HP Virtual Focus Group – Review Post #1

HP recently contacted me to participate in a virtual focus group, comparing an HP printer/scanner/photo printer with a comparable Kodak offering. I agreed, so they sent me two printers: the Kodak ESP 7 and the HP Photosmart C6380. Over the next few weeks I will be posting my thoughts about these printers. I’ll also share some snippets from DH, given that he’s sharing his house with these machines for the next few weeks and has some things to say about it! You can also follow my tweets at the hashtag #PrintWithMe, if you feel so inclined.

If you’re looking for a quality photo printer/scanner and just all-around printer, I’m hoping this series of posts will help you make a decision. If you have any questions about my process or any specific questions about them that you’d like to ask me, I’m happy to answer those to the best of my ability. So…let’s get started!


I’m gonna go ahead and admit that if I were buying these based on packaging alone, the HP would win. The box is black, smaller than the Kodak box, and the graphics are cool. I also like the fact that the product packaging seems a bit more streamlined. It just looks sleek. Bearing that in mind, Kodak just says “photo” to me and that is some powerful brand imaging.


When I pulled the products out of the box, I jotted down some of my and DH’s immediate thoughts and impressions – this is what they were:


DH: It looks like a tank!

Me: It’s a monster! It’s huge! And it weighs a ton! I think it may be bulletproof – which isn’t a bad thing when you have a toddler…

Me: It looks like one of those old TV sets – the kind inside the big wooden box with the teeny tiny screen right in the middle…hehehe.

Me: It says on the box that you can “save (on average) $110/yr on ink” and that makes it the “cheapest in the industry.” Is that true? And what is the industry? All printers or just photo printers? Hmmm…

General thoughts: Although it looks like one of those black boxes from an airplane, it feels sturdy and solid. I think it could take a beating and steam right ahead. Because it’s so heavy, I wouldn’t think about moving it around in my house too often, though – once it found a spot, it would stay put. It also had a LOT of packaging – a box for the ink cartridges, plastic wrapping for the 2 cords, manuals and a disc. Not to mention the protective packaging for the printer itself. I did appreciate that the tape tips which held the scanner and other protective items in place were folded down, making them easier to remove. I know that’s kind of silly – but really, it’s the little things that count, right?


Me: Ohh – the HP is lighter – it’s not nearly as heavy!

DH: It looks sleeker – something about the white and grey/chrome-ish color.

Me: Yeah – it looks more stylish and less intimidating for some reason. I’m wondering what would happen if I dropped it.

DH: Don’t drop it!

Me: I’m not, silly…I’m just curious.

General thoughts: Though the HP printer is taller, it had less packaging. All of the items in the box were compactly presented and the cartridges are much tinier and ‘streamlined.’ The cord was left to fend for itself without being wrapped in plastic – which is just fine with me. Although I would say the Kodak printer is more minimalist, the HP just seems more stylish and approachable. I’m not as intimidated to take a crack at it – so to speak (I swear I’m not going to drop it just for experment’s sake…not yet). Of interesting note – at least to me – the tape tips were also folded down on this printer, making it easy to remove all of the protective items. That’s just common courtesy, folks.


I’m just at the gazing stage – I haven’t taken these babies out for a cruise around the lake/ride around the block, yet. And the reality is, you can paint a Yugo gunmetal grey, install leather seats, and put a speedy fin on it – but it’s still just a Yugo. Though we often make snap decisions based on the looks of  a product (and unfortunately sometimes people…but that’s a different post), style doesn’t really mean anything when compared with functionality.

Next post coming soon!

4 thoughts on “HP Virtual Focus Group – Review Post #1

  1. We had a Kodak photo printer (came with Amy’s Kodak Easy Share camera), but I ended up switching to an HP model eventually. I’m a tech geek at heart, but couldn’t resolve the bugs with the Kodak software on the installation disc. I found that we went through the ink quickly and the refills were far frombeing cheap.

    HP does a good job with their printers in general, and we’ve been happy with the HP photo printer we use at home. It is amazing how important photos become when you have a kid. It is worth the investment for any parent to get a good photo printer for the house.

      • And being a tightwad, I’m sure that price will play a factor too. I noticed that while Kodak says their ink is cheaper, they charge A LOT more than others for the printers. I guess that makes up for the reduced profit with the ink cartridges.

        Can you tell that I’m an HP fan? 🙂

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