January 12, 2012
- Interactive, smart touchscreen display
- Automatic duplexing
- Very good text & photo quality
- Slow print speeds
- Uses a combined color ink cartridge
The Kodak Hero 9.1 is a feature-packed all-in-one printer that has a smart touchscreen and very good image and text quality. It definitely isn't the speediest printer on the market and we don't like the combined color cartridge, but it's still a really good unit overall.
The Kodak Hero 9.1 measures 17.5 x 17.0 x 9.2-inches (wdh) and weighs about 19-pounds, so it's not too bad in terms of size when it comes to other all-in-one printers. It has a glossy black finish and visually fits into any home or small business setting.
For paper handling, there is a 100-sheet input tray that slides right into the printer's bottom. The top of the tray doubles as the output tray as well, which is typical of most printers. Built into the output tray, there is a 40-sheet 4 x 6-inch photo paper loading tray. This way you can print directly on photo paper without having to remove your stock of regular paper. There is also built-in automatic duplexing, which allows you to print on both sides of the paper without any flipping of the paper by hand. This is a great way to conserve paper and cut costs. Lastly, there's an automatic document feeder that holds up to 30-pages. It allows you to copy, scan or fax documents with one or more pages consecutively.
For easy image printing, Kodak includes SD, SDHC, MultiMediaCard memory card slots and a USB for printing from flash memory and PictBridge-compatible cameras. You can also print from Google Cloud Print or from email by using Kodak's Email Print Service. This is a really great feature for tablets and smartphones.
On the front, there is a 4.3-inch touchscreen LCD display. It an interactive touchscreen, which means it changes based upon your current action. This makes using the device very easy, even for beginner users. There's also a QWERTY keyboard that appears when needed and a numeric pad for dialing while faxing.
The ink cartridge system includes a standard black and a combined 5-ink color. We would have preferred to see individual ink cartridges because with the combined setup, if one color runs dry, the other colors are wasted. This would've improved the ink replacement cost because it would be done as needed and individually. For added black capacity, you can purchase a high-yield black cartridge.
Setting up the Kodak Hero 9.1 was easy. It can be connected to a computer via USB 2.0 or to a network through 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. For easy wireless setup, the printer supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), which lets you press a button on your router and it will automatically connect and authenticate your printer without any extra work on your part. For non-WPS networks, you can enter your wireless information, including passkey, using the on-screen keyboard.
We found the Hero to be quite sluggish when it came to printing, which is always a disappointment. One page of text took about 25 seconds and 4 x 6-inch photos took an average of 48-seconds. While these aren't horrible numbers, they are either just average or just below average when compared to other all-in-ones.
The quality of the text prints, however, were very good with sharp characters at usually small font sizes, so perhaps the extra wait is worth it. Photo prints were also above average and looked very good. Skin tones were represented well and landscapes looked vibrant.