The EasyShare printer dock is, in a word, awesome. Despite a few minor flaws, it essentially solves the basic problem of digital photography, namely that we all have hard drives crammed with thousands of images and no actual physical photos (you remember, the kind you can put on your refrigerator and mail to your mom). And it solves this problem affordably
, at about 29 cents a print once you factor in the cost of paper and cartridges. But most important of all, the quality of the photos it prints is eye-wateringly good.
|Kodak Xtralife coating makes prints waterproof and durable under typical home use.|
The EasyShare printer is a snap to set up, even for dedicated technophobes like myself. You simply snap the pieces into place, dock your compatible Kodak camera, and press the Print
button. Printing itself takes about 60 seconds. The 4 x 6-inch photo paper passes back and forth through the printer four times, allowing you to witness the application of each primary color and a final, invisible protective coating. Does it really deliver archival quality, as claimed? There's no way to know for sure until a few decades have passed, but the colors at least look
sturdily vibrant and crisp. The print quality is in fact much higher than what I have come to expect from drugstores for my film camera prints. The contours are sharp as a knife, the contrast pitch perfect. At the push of a button, the printer will produce multiple prints (two, six, or nine) on a single sheet, which is perfect for making wallet-sized snaps of the kids.
Among the above-mentioned minor flaws, number one is paper jams, which happen every eighth print or so. The jams are solved easily enough by unplugging and plugging the unit back in, but are still annoying. The second problem is that printing from a PC is not nearly as smooth and easy as printing directly from a Kodak camera. Installing the included software is easy enough, but more often than not, trying to print from my hard drive was a lesson in frustration. To get around the PC quandary, you can print directly from any PictBridge-enabled digital camera or from SD or MMC cards using the built-in card slot.
Quibbles aside, though, the EasyShare printer dock is essential for anyone wishing to complete the digital circle from virtual pictures to real-world photographs with glorious color and razor-sharp detail. --David Stoesz
- Outstanding picture quality
- Ease of use
- Frequent paper jams
- Printing from PCs is a hassle