In the past, for our Back to School feature, we’ve outlined the top ten options for users but this year we want to feature our number one pick so that readers will get a better idea of why its number one.
For 2011, we’ve chosen the Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One as the top pick for buyers looking for a new printer for school. I do realize that the word “Office” is featured in the title and that Kodak intended this model to be purchased by professionals but I feel like that makes the ESP Office 2170 that much better for students.
As an all-in-one, the ESP Office 2170 offers print, scan, copy and fax capabilities giving students the option to print papers, scan homework and email it, fax paperwork and copy notes all with a touch of a button.
An “office” feature students might find useful is the 25-sheet automatic document feeder. Consumers won’t often see this feature on the typical photo printer, even an AIO. The great thing about an ADF is that users can scan or copy legal sized documents that wouldn’t fit on a standard flatbed as well as copy, scan and fax large documents quickly with little work on the part of the user.
The ESP Office 2170 can be shared in a home or a dorm room, if you so choose, with a wired or wireless connection or be hooked up directly to your PC with a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connection. Or users can print directly from a memory card or USB flash drive without the need of a computer.
Students will also appreciate the creative features that Kodak includes with the ESP Office software package including 3D photo printing, HD movie printing and connections with third party photo galleries and sites.
The only real down side I see for students is the slow print speeds in the standard print mode. During our tests we saw average speeds around 4 ppm, which could be a problem when a student is running late. However, printing in draft mode nearly triples average speeds – around 11 ppm – and the quality is good enough for most black and white print outs.
The real selling point for the Kodak ESP Office 2170 to a student (or a parent purchasing the device) is going to be the price. At $149.99 for the printer, and less than $30 for set of replacement ink cartridges, the ESP Office 2170 is an affordable option.
Read our full review of the Kodak ESP Office 2170 All-in-One for a more in-depth look at the device.
Additional Back to School Picks:
Samsung ML-3712nd – This single function monochrome laser printer would be a great choice for students who have a high document print volume and won our Editor’s Choice award!
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One – This all-in-one was released last fall and features HP’s ePrint technology for wireless printing from any device, anywhere.
More Back to School 2011 – And make sure to check out our TechnologyGuide Back to School 2011 feature for our top picks of notebooks, desktop, digital cameras, tablets, smartphones and more!