Customer Review

139 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heroically straightforward, 25 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kodak Hero 5.1 All-in-One WiFi Printer (Print, Copy, Scan) (Accessory)
Are printers now in the top ten most weary-inducing products to purchase? They are reliably unreliable, so buying one every two or three years now seems unavoidable. And it goes without saying they always break on a Friday evening just as you hit print on that job application or vital document that you must submit for Monday.

So one always finds oneself speed-reading Amazon reviews late at night for products that appear to do so much for the price it's a wonder they don't claim to print by telepathy too. And yet ratings all cluster around the 2 to 3 star area because, infallibly, half the reviewers have found that the thing does indeed print telepathically while using almost no ink and having the build quality of a Bentley; while the other half are writing their review on a mobile device while transporting their new purchase straight to the local municipal dump.

So, as you may be able to discern, I purchased this printer more in hope than expectation - the hope in this case being that if the damn thing happened to work, I'd get my money back in saved ink costs within a year.

I tried to get myself into a zen state by setting aside a whole morning of holiday, while the kids were in school, so that I could try to set it up, fail, swear, phone help lines, try again, settle for using USB rather than Wi-Fi, etc.

In fact the journey from box opening to printed document was just 30 minutes - leaving me with the rest of morning to fail at something else, but at least with the knowldge I had one triumph in the bank.

The printer comes with the usual wordless instructions - relying on the communicative power of illustration. Needless to say these illustrations don't precisely correspond with reality, but they do set you on a logic path which means you get there on your own painlessly. There are also many pictures in the instructions devoted to whether you have the right kind of router to configure simply, or whether you need to pause while you obtain a degree in computer science. But I just made the assumption that since my router is only about 18 months old, the simple option would probably work - and it did. It found my wireless router, asked me to enter the security password (or string as it quaintly calls it) via the clunky, but once-only, interface in the menu screen, and we had connection. I then loaded the CD for the software, clicked on the Mac OS version, since I am an Apple user, and the Kodak and I walked hand in hand into print heaven.

Print quality is sharp, clean and good. Speed is Ok, not remarkable. It's a little bit noisy, but it's also a little bit cheap, so paupers can't be choosers. Just two ink cartridges - one for B&W and one for colour - is a delight, and they are indeed very cheap: around a third of the cost of my previous HP printer, depending on how good a discount I could get online.

Couple of minor grumbles. First, the build quality is OK but no more - particularly the hilariously retro plastic arm which holds the printer open when inserting print cartridges. Much like a 1950s Morris Minor bonnet - although that at least was metal. Second, once up and running, you can go online to register to the Kodak site, which activates all the groovy monitoring and maintenance of the printer. But it also invites you to download the software again on the grounds that what you have is out of date. No idea if it is; but why not just make the whole process online and drop the disk?

Finally, I have gone through the process of getting the printer's own email address, and successfully printed directly from an iPhone (just follow the instructions in the handbook - which are words not pictures - and it is very simple). This is pretty damn close to the telepathy function. Can't think when I'll ever use it; but I guess when I do, it'll know before me.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Nov 2011 11:45:35 GMT
Braveass says:
Hi Hamish, thanks for your helpful review. The dimensions of the printer I finally buy is an issue. Tell me, does the hero 5.1 load paper at the front or the rear? To be more technical, does it have a sticky-up plastic paper loader thingy at the rear thus increasing the height more than that specified? Thanks in anticipation.

Bob

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011 20:38:43 GMT
M. Harrison says:
Hi Robert. The paper both loads and exits from the front. The tray is at the bottom of the printer, and juts out from the body by (your enquiry made me feel compelled to measure..) 10 cms. Hope that helps. All best

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011 22:33:43 GMT
Braveass says:
Perfect. Thank you.

Posted on 5 Dec 2011 20:08:17 GMT
LJB says:
Heh, heh - this is the first amazon review that actually made me smile! Nice one Hamish!

Posted on 12 Dec 2011 13:24:02 GMT
ClareFCP says:
Hi Hamish - your review made me chuckle, thank you. Tell me - do you think it'll work with the vintage 2003 BT Voyager ADSL Wireless Router we're using, or do you think we'll have to bite the bullet and set up the free BT Home Hub 2.0 one we got sent in 2009 that's still languishing in its box?! Thanks in advance... Clare

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2011 22:41:15 GMT
M. Harrison says:
Crikey! I'd doubt the old one would work - but I ain't no geek. Incidentally we've had a few problems since I wrote this review with it jumping channels on the wi-fi router - so appearing fine but not printing. Diagnosed after a long time on the phone with the help of the Kodak helpline (very good) and our ISP (who are a boutique provider and also very good). Not sure if a big ISP would be as effective. Of course you could simply use the USB connection if you are able to place the printer near your computer - which would remove the issue. Good luck! Mark

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2011 09:20:24 GMT
ClareFCP says:
Thanks Mark - have a good Christmas! Clare

Posted on 16 Jan 2012 21:27:58 GMT
Ingleman says:
Brilliant review. I like your style and the review is honest and helpful. Cheers.

Posted on 17 Jan 2012 17:14:44 GMT
D. Davidson says:
Hi Hamish, enjoyed your review so much I forgot my frustrations with rubbish printers and vanishing ink. Entertaining!!! Cheered me up. Regards Dee.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 16:29:21 GMT
R. L. Morgan says:
Does it include the appropriate ink cartridges?
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