Visioneer Strobe XP 200
If desk space is at a premium and you need a really tiny document scanner the Strobe XP 200 is about as miniscule as they come. The device is capable of scanning an A4 sheet in about 10 seconds, but since it has no sheet feeder the ppm speed depends largely on how quickly the user can insert new sheets into the machine. It is quite hard to imagine anybody being so short of space that they would require a device like this. The XP 200 uses a mains power supply and is therefore desk-bound, whereas the Strobe XP 100 has is powered by the host PCs USB cable which makes it a more viable mobile device.
The AV120 is ideal for space conscious buyers. While it has a relatively small footprint the manufacturers have still managed to equip the device with a 25 page sheet feeder. The resolution and colour depth is not quite as good as the XP 200, but the sheet feeder and A3 capability offer ample compensation. The 24 bit colour and 300 by 600 resolution aren’t likely to be much use for any sort of graphics work, but for light document scanning duties the AV120 provides a good first step into the market.
Visioneer Strobe XP 450
The XP 450 is a good entry level workgroup device, offering plenty of performance and features at a reasonable price. The 20ppm scanning speed is impressive at this price point, although the manufacturers do state that this speed is dependant upon connecting the device to a reasonably fast PC via the USB 2.0 interface. The lack of duplex capability is a weak point but the 48 bit colour depth and 600 by 1200 resolution are generous compared to the alternatives in this price range.
Fujitsu Scan Snap FI-4110EOX2
Fujitsu’s Scan Snap range is very popular in the workgroup space. The key benefit of this model is that it offers single pass full duplex scanning at a reasonably low price. The quoted speed is 15ppm, but it’s worth noting that a double sided sheet does not add any extra time to the scan so this speed is maintained even when performing duplex scans. The machine also provides automatic PDF conversion, a great feature for on the fly document archiving.
Fujitsu Scan Snap FI-4110EOX2
Similar in most respects to the previous model except that this version offers a higher scanning resolution, making it a little more suitable for work involving graphics and other images.
Xerox DocuMate 250
The DocuMate 250 offers a good resolution and colour depth along with a more than respectable 22ppm scanning speed. Its main failing is the lack of duplex scanning, which is available on far cheaper devices such as the Fujitsu Snap Scan. Like most models in this segment, this device is able to scan directly to PDF format. Also, it ships with an impressive collection of software applications, such as PaperPort and TextBridge.
Kodak’s mid range workgroup scanner comes in two variants. The only real difference between the two is that the I40 offers duplex scanning whereas the I30 does not. Both models offer 25ppm scanning speeds and are supplied with a USB 2.0 interface card to ensure your PC can take advantage of the maximum speed. The company claims that its experience in imaging technology allows it to offer superior quality for scanned images.
Xerox DocuMate 252
The DocuMate 252 is Xerox’s brand new flagship scanning device. It offers high resolution and colour depth at 25ppm and single pass duplex scanning. The machine uses a feature Xerox calls One Touch Scanning, which allows preferences to be pre-set so that documents can be quickly scanned without having to select options every time you use the scanner.
A fairly typical mid-range workgroup scanner, the AV220 offers a curiously shallow document feeder which can only hold 25 sheets as opposed to the 50 sheet capacity offered by most of its competitors. However, by way of compensation the machine features 48 bit colour depth and a good resolution level. The device offers 25ppm scanning in mono, or 4ppm in colour and uses Avisions ‘button capture’ technology to allow a variety of scanning options to be performed with the use of a single button.
The most notable thing about Fujitsu’s mid-level scanner is that it is the cheapest model here to offer SCSI connectivity. While most users may be happy with the more widespread USB connection, many still require SCSI for legacy machines. The device also ships with a PCI SCSI card for those who wish to use the interface but do not already have a SCSI port on their PC.
Designed to withstand a particularly heavy duty cycle of over 4000 pages per day, the Panasonic KVS2026C comes with a 90 page automatic document feeder equipped as standard. This places it firmly at the high end of the workgroup scanner market and the device may even find itself being drafted into service as a low end departmental device. The machine does not offer particularly high resolution, but since it is not likely to be used for anything other than routine document scanning this should not present users with any difficulties.
Panasonic class this model as a low volume production scanner. It is reasonably similar to the KVS2026C in its general design, although this model offers a considerably faster scanning speed of 41ppm.
With a 100 sheet feeder, 35ppm scanning speed and A3 capability this scanner offers a flexible feature set that should make it a useful departmental device. Furthermore, it offers a particularly compact footprint for an A3 capable scanner. The machine features ultrasonic double feed detection to prevent two or more pages being passed through the document feeder simultaneously.
This network attached document scanner does not need a host PC as it can be set up as a stand alone device which sends scanned documents over the network for storage on a server or other computer. The machine features a built in CDR drive which can automatically archive scanned documents to a CD Rom. The machine comes with a hefty price tag, but if you need a serious document archival system this is the kind of device you should be considering.
A high speed duplex monochrome document scanner. The DR6080 is designed to handle documents of up to A3 size and varying stock types, featuring a 500 sheet feeder with automatic double feed and staple detection. The device features both SCSI and USB interfaces.
The DR9080C shares many design elements with the DR6080 but offers the benefit of 24 bit colour scanning and a noticeably higher speed of 90ppm. Like its sibling the machine features both ISIS and TWAIN drivers, both USB and SCSI drivers and features a 500 sheet feeder as standard.