Although you might assume otherwise from the name, Kodak’s self-proclaimed office multifunction printer (MFP)—the Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-In-One Printer ($149.99 direct)—is better appreciated as a good fit for a home office or the dual role of home and home office printer than as an office printer per se. Granted, it delivers key office-centric features, including a 25-page automatic document feeder (ADF), but both its output quality and print speed are much more impressive for photos than for business applications, and that tags it as a good choice for home printing too.
As with other Kodak printers, including the Editors’ Choice Kodak ESP C310 All In One Printer($99.99 direct, 4 stars), Kodak touts a relatively low claimed cost per page for the 2170 as one of its key attractions. More important, as with the C310, the claimed 3.7 cents per monochrome page and 11.3 cents per color page are lower than the claimed costs for most similarly priced printers. That means you’ll save money from the first page you print, which also means you’ll save money no matter how much—or how little—you print.v
Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One View SlideshowSee all (8) slides
In most other ways, the 2170 offers a fairly typical set of capabilities for a home and home office MFP. It can print and scan over a USB cable or WiFi connection and it can work as a standalone fax machine and copier. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t come with a fax driver to let you fax a file from your PC. You need to print the file first, and then fax it.
Photocentric features for home use include the ability to print from memory cards and cameras as well as preview photos before printing on the 1.5-inch LCD. The 150-page input capacity would be meager for a shared office printer, but should be sufficient for most home offices.
Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Specifications
- Printer Category
- Ink Jet
- Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Type
- Color or Monochrome
- Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One 1-pass color
- Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Ink Jet Type
- Standard All-Purpose
- Connection Type
- USB, Wireless
- Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Maximum Standard Paper Size
- Direct Printing from Cameras
- Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Standalone Copier and Fax
- Copier, Fax
- Print Duplexing
- Manual with guidance
Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Setup, Speed, and Quality
For my tests, I connected the 2170 to a Windows Vista system by USB cable. Setup was standard. The speed on our business applications suite was reasonable, but a little slow. I timed it (using QualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at an effective 3.0 pages per minute (ppm), making it about the same speed as the much less expensive ESP C310 (2.7 ppm), and somewhat slower than the Editors’ Choice Epson Stylus NX625 ($149.99 direct, 4 stars), at 4 ppm. As another point of reference, the similarly priced HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One ($149 direct, 4 stars) came in at 3.2 ppm.
Photo speed was a different story, with the 2170 averaging just 42 seconds for a 4 by 6. In comparison, the C310 was essentially tied at 44 seconds, the NX625 was a little slower at 58 seconds, and the HP printer was significantly slower, at 1:17.
Output quality followed a similar pattern, with the 2170 doing its best work on photos. More precisely, it scored above par for photo quality and on par for text and graphics. For text, that means the output is suitable for most business use as long as you don’t need small fonts or the kind of crisp edges that you can get only from a laser printer.
For graphics, the quality is also easily good enough for most business needs. Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you may consider it good enough for output going to an important client or customer, when you need to project a sense of professionalism. Photo output is a cut above most MFP inkjets, making it better than I’d expect to see from drugstore prints, but not quite as good as I’d expect from near-dedicated inkjets aimed at serious amateur and professional photographers.
Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Other Issues
One unusual feature that demands mention is the ability to print anaglyphic stereoscopic (3D) color photos—the kind you view through glasses with one red lens and one blue lens. To manage this trick you take two pictures of the same scene, moving the camera horizontally by about three inches between the two shots. The printer comes with a utility that will overlay one picture on the other and print the photo. To see it in 3D, just put on your colored glasses.
I tried this with a sample photo Kodak provided for printing, and it worked as promised. For the moment, at least, you have to supply your own glasses, since Kodak doesn’t currently ship any with the printer. (Kodak says it’s in the process of modifying its packaging procedures to include two pairs with each printer.) More important, including the 3D feature stresses the home printer aspect of the 2170, since it’s hard to picture much use for the feature in a business context.
Even at home, the 3D prints will probably be of most interest to the younger members of your family. My sense of it is that it’s a pretty impressive technical achievement, but I wonder how much anyone of any age will use it once the novelty wears off.
In any case, the 3D printing is a flashy extra feature added to a reasonably capable printer for home and home office. I’d like the printer better if it were faster and the fax feature also let you fax directly from your PC, but the overall balance of speed, output quality, features, and low running cost is easily enough to make the 2170 an attractive choice for a home office or for the dual role of home and home office printer.
Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One