User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Professional quality prints, vivid and real color reproduction.
Cons:Media (paper and ink) is proprietary and somewhat expensive.
The Bottom Line: If you like convenient recharging, one-touch transfer of photos, and want to print an occasional 4x6 color print, you can't go wrong with the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000.
Digital Photography today is ubiquitous - most people who take photos for fun or even for business have a digital camera. Most of those people even have an inkjet printer with a few sheets of glossy photo paper nearby. However, most people tend to either use online services or bring their digital "film" to a retail store to be printed.
Recommend this product?
Enter the Kodak Easyshare Printer Dock 6000 ("Dock" from here on out.)
Basics: First of all, the Dock is serves several functions. On its own (and the non-printer models) it keeps your Kodak brand rechargeable batteries charged for you as long as the camera remains on the dock. It's also the key component in Kodak's "EasyShare" system.
Kodak EasyShare: With the camera sitting on the dock, you need only press a button and the photos on the camera are instantly transferred to the Kodak software on the PC. The software itself is, sadly, fairly basic. The main features it offers is cropping, rotating photos, and redeye removal (which Photoshop Elements can do just as well and with many more editing features besides.)
You can print too?: Yes, the Printer Dock 6000 has a built in dye-sublimation printer, capable of printing borderless professional-quality photos on Kodak's own glossy 4x6 photo paper.
The printer goes through 4 stages to print a photo. First the yellow layer is put to paper, then the magenta (red) layer, and finally the cyan (blue) layer to show the finished print. The fourth pass adds Kodak's Xtralife laminate coating, which adds waterproofing and makes the final print very durable.
In my experience so far, the colors are bright, vivid, and generally well-toned throughout (i.e. generally what you see on screen is what you get on paper.) I've already used the starter ink cartridge and 10 sheets which come with the dock, plus almost a full retail pack of 40 sheets with new ink cartridge.
One extra feature of the Dock is that you can print directly from the camera without needing to use a PC at all. I recommend against this, however, because in almost every case, it's better to be able to edit the photo *before* printing. This ensures that you will get a photo with which you can be happy, and not waste a sheet of photo paper (see more below.)
Consumables: This is where I have to give my only dissenting remark about this otherwise fine product. A full ink cartridge with 2 packs of 20 sheets of glossy photo paper retails for $24.99 ($26-27 with tax), making each print cost around 50 cents each. You certainly get what you pay for, but most online printshops (including Kodak's own Ofoto (www.ofoto.com) sells prints of photos for only 29 cents each.
Also, it seems very difficult to get any kind of price break on the consumables package. I checked pricewatch.com as well as many online photoshops, and it seems that 90-95% of the places I checked sell this package at *or above* ($30+!) retail price. I was able to win an eBay auction where I paid $18, but with shipping, it still cost me about $22-23.
Pros: This Dock is solidly built and has an easy-connect USB setup. If you don't use the printer very much, you can store the paper and keep the front face of the Dock closed, to keep out dust. You can print as easily to the Dock as you can with any printer in Windows, and printing from Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is a snap.
Cons: The cost, proprietary nature (this package is the only one which can be used with the Dock) and consistent retail pricing (even online) are the only bad aspects of this EasyShare Printer Dock. If you don't print that often, however, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
Overall: If you want to be able to print photos at home, without having to take them to the photo shop, the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000 will not disappoint. You'll get clear and colorful 4x6 inch prints which rival those of a commercial print shop.
Thanks for reading!
Amount Paid (US$): 109
Operating System: Windows and Macintosh