My experiences with all-in-one ink jet printers have not been positive in the last 10 years until a few weeks ago. Let me first give you my background with ink jet printers and computer printers in general. In the last 20 years, I have owned 6 ink jet printers. Before that I owned 2 dot matrix printers – you remember those, don’t you, or am I aging myself here. The ink jet printers were an unknown brand that I can’t remember, Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Xerox and lastly a Kodak.
The Canon was my first good printer that lasted 6 years until one day it just didn’t turn on anymore. The Epson was used by my daughter and she used it for 3 years until we could no longer find the ink cartridges for it. The Xerox was my next purchase and was the first scanner/printer combo. It worked fine but the printer cartridges were $50 each to replace and I needed a color and a black one. I needed a fax machine about 5 years ago so I got a Lexmark printer/fax/scanner/copier. The Lexmark was OK at first and the printer cartridges were priced under $18 but as time went on the cartridges were becoming more and more expensive. When we upgraded our computers to the new Vista OS last year we found that the Xerox would not work with it. So now we had to use the Lexmark as our printer.
This past year the replacement ink cartridges for the Lexmark were not lasting very long. I even tried other brands that were made for the Lexmark but they weren’t any better. I had run out of ink yet again and had to print off a form. I went to my local Walmart to get replacement ink cartridges only to get sticker shock at the prices. The total price of my 2 ink cartridges was nearly $70! It would be cheaper to bribe a neighbor to print out my document for me. As I stood there and stared at the ink cartridges on the isle I looked below them and noticed all the printers that they had on sale. The printers were priced from $40 to $120 and I knew that the purchase price of the printer was the cheapest investment, it was the ink cartridges that those companies make their money from. As I looked more closely I noticed that they had the Kodak ESP3. I had just seen a TV commercial for the printer only 2 days prior. I was impressed by the TV commercial and the fact that the ink lasted longer and was cheaper than any ink cartridge on the market. I looked at the shelf above it and sure enough the ink cartridges for the Kodak were $9 and $14 each. The TV ad also claimed the ink on the photos would not fade over time.
So for only $15 more than Lexmark ink cartridges I bought the Kodak ESP3. It came complete with a sample pack of paper, software, driver and ink. It did not include a printer cable, which I already had. I got it home and set it up. The ink cartridges are different from the old ones I was use to. This printer had a separate printer head which had the electronic ink jets and the ink cartridges only had the ink and no electronic strip. Now I realized how they were saving money. By not having the electronic strip on each ink cartridge they could make cheaper ink cartridges. I had worked in Hewlett Packard’s printer division in 2007 in their research and development department. HP was working on the idea of having a separate printer head just like the one that was in the Kodak. I was doing the reliability tests at HP. HP’s ink cartridges were different in that you installed 6 of them into the printer head. In the Kodak ESP3 you only have 2 ink cartridges, one color and one black.
Now came the moment of truth, how well would the Kodak perform? The Kodak was fast for printing out documents. The quality was great. When the printer is first turned on it will prime itself just like the HP printers I use to test. The priming is to get the air out of area so there is no blank areas in your printed document. The Kodak can print straight from your camera, camera memory card or your computer. It has a flat bed scanner and copier so for me it will replace our Xerox flat bed scanner entirely. I am still experimenting with it. I am doing a test to see how long the photos last without fading. I want to know first hand if what their TV ad says is true or not. My daughter will be using the scanner more than me and she was so thrilled that we have a new scanner in the house.
The Kodak ESP3 seems to be what I was looking for in a printer but no one came out with it until now, at the price I was willing to pay.
You can find the printer at Walmart, Target or even online at Kodak.