Kodak 4.2 Hero – £129
The Kodak 4.2 Hero is a brand new printer that has just been announced . The printer features; a 6.1cm colour LCD touchscreen, auto duplex, email print, Google Cloud Print, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Memory card slot, scan resolution of 1200 dpi, Fax and Automatic Document Feeder (ADF).
Setting up the 4.2 is straight forward; the printer is supplied with a well illustrated quick start guide. The touchscreen LCD prompts you to choose your language and country and then install the printhead cradle. The two pigment ink cartridges, Black and tricolour, can now be installed. The printer software installation took approx 6 minutes. You have a choice of connection, USB, Wi-Fi or Ethernet, I am using the USB option – cable not supplied.
Using Photoshop, our A4 test print took 1 minute 54 seconds using Kodak Premium Quality Paper set to Best quality. The prints display excellent colour saturation throughout, certainly some of the best colours I have seen reproduced by any four colour printer.
Each of the coloured cotton reels display vibrant colours and high definition, although the white reel was a touch light and hence lost some detail in the thread. The portrait photo has maintained the highlight detail in the skin and the baby has a healthy looking complexion. The RGB colour gradients have a smooth transition from white to solid colour, the solid colour patches are vibrant especially the Blue and Yellow. The central B/W photograph is totally cast free with excellent greys, the dark shadow areas hold in all the detail. The fine line graphics have excellent detail with no merging of lines. The Times Roman 11pt font has well defined characters and maintained detail in the serifs. The white on black text shows excellent separation with no bleeding.
The Hero 4.2 only supports SD cards, which may be a problem if you use CF cards. Printing from a memory card produced almost identical results, albeit the photos are borderless which means some cropping was applied. The touchscreen LCD menu provides plenty of options including; View photos, Find photos (by date), Quantity (up to 99), BW or Colour, Print Size, Quality etc. The menu also has a well thought out cropping option. Although the LCD is perhaps smaller than I would have liked it still displayed images and menus clearly.
The scanner has a resolution of 1200dpi which is more than sufficient for document and photo scans, generally you only need 300 or 600dpi for this. You can’t scan from within Photoshop or other image editing application, you have to either scan using the LCD screen or launch Kodak Home Centre. From here there are plenty of options including; scan to print, to file, or to email. The Edit menu gives you the option to make basic adjustments such as brightness, contrast, crop, white balance etc., but not enough to satisfy a demanding user. The test scans we produced were adequate, but nothing special. There is an Automatic Document Feeder on the top, this enables you to scan in multipage documents and print them using the printer’s duplex facility, a handy feature for SOHO businesses or students, but of little use with photos.
This is an ideal all in one printer for the home and with Wi-Fi every member of the family can make use of the many features. Photographic reproduction on the Hero 4.2 was particularly good and with Kodak’s pigment inks the prints will last for years to come. The printer construction is solid with plenty of attention to detail.
- Excellent colour reproduction
- Ease of use
- Small footprint
- Ink cost (approx £20 for full set)
- No PictBridge or CF card support
- Tri-Colour cartridge
- Printer driver interface is too basic