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Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock Plus

4"x6" Printers: Your Own Photo Lab
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Unless you have a Kodak camera, don't waste your time reading our test of the EasyShare Printer Dock Plus. It's just not for you.

Ergonomics And Design

At first glance you might be won over by the looks of this printer from Kodak, but in fact it has many problems in ergonomics and a fundamental lack of flexibility. There's no LCD display for viewing photos, but there's a specific dock for receiving a Kodak camera. It's easy to see that Kodak's Easy Share technology is a closed circle.

The EasyShare Plus does include a PictBridge connector and memory-card slots, but using them is anything but straightforward - first of all because the PictBridge has compatibility problems. For example, our Photosmart R707, which was accepted by all the other printer models, wasn't recognized. Then, using memory cards efficiently is all but impossible. For example, you can't select a particular file to print. You have to print all the photos successively one by one with no control over the process, something that could make you waste a stack of cartridges. There are only two other solutions: print from the computer via the USB 1.1 interface or use the optional Bluetooth interface. Both work, but we were left with the feeling that this product is not thoroughly thought out.

Print Quality

These shortcoming are all the more regrettable given the good quality results the EasyShare Plus proved capable of. Colors were faithfully reproduced by its thermal sublimation technology, and black and white wasn't too bad, though dark tones did look dull.

Printing Speed

In terms of speed, the EasyShare Plus was slightly above average, taking a little more than one minute to complete the four printing passes. Note, however, that when you print via the computer, the driver's processing time is fairly high and can even double the total printing time.

Cost Per Print

Even if you ignore the ergonomic problems, the cost of use of the EasyShare Printer Dock Plus will persuade you to pass it by. Kodak offers a pack containing only enough paper and ink to print 40 photos at a price of $25, which earns it a record cost per print of 56 cents. This is over two times the cost of the most economical model, the Selphy CP500, which also uses thermal sublimation.

Conclusion

Not much can save the EasyShare Printer Dock Plus. Kodak needs to seriously reassess the flexibility and printing cost of its photo printers if it wants to put them in the running.

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