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Scanners

A scanner is a device that captures images from photographic prints, posters, magazine pages, and similar sources for computer editing and display. Scanners come in hand-held, feed-in, and flatbed types and for scanning black-and-white only, or color. 

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SmartOffice SC8016U Sheetfed Scanner

Best portable scanner

The Plustek SmartOce SC8016U can be a departmental class A3 sized document scanner that characteristics 80ppm (160 ipm) scan speed, 100 sheet feeder and eight,000 web page per day duty cycle. Market regular TWAIN driver guarantees compatibility with pretty much any document imaging application.

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$1,800.39

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Fujitsu ScanSnap N1800 Network Scanner (PA03609-B005)

Best document scanner

Together with the functionality of many devices, however the simplicity of a single, the ScanSnap N1800 network scanner contains the qualities organizations of all sizes wish to enhance business processes. The ScanSnap N1800 network scanner gives quick scanning speeds with 20 pages per minute and true double sided speeds of 40 photos per minute in color, black & white and grayscale. 

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$1,429.99

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Panasonic KV-S1045C Document Scanner

Best photo scanner

Beyond common documents, the KV-S1045C also capabilities the potential to scan continuous documents of as much as 100" in length such as EKG reports, together with tough embossed plastic cards for example identification cards. The KV-S1045C's extensive hardware components are additional maximized by a variety of offered software solutions. 

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$1,016.49

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A Buyer's Guide to Flatbed Scanners

 

Flatbed scanners generally deliver the best combination of quality, flexibility, and usability in scanning. They can be used to scan different kinds of media, including photos and film (with the additional use of a transparency adapter); they can be used to scan text for OCR and document archiving; and they can be used to scan material of varying sizes and thicknesses -- from small postage stamps to large mechanical blueprints and 3D objects. To determine the flatbed scanner for your needs, this buying guide covers some of the more important flatbed scanner specifications that you will need to know.

 

Bit depth and color pass

 

Practically all scanners today are single-pass types with 48-bit color. Gone are the scanners of yore that required three passes to capture the full RGB (red, green, blue) color information from an image in individual, painstakingly slow takes. Gone too are 24-bit and 36-bit scanners that proved sufficient in the past for delivering up to 68.7 billions of color.

 

Today's single-pass, 48-bit scanners are fast and can theoretically capture up to 250 trillion colors -- clearly more color than the human eye can distinguish or what monitors and printers can reproduce -- but impressive nonetheless for the promise of yielding hues as close to life as possible and delivering smoother color gradations. Ignore all but single-pass scanners when shopping for a flatbed, and aim for 48-bit color as well. Consider lower-bit models (such as 42-bits) only if your scanner of choice has other specs that a higher-bit counterpart may not have -- such as patented technologies and special features -- that more than compensate for the lower bit depth of your selected model.

 

Resolution

 

The resolution of a scanner determines the level of detail that can be captured; the higher the resolution, the sharper the scan will be. There are two types of resolution: optical and interpolated, with optical resolution being the more important spec, as it relates to the scanner's actual optics and amount of information that it can sample. The interpolated resolution of a scanner is helpful only in specific applications -- such as scanning line art, where higher resolutions can even out jaggedness and produce smoother contours.

 

Most flatbeds today feature respectable specs for optical resolution, ranging from 2400 dpi to 4800 dpi. Any scanner with such resolution figures would prove a respectable choice, since these specs are more than capable of delivering sharp detail or enlarging images for most print applications. Remember, too, that scanning your images in the full resolution of the scanner is likely to yield file sizes of unmanageable proportions -- without delivery any discernible benefit towards increasing image clarity or quality. So forget the resolution wars of the past when manufacturers trotted out their resolution specs to trump their closest rival. Instead, look for other features today in flatbeds that may be more important for your needs, or consider the resolution spec TOGETHER with these other features when choosing your choice of flatbed.

 

CCD vs. CIS Sensor Technology

 

Image sensors in flatbed scanners can be of two types -- CCD or CIS. Scanners with CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors use a system of mirrors and lenses for redirecting light reflected from the original document to the CCD array. Because of the required optics, CCD scanners are more expensive to produce and result in bulkier scanners, compared to their CIS counterparts. The image quality produced by CCD scanners, however, is far superior to that produced by CIS scanners.

 

Must-Have Checklist - Choosing a Scanner For Your Home

 

The time has come. You are in charge of your 25th high school reunion, so it is up to you to collect everyone's senior pictures and "Most Likely To..." photos from your yearbook. You need to invest in a scanner. But where do you begin? What should you look for in a scanner?

 

First of all, it is important to know what a scanner is and does. A scanner is a device that converts printed material into digital information that your computer can use. Using a small electronic component, it records how much light is reflected off the material being scanned, and reports that information to the computer. In order to see the entire image, it is broken into cells, called pixels.

 

Next, consider what kind of scanner you need. Currently, there are four primary types of scanners available from which you can choose, including:

 

1.   Flatbed - This is the most common type of desktop scanner. The flatbed looks a bit like a small photocopier, and the item being scanned rests on a glass plate while the scanning head moves underneath it. (For the project of scanning old yearbook photos, this scanner should be ideal!)

 

2.   Sheet fed - These are similar to fax machines, in that they move the page being scanned past the scanning head. While a sheet fed scanner may be a good choice if you need to scan in volume, it is not ideal for precision-quality output, since it is difficult to scan a moving sheet of paper without some distortion of the scanned image.

 

3.   Slide - The slide requires the scanner to pass light through the image, rather than reflecting light off of it. Also, because of their small size, slides must be scanned on a unit with very high resolution.

 

4.   Drum - Drum scanners are the most effective and versatile of all scanners, but they are more expensive and slightly more difficult to operate. Because drum scanners typically use high-quality photo-multiplier tubes and the material being scanned is rotated past the scanner heads numerous times, the resulting scans are much more accurate.

 

Now you have an idea of what kind of scanner is best suited to your needs, but there are a few other considerations before you actually make your purchase, including resolution, bit depth, scan area requirements, scan head options, and scanner ports.

 

Resolution - Having determined which scanner you need, it is important to check the scanner resolution (the amount of pixels a scanner can see, usually give in dots per inch (dpi), because it determines how detailed the scanned digital image will be. A good rule of thumb is: the higher the scanner's resolution, the better the scanned image. If your scanning needs are in large, detailed format, a high resolution scanner is critical. Scanner resolutions range from 600 by 1200 dpi (low end) to 2400 by 4800 dpi (high end.) For general home use, like scanning high school pictures, 300 or 600 dpi is really all that is required. Any more than this requires lots of disk space, and the detail achieved is virtually undetectable to the naked eye.

 

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