Ease of use
The ESP Office 2170’s control panel is nearly identical to the ESP Office 6150 with a slightly smaller LCD (1.5 inches compared to the 6150’s 2.4 inch display) on the left hand side and the quick keys, numerical Key pad and navigation wheel rounding out the rest of the panel.
Access the four additional devices (copy, scan, photo and fax) by hitting one of the quick keys or select the main menu (hit the home quick key) to peruse eleven selections including: two copy functions, photo print, scan, send fax, printable forms, maintenance, three settings options and help (troubleshooting). Selecting any one of the eleven will bring up a sub menu with various options. For example, click on ‘scan’ and it brings up four sub options: scan to, scan what, destination and save as defaults.
This menu navigation is also the same as the ESP 9250, making it easy for users to switch from various Kodak products without wasting time figuring out the navigation.
Kodak includes their AIO Home Center software with the ESP Office 2170 in spite of the business class designation. If I haven’t said it before, the AIO Home Center is one of my favorite programs when it comes to all-in-one inkjet software. It’s so simple to use with a well laid out navigation, interesting add-ons and linkage to useful “outside” information. Plus, I like the color scheme, black and red with a hint of yellow.
Kodak has updated the AIO Home Center again since our recent review of the ESP C310, but the layout is the same, they just added 3D printing to the list which includes traditional photo printing, photo stills from video, scan documents and picture, home center tools and documentation, printer tools, tips & projects center and ordering supplies.
Users can print a variety of photos using the three photo applications. There is the traditional photo printing which allows users to pick and choose photos from your hard drive, edit them using Kodak’s one-button edits or custom solutions, and then select how you want to “finish” them. You can print to the ESP Office 2170, save the photos to file, email using your default (likely Microsoft Outlook if you have a PC), open using other programs and send them to your Kodak Gallery account. Users can also link outside photo galleries to the AIO Home Center through the home center tools section.
Or users can print stills from video saved on their hard drive. It doesn’t have to be taken with a Kodak camera as long as it’s a media supported by Kodak’s software which included as of this writing: .mov, .avi and .mp4 video file types, H264, mpeg1 and motion jpeg codecs, and both standard and HD resolutions. Kodak will also be adding support for H264 encoded video. User will have to “unlock” this feature by downloading an installer from Kodak’s website.
With the ESP Office 2170, users can now officially print 3D photos. In order to do this, the user will need to take “picture pairs” which Kodak outlines in the 3D photo printing section. According to Kodak, users will: “take one picture, then move camera 3 in. /75 mm to the right; within 20 seconds, take the same picture without changing the angle of the camera.”
Kodak also provides a tutorial for first time users. Below, we scanned in the test photos from the installation which includes a normal photo and the 3D photo printed by the ESP Office 2170.
Using the scan software is similar to using the traditional photo print software. Select your media – be it a photo, document, etc. you want to scan – and hit next (or preview the scan). The ESP Office 2170 will scan in the image(s) and then you’ll have a chance to edit them. This is where the scan software starts to overlap with the photo software. The edit options are identical. Once you finish editing, you’ll be taken to the final Finish page where you can select to print, save or email your scan.
Like other ESP AIO’s I’ve reviewed, the ESP Office 2170 automatically scans multiple images or documents on the flatbed into individual files unless the user checks the collage button.
I had no problems scanning in documents or images and the quality was better than what we saw on the ESP C310, the model launched at CES 2011. No visible lines or extra noise, but there was still some discoloration on a few photo scans, including our balloon scan which you’ll see later in the review. But overall, a step up from the ESP C310 scanner.
No real issues with the fax. We did our usual test to make sure it works and we sent and received multi-page documents successfully.
The ESP Office 2170 does include a front side USB port, a feature left off the ESP Office 6150, which I was excited to see since I was disappointed Kodak left it off before. But Kodak offers a smaller ADF, no automatic duplexing and no paper drawer on the ESP Office 2170. A rear folding tray can be an issue in an actual office environment when the printer is being shared by multiple users.