Computers | Technopolis

Kodak ESP 5250 printer

Liberation from the tyranny of expensive printer ink

Kodak ESP 5250 printer

February 27 2010
Jonathan Margolis

I’ve yet to meet anyone, however wealthy, who isn’t scandalised by the cost of printer ink. It costs nearly £100 to fill up my (albeit superb) Epson photo printer, and the inks run out at hugely different rates, so I’m forever buying new cartridges. It’s notoriously hard to calculate as there are just too many variables, but I reckon my A4 photos cost 40p-50p each in ink alone – not a bank-breaker, but it’s irritating and feels like exploitation. No wonder the printer business has been described as an “ink oligopoly” and the stuff itself is dubbed “black cocaine”.

What, then, if I could suggest to you a printer from a prestigious photographic brand that produces prints I would judge as being 95 per cent as good as my £300 Epson machine but costs just £10 to fill with colour ink – and is also a joy to use? Kodak, for it is that company, has revolutionised the ink racket lately, and I have been massively impressed by this, its top model. It is an uncomplaining, user-friendly delight. And I’ve been getting 50-60 A4 photos per £10 cartridge set, which exceeds its own claims.

Because you don’t feel ripped off each time you press print, the Kodak gives you a huge sense of artistic freedom. I used it for my fun and games with a mountain of art photo paper, which is particularly ink-hungry stuff. There is a price in quality, but I maintain that it’s imperceptible to any normal person – and, oddly, the difference shows up more on standard glossy papers than it does on art papers. The Kodak also handles art papers without a hitch. I say, have no qualms and go art, go Kodak.