capsule review

Kodak Easyshare 5500 All-In-One Color Inkjet MFP

At a Glance
  • Kodak EasyShare 5500

    PCWorld Rating

Kodak's Easyshare 5500 All-In-One offers features that should satisfy photo enthusiasts as well as the small-office/home-office crowd. Unfortunately, it's a fairly slow, somewhat high-priced color inkjet multifunction printer.

The Kodak Easyshare 5500 All-In-One takes all major camera-card formats. The control panel's tiltable, 2.4-inch color LCD displays photos from your inserted media. The menus offer basic printing choices such as layout and quantity; you also get control-panel buttons for rotating the photo or zooming in on a specific area to print. Kodak's bundled EasyShare software helps you organize and edit your photos. The printer even autosenses the paper type and adjusts its quality accordingly, although it malfunctioned on our test unit--rejecting Kodak's own papers. Kodak subsequently issued a firmware upgrade to resolve this issue.

The Easyshare 5500 All-In-One offers a decent set of small-office features, notably a 35-sheet ADF and an automatic duplexer. Networking is its big deficit--it has only USB (Bluetooth is a $50 option). The 100-sheet input tray is smaller than I'd like, but not unusual for the category. Copy functions (from the control panel only) cover a good range of choices, and copy quality itself is good. Scan quality is acceptable, and the scanning from either the control panel or software is easy. Kodak's AiO Home Center offers a centralized interface for scanning and photo functions, as well as settings and other information.

The control panel is logically laid out with clearly labeled buttons, including ones to initiate each major function. There's no button for going back or undoing something, however, and it can be hard to tell whether you're supposed to press the OK or Start button, especially in Photo mode.

As with all inkjet multifunction printers we've tested, the EasyShare 5500 All-In-One is a lot slower in default mode than its top-speed, draft-mode specs would suggest. This machine managed a lackluster 6.2 pages per minute printing plain-black text, and a poky 2 ppm printing graphics. Text on plain paper looked good: charcoal rather than black, but fairly precise otherwise. Graphics printed on plain paper seemed a tad faded, while on photo paper everything was a little dark. On both papers, images still looked natural.

The machine is noteworthy for its low-priced ink replacements. There's a separate black for text, plus a color cartridge with five tanks for cyan, magenta, yellow, photo black, and a clear protective coating. A page of plain text costs just 1.8 cents, and a page of graphics, 6.9 cents. (A full-color photo will use much more ink.) 

Kodak deserves credit for its economical inks and focus on photo quality. Unfortunately, these attributes together cannot overcome the EasyShare 5500 All-In-One's disappointing speed and fairly high price.

--Melissa Riofrio

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Poky speed and a high price detract from this MFP's useful SOHO and shutterbug features.

    Pros

    • Cheap ink; automatic duplexing
    • Good mix of photo, office features

    Cons

    • Very expensive
    • Expensive; a little slow; no networking
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