No one ever talks about scanners these days. At least not typical consumers, who often make do with the built-in scanner on a multifunction centre. However, for business users, a dedicated scanner can come in handy, especially when it's of the calibre of Brother's PDS-5000.
Printers & Imaging
For many of us, a scanner isn't something that's high on our wishlist of tech gear. But there are still some interesting models out there, and compact ones at that. Fujitsu's ScanSnap S1100 Portable Scanner is one of them, and it's very convenient if you need to digitise documents every now and then, either at your desk or while on the road.
But the Canon CanoScan LiDE 200 has some drawbacks, including skimpy OCR functions and the inability to scan transmissive items (such as film).
The HP ScanJet N6310 is a flatbed document scanner
Epson's low-cost V200 scans photos and film into winning images on the quick.
The Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 5590, predominantly aimed at home office or small businesses, offers a mixed set of results. For the rapid scanning of monochrome documents and conversion to editable text files, the automatic document feeder enabled scanner does an excellent job. For photo scanning and film scanning, the results were less impressive. If you want a fast way of scanning documents, the Scanjet 5590 is a good solution.
Way, way down at the bottom of Hewlett Packard's lineup of scanners sits their Scanjet 2400. This really is a bargain offering and one of the cheapest scanners on the market at present. Novices will be well served by the simplicity and low cost of this unit.
Offices with little desk space but heavy document scanning requirements find that most flatbed scanners are just too big - and very often not designed to be carthorses. The i40 steers a different course: as an upright sheet-fed model it has a petite footprint, and it's capable of scanning 1,000 pages per day.
With the ever increasing popularity of digital photography, it wouldn't be foolish to assume that manufacturers no longer care about the loyal battalions of amateur photographers still dedicated to film. Bucking this trend is Epson whose latest scanner, the Perfection V700 Photo, is aimed squarely at these loyal devotees. They have no qualms about this; the V700 is primarily for scanning film. The fact it happens to be the best photo scanner we've ever tested is an attractive bonus.
At the top end of Epson's range of home and office scanners sits the Perfection 4990 Photo. It's big, it's expensive and it has some impressive specifications, but is it any good?
This Scanners Buying Guide will help you wade through the jargon that plagues this essential technology and show you how to pick the right scanner for your needs.
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