Kodak is marketing its printers as capable
    of producing 10 cent prints, which would indeed be a great deal. Tests show
    that an $18 pack of paper and ink results in about 165 borderless prints, about
    11.5 cents per print. Unfortunately, the prints were basically
    “draft” quality, maybe fine for certain budget-minded consumers, but
    hardly comparable to “lab quality” photos. To boost the quality
    you’ll need pricier Kodak paper, which ends up at about 35 cents per print, and
    renders the whole exercise pointless. The testers recommend the $150 Epson
    Stylus Photo RX580, for super good prints and great speed. Might want to leave
    that $200 Kodak EasyShare 5300 on the shelf for the time being.