February 15, 2007
Kodak EASYSHARE 5100 All-in-One Printer: The Holy Grail of Inkjet Printing?
By Jason Sattler
Printer News: The Legendary Photo Company Enters the Inkjet Market Twenty Years Late
The story behind the new line of Kodak EasyShare printers could easily be a relatively exciting TV mini-series.
Picture this: The scene opens in a dim conference room in mid 1999. HP executive Antonio Perez wipes his brow as he learns that HP's board chose Carly Fiorina instead of him to serve as the CEO of HP, the manufacturer of the best-selling inkjet printers in the world. Perez resigns soon after.
Cut to 2003: Kodak — an aging version of the former photo giant with a 0% share of the inkjet printer market — announces that Perez will join the company as President.
Now it gets exciting. Just a few weeks into his new job, Perez looks into a microscope at Kodak's Rochester, New York research campus and declares that he has seen the "Holy Grail" of inkjet printing.
Cue the orchestra and enjoy a montage of scenes depicting Kodak's researchers, hands covered in ink, feverishly working long hours to bring their inkjet printer breakthrough to market. We see scene after scene of Perez reviewing the results, refusing to accept anything but perfection. For the Kodak employees, the project becomes personal. "It's not too often you get to create a product your mom will use everyday," Kodak's Head of R&D Susan Tousi writes in Kodak's blog, probably late one night when nearly all hope had faded.
More than four years later, after missing his Q4 2006 launch date, Perez introduces Kodak's first line of inkjet all-in-one printers. Headlines from business sections of newspapers and Web sites exclaim:
Kodak Promises Prints that Will Last 100 Years!
Kodak's Inkjet Cartridges to Cost 50% Less than Traditional Cartridges!
Can Kodak Beat HP at its Own Game?
Now let's pause for a peek at the DVD extras. What did Perez see in that microscope? A whole new approach to inkjet technology. Instead of using dyes that typically last fifteen years, the researchers used pigments, the same material used to paint cars. With an ink that would outlive the competition's by generations, they just had to develop a print head that could fire the pigments at the speed and precision needed. Kodak's blog 1,000 Nerds has a very detailed look at the nuts and bolts of the cartridge design.
Unfortunately, we can't tell you the end of the story yet. Kodak's first EasyShare printers will become available on March 8, 2007. The $15 billion dollar question is: Will inkjet consumers will embrace the Kodak brand?
For Antonio Perez, the answer to that question may be as predictable as asking someone if they'd like to take a sip from the Grail.
SummaryDigital Multifunction (Print, Scan, Copy) best for Photos, Personal Use
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Specs that matter
|Release date:||March 8, 2007|
|Notable Features:||Long-lasting prints; cheap cartridges;|
|Pages per minute:||Black up to 32 ppm; Color up to 22 ppm; Photos as fast as 28 sec/print|
|Paper Trays:||Main Tray-3 5 in. to 8 14 in. (8.9 13 cm to 21.6 36 cm); Photo Tray-4 6 in. (10 15 cm)|
|Paper Capacity:||Main- 100 sheets 20 lb plain paper; 20 sheets; 10 mil Photo Paper Output- 50 sheets 20 lb paper|
|Paper Size:||3 5 in. (8.9 13 cm); 4 6 in. (10 15 cm); 4 8 in. (10 20 cm); 4 12 in. (10 30 cm); 5 7 in. (13 18 cm); 6 9 in. (15 23 cm); 8 10 in. (20 25 cm); A; A4|
|Interface:||USB 2.0, Bluetooth 1.2, PictBridge, DPOF, MIPC, PTP/IP|
|Compatibility:||Mac OS X; Windows XP and Windows Vista|
|Dimensions:||[W D H]: 18.8x14.7x8.8 in. (47.8x37.3x22.4 cm)|
|Weight:||21 lbs (9.5 kg)|
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