HP Virtual Focus Group – Review Post #2

As I mentioned before, HP recently contacted me about participating in a ‘virtual focus group’ and since I accepted, they sent me comparable models of HP and Kodak photo/print/scanners. This is my second post evaluating the experience. If you’re thinking of getting a new printer that can ‘do it all’ this Christmas, I hope these posts will help!

In my previous post, I was still evaluating the merits of getting the printers unpacked and arranged in my home. I was also considering the very physical attributes of the printers – i.e. the Kodak printer is black and built like a tank while the HP printer is white and silver and doesn’t seem quite as indestructible. Well, the printing has begun and here are some initial thoughts:

  • These babies are WIRELESS (cue the hallelujah chorus!). That means that I can sit on my couch and print whatever I want without getting up (because let’s face it, I am WAY to active *snicker*). So, I can be typing away on my laptop in the kitchen and I don’t have to scramble into the office and plug the printer into the usb port to print my New Moon tickets. I just hit print – and voila! *sigh* Of course, if I really WANTED to plug them in, I could. But why on earth would anyone want to do that?!
  • I may have mentioned at some point that I do not like (aka LOATHE) reading directions. I like things to be intuitive. And these printers were not going to be the acception. So, setting them up for their wireless connectivity needed to be easy breasy. And…it kinda was. Both of them were very easy to connect to my network with the ‘connection wizard’ waving his magic wand all over the place, making my life that much easier. I love it when things are simple. Don’t you?
  • I could NOT figure out how to get the Kodak printer to print a picture. I know, I know – most likely a user error – and given that I loathe (LOATHE) directions, I usually do not even bother unpacking them. So, I could not figure out how to print a picture. Oh, I could print them on paper, just not on photo paper. Grrr.
  • And then I figured out that all I had to do was push in the tray. Oh. Hmm. Maybe I should have at least glanced at the instructions.
  • In the spirit of keeping things simple, in my opinion, HP has blown it out of the water. And maybe gone a WEE bit overboard. Kodak put a single icon on my desktop – when I click on the ‘Home Center’ it gives me options to print, buy supplies, copy and scan, tips and tricks and a mess of other stuff. HP on the other hand put 3 icons on my desktop – for shopping, a ‘Solution Center’ and then the program application. That’s a LOT of stuff on my desktop…but that’s what the delete button is for…so….
  • Where did HP get it SUPER right? In my widget toolbar on my desktop, there is now a little image of an HP printer. All I have to do to print a picture, is DRAG a copy of it to the top of the little printer. And it prints. That’s it. Easy – peasy – 1 – 2 – 3-sy. Seriously. Honestly, that is such an awesomely nifty little thing that for me, that it is a decision maker. Really, I know I say this a lot. But it is the LITTLE things that count.

That’s all for now – I’ll keep printing away. So far I’ve done some document printing, photo printing and a wee bit of scanning…but I’m considering a project for the holidays. A couple of them actually. And I need to find some little cards to put my handmade earrings on…so they look fancy. Ooooh – projects, projects, projects! YAY!


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!