Generally speaking you do not need to worry about drivers when buying a popular brand name scanner, but it is worth understanding the basics to avoid potential confusion. The de facto standard which allows scanners and other optical devices to communicate with PCs is called TWAIN. The acronym purportedly stands for ‘technology without an interesting name’. Almost all scanners are TWAIN compatible, featuring driver software which allow them to work seamlessly with a wide range of related software. In recent years an alternative to TWAIN has emerged – ISIS (image and scanner interface specification). ISIS can be thought of an industrial strength driver specification designed to allow scanners to work more effectively with enterprise level applications. Manufacturers often provide both[…]

UMAX Astra 4950 The Astra 4950 is an entry level flatbed scanner which offers 48 bit colour and a resolution of 1200 by 2400. The device features a 35mm film and negative scanner and comes with a selection of image editing and manipulation software. Although the device is largely designed for imaging work, it is capable of scanning directly to PDF format and should be able to handle basic document scanning with ease. Xerox One Touch/One Touch TA A well specified entry level flatbed scanner with a high scanning resolution of 1200 by 4800 and 48 bit colour. The standard model does not feature a transparency adapter, so if this is important to you go for the TA model which[…]

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[…]