After our mediocre experience with Kodak's last offerings, the ESP 3 and ESP 5, we're happy to see Kodak fixing some of its old mistakes.
On Monday, the company announced two new products in the ESP line of desktop All-in-One printers. The ESP 7 and ESP 9 both feature secure Wi-Fi print servers for wireless connectivity and Kodak's newest intelligent paper tray system. The printers can approximate the amount of paper in the tray and automatically adjust print settings to increase productivity in the office or home. Both printers are available now and will be tested and reviewed by the CNET team soon.
The $200 ESP 7 is a step above its cousins and has integrated Wi-Fi as well as an autoduplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. The front panel hosts a 3-inch LCD and the buttons feature a visually appealing blue backlight similar to the stylish Samsung's SCX-4500.
The printer also ships with Kodak's Home Center Software with the highly regarded facial autoretouch software. We used the desktop client with both the ESP 3 and ESP 5, with satisfying results. Professional Photoshoppers will definitely notice disparities in the retouch algorithm, but overall the software will appeal to consumers as an effortless way to touch up blemishes and enhance facial features with a single mouse click.
The $300 ESP 9 takes the printing experience a bit further with additional features such as a dedicated fax machine with autodial buttons on the front of the machine, Wi-Fi and Ethernet capabilities, an autodocument feeder for larger-size media, a duplexer, and a larger 10-inch front control panel with the aforementioned blue backlit buttons.
We are also happy to report that Kodak fixed the strange plastic arm that plagued the older ESPs; an industry standard hinge now holds the hood open on both models, so kudos to Kodak for taking user critique into consideration.