Print Quality and Speed
When Kodak showed these new models, PC World wasn't able to use its own image files, but the test prints we produced together--mostly borderless 4-by-6-inch photos--had bright, natural colors. Because the glossy photo paper Kodak will be offering is porous, it also dries quite quickly, which keeps prints from sticking together on an output tray. Kodak also claims that its pigment inks produce photos that won't fade for 100 years.
Overall, the photos the new EasyShare AiO printers produced during my briefing looked quite strong.
Though final independent tests remain, Kodak seems confident. Susan Tousi, Kodak's research and development manager for Inkjet Systems, claims that each model "produces Kodak Lab-quality photos that are equal or higher in quality to traditional silver-halide prints."
Tousi also explains that each new model uses the same print engine and the same permanent print head a user installs once for the life of the printer. The print head produces prints in 6.5-picoliter droplets for the black, yellow, and protective inks, and 2.7 picoliter droplets for the remaining colors.
The small size of the color droplets reduces the need for light cyan and light magenta inks, which many other photo printers employ to help create smooth color transitions. However, rivals such as Canon have used a combination of 1-picoliter droplet sizes and light/photo cyan and magenta inks in a single printer before. Our current second-ranked multifunction inkjet printer, Canon's US$400 MP960, is one example.
The print head also uses a large number of ink nozzles--3840--which makes for increased printing times. Kodak claims its AiO models can print 32 pages of draft-mode text on plain paper per minute, and deliver a 4-by-6-inch borderless photo (at default maximum settings) in 28 seconds.