Forget about the notion that the days of the stand-alone scanner is over in light of a wave of inexpensive all-in-one multifunction printers. A separate scanner still is faster and more precise than an MFP and adds features that MFPs don’t include. Take the Plustek SmartOffice PS406U, which at $1,300 is a bargain because it includes duplexing for two-side scanning, a 100-sheet document feeder and can scan up to 40 pages a minute.
When you’re looking for absolutely the best scans of paper documents, negatives or slides, Epson outdoes the competition with its Perfection V750-M Pro scanner. At $850, it’s an expensive device in a world with $65 scanners. But, the V750-M Pro is a digital workhorse that is able to create super-sharp 6,400 dot per inch digital scans. The device’s dual lens means that everything is picture perfect. It works with both PCs and Macs, and can handle originals that are up to 8.5- by11.7-inches.
If handling a flatbed scanner is too much for small kids, Pandigital’s Personal Photo Scanner has a lot of pull. The scanner grabs and pulls in sheets that are up to 8.5- by 11-inches and turns them into vivid 600 dot per inch digital images. It can’t handle slides or negatives but it can not only send the scans via a USB cable, the $150 Pandigital device can put them directly on a flash memory card, like an SD card.
It seems that every generation of scanners get cheaper and more powerful, and the latest devices are no exception. Whether it’s the best color and resolution you’re after or an economical scanner, there’s something for every school.
Looking for the best scans available for student artwork or projecting documents for the class? You can’t do much better than Canon’s upcoming CanoScan 9000F, a device that’s capable of 4,800 by 4,800 dot per inch scans of papers, and 9,600 by 9,600 dot per inch digital images of slides and negatives. Both are in vivid 48-bit color and with software enhancement can double resolution to more than 19,000 dots per inch. Originals are illuminated by LEDs so there’s no annoying warming and calibration time, and the CanoScan 9000F can automatically clean up imperfect originals. The scanner uses USB to connect with either a Mac or PC and will cost $250 when it goes on sale next month.
By contrast, the Perfection V33 and V330 are bargain basement devices that still do surprisingly well at creating digital images. They sell for $89 and $119 but can create digital images of 4,800 by 9,600 dot per inch resolution. Both have no-warm up LED lighting as well as the ability to produce image files or Acrobat .pdf documents, but the extra $30 for the V330 adds a transparency holder so that it can scan slides and negatives as well as prints, newspaper stories and student artwork.
If all those scanners, their maintenance and electricity costs around the school are getting you down, why not consolidate them into a single school-wide scanning station? HP’s ScanJet Enterprise 7000n is a stand-alone sheet-fed scanner that connects to a network and provides the hardware for scoring tests, archiving paper files and even scanning artwork. In other words, it can replace a dozen individual scanners in the typical school. The system can capture up to 600 by 600 dot per inch images, which are previewed on the 8.4-inch screen. With a one-year warranty, it will sell for $3,000 when it goes on sale this fall.
Forget about trying to use a general purpose scanner for grading standardized tests or archiving material. It’ll take too much time and you’ll never be sure of the results. Epson’s WorkForce GT-1500 scanner uses the latest technology to buzz through a large pile of papers with accuracy. The scanner can hold 40 pages and can chew through up to 20- and 12-pages a minute in monochrome and color, respectively. Capable of 48-bit color and 1,200 dot per inch scans, the GT-1500 has an 8.5- by 11-inch scan bed. Because it has LED illumination rather than a fluorescent lighting tube, there’s no waiting for the scanner to warm up or the sensor to calibrate itself. My favorite feature is the 6 customizable buttons that let the operator create one-touch shortcuts for a variety of uses. The scanner works with PCs and Macs and costs $350.
Microtek’s ArtixScanDI 4020 is a high speed scanner that not only can process up to 40 pages per minute but is the rare device in its class that handles both sides of originals. The duplex scanner has an 8.5- by 14-inch scan bed, automatic document feeder and comes with a copy of Adobe’s Acrobat Standard 8.0 for turning sheets of paper into Web-ready files. At this point, the scanner only works with Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and not Macintosh computers. The ArtixScanDI 4020 sells for $1,000.
Microtek’s ArtixScan M1 can turn any art room into a digital darkroom capable of creating high quality images out of anything from photos and slides to magazine pages and student artwork. Capable of creating 4,800 dot-per-inch resolution digital images, the scanner features an 8.5-by 14-inch scanning bed and automatic focusing so every scan is perfect. The Artix Scan M1 connects with a PC or Mac via a USB cable and costs $650.
If you want more info about the scanner, go to www.microtek.com