While I can appreciate the ESP 5’s low operation costs, the costs associated with trying to do everything – print, scan, and copy – within a single device may make the Kodak a poorer deal than it first appears for photo enthusiasts: for not much more than the ESP 5’s $170 price tag, you can get a really superb stand-alone inkjet. A printer-only device with the ESP 5’s image quality can be had for much less. Combine this with scanner performance that can be finicky and doesn’t deliver the kind of super-high-quality results photo enthusiasts demand and unless you have a pressing need to do lots of scanning, the ESP 5 may not make a lot of sense.
Unfortunately for Kodak, it seems that the ESP 5 succumbs to an issue all too common with all-in-one devices: in trying to do everything, it does little well. Print quality is fine if not stunning, but many of the device’s other features are a bit clunky at best. Styling is excellent, but build quality is only fair. Kodak’s latest looks great on paper and fits in great just about anywhere – making it potentially a “good enough” solution for casual users. But with so many “yes, but” qualifications, the ESP 5 struggles to stick with the pack in real-world performance.