An all-in-one printer and scanner with lots of interesting new features
Kodak's Hero 5.1 is a new entry-level all-in-one printer and scanner, so you might expect a very basic device but it has plenty of features to satisfy most home needs.
The simple control panel, which includes a menu navigation ring and seven other buttons, is straightforward to use. It is complemented by a flip-up 61mm LCD screen, which can show photo thumbnails, as well as menus.
A single paper tray has to be used for both plain and photo papers. There's a USB/PictBridge port and SD/Memory Stick slots so you can print images and documents straight from a camera or memory card without using your computer.
USB and wireless connections are supported, but to make use of remote printing, where you can send photos or documents to the printer over the Google Cloud Print service, you need to use wireless. Cloud Print worked well enough from our test Samsung Galaxy Mini Android smartphone, but the Kodak print app gives little control over the size or number of images printed.
Print speeds are reasonable for a sub-£100 all-in-one and we saw 6.1ppm for black text and 3.6ppm for text and colour graphics. A 15x10cm photo printed in a sprightly 38 seconds. Draft mode text printed at 8.8ppm and since draft print is unusually good quality, you could probably default to this for most documents.
Duplex print is a good feature, except for two things. It still takes a while to print double-sided pages - 3 minutes 16 seconds for a 20-side document - and, oddly, it reduces the size of the printed page, when compared to single-sided ones. They're around 10 percent smaller.
Print quality is good, with dense and reasonably well-formed text while colour graphics are dense and bright. Photos also come through well, although they don't look as good as the results from rival all-in-ones. Running costs remain among the lowest available, with a black page costing about 1.9p and a colour one about 5.3p.
Don't be taken in by Kodak's promises of 3D printing - it's a gimmick. Images printed in 3D are viewed using old-fashioned red and blue 3D glasses so the effect is not nearly as convincing as modern 3D cinemas and TVs which use completely different technologies.
The quality of scanned images was reasonably good, though there was a slight colour shift from blue to purple in the copies we produced. Detail levels are good, thanks to the 1,200dpi resolution, and scan times are fair with a single page colour copy taking 31 seconds. There's no Automatic Document Feeder, so you can only scan pages one at a time.
Although it does have its limitations, the Hero 5.1 is a good value all-in-one printer and scanner thanks to its low running costs.
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Despite a couple of duplexing eccentricities, this is a good all-in-one multifunction device with Kodak's headline low-running costs.
Low running costs; remote printing via Google Cloud Print; duplex print as standard
Duplex page images reduced in size; cloud prints pretty basic; no separate photo tray
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