A very nice unit, with some caveats...

May 17, 2011 (Updated Oct 4, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Best/easiest wifi setup I've ever used.

Cons:Print head problems, color not quite accurate, and uses ink quickly.

The Bottom Line: Uses ink faster than I'd like, but all in all, a very nice all-in-one.

I needed a new printer at home and this Kodak unit caught my eye in a Staples sale email (on sale for $99).  I am a computer programmer by day and spend most of my time in my office (not at home), so most things that I print, I simply do at work – therefore, not much need for a printer at home.  However, occasionally, I do need to print odds and ends at home – including photos, etc.  This Kodak all-in-one seemed to cover all of the bases for me – fast color printing, dedicated photo paper tray (4x6), scanner/copier – and wifi!  I hadn’t previously used any Kodak printers, but had certainly seen their ads regarding the lower cost of their ink.  Inasmuch, as $99, this was a no-brainer for me.

The printer arrived quickly, and took it home and set it up that evening.  I’ve setup quite a number of wifi printers in the past, and this is hands down THE easiest wifi setup on a printer that I’ve ever seen – encouraging!  Printer setup in general was nice – the unit is easy to open, insert/change ink cartridges, load paper, etc.  Very intuitive, simple front controls – so far, I was impressed. 

Subsequently, I loaded the printer software onto my computer.  That took a bit (the installation is fairly large), but there were no hassles or issues.  I was up and running quickly.  I printed a test page – the printer was pretty quick.  Nice.  I printed a few other documents – fast, nice.  Then, I moved on to printing photos.  One of the keys here (I think) is using genuine Kodak ink and Kodak paper – I’d read that in other reviews about this printer, and I do buy into that.  I think that the combination of the two makes for the best prints.  That being said, the photo printing was… not bad.  For years, I’d used a Kodak EasyShare photo printer, and I think the quality there was phenomenal.  Here?... again, not bad.  Probably the best inkjet-printed photos I’ve ever seen – but the color wasn’t quite right.  This was something that I’d also read in other reviews – and the oddness was in the brown/red area.  On the other hand, had I not seen the original photo, I probably wouldn’t have noticed – but it is worth mentioning.

Beyond that, I’ve been happy with the until – until recently.  I’ve only had it for not quite 4 months.  I’m on my second set of ink cartridges (genuine new Kodak; not refilled).  I went to print a few photos, and the color was WAY off.  I contacted (chat) Kodak support.  They had me print a test page – and I found that I wasn’t getting any yellow.  Cleaning the print head didn’t resolve this, so the tech agent sent me a new print head (which was nice).  I installed it… and now, the unit doesn’t print at all!  I went back to the old print head… prints fine, but still no yellow.  I’m currently awaiting delivery of the second (third) print head from Kodak to see if that fixes things.  After going thru this, I did Google this issue – and found that it appears to be rather common (or at least, not UNcommon).  Further, on a parallel note, I’m not sure how much stock I put in the low cost of Kodak ink – I certainly seemed to go thru my first set of cartridges quickly (as an infrequent home user, a lot quicker that I thought I would or should).  The ink really DOES cost less than others, but if I have to change it more often, am I saving any money…?

SO, print head issues, using ink quickly… well, those are the down side – but likewise, the nice things about this unit DO outweigh the negatives (assuming I can get the print head issue resolved), at least for me.  Not sure that I’d pay the ~$175 street price for this, but it is worth the $99 that I paid.

UPDATE: I did subsequently receive another print head from Kodak... and it did not solve my problem.  A followup chat with them had them sending me a new printer - well, a refurbished printer, which I wasn't terribly happy about.  My printer was still WELL within warranty and had very little use - but I did consent to accepting a refurb.

It arrived quickly and worked well out of the box... for awhile.  Now, I'm having print head issues with it.  It seems like if I let it sit more than a day without printing anything, I have to 'clean' the printhead to get it to print correctly - which chews thru ink.  Further, even after cleaning, the output is fuzzy.  I'm going to change the print head again and see if that helps, but this isn't terribly encouraging... my initial high opinion of this printer is rapidly declining...

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