UMAX Astra 2200

Bar-code scanner

Microtek ScanMaker 3840

Microtek SlimScan C6

Flatbed Scanner 

This scanner offers you dual connectivity—to the SCSI port or the USB port. On the USB port, it’s plug-n-play. Just connect it to the USB port, install the drivers, and you’re ready to go. If you have a SCSI card, and need higher speeds, you can connect it to a SCSI 2 port also.

The UMAX Astra 2200 (Rs 15,800 plus taxes, Summit Data Products, New Delhi, Tel: 11-6517994-98 E-mail: vkalyan@summitindia.com Website: www.umax.com) can scan photographs, films, and transparencies, and comes with a rich bundle of software The Astra averaged 24 seconds for a preview and 38 seconds to scan and save a 10x15 cm color photograph as a TIFF image at 300 dpi. These speeds are comparable to other scanners in its class. The scanned images were clear and sharp with well-saturated colors. The scanner also has a reflective backlit surface 10.5x15 cm to scan films and transparencies.

It has three easy launch buttons—scan, copy, and custom. The scan button is for one-touch scanning, and the scanner automatically scans the object into the bundled scanning software—Presto! PageManager. Or you can launch the Presto! PageManager to scan the image. The software calls up the Twain drivers—VistaScan—which has two modes—Beginner and Advanced. The copy button lets you copy and print to the default printers with just a press of a button. The custom button can be customized for any function, including OCRing, which will scan the text image, call up the OCR software (the scanner comes with two of these—OmniPage Limited Edition and Recognita OCR—but you can install only one), and export to your default word processing application. You can even customize it to send the scanned image to a preset e-mail address.

Apart from Presto! PageManager which lets you scan, view, organize or export images to other applications, VistaScan, and the two OCR software, the Astra 2200 also comes with Adobe PhotoDeluxe (both Windows and Mac versions) and VistaShuttle, with which you can scan and create printable cards, e-cards, wallpapers or screensavers from your photograph collection.

The scanner is slow, but has excellent resolution. Priced quite reasonably, this scanner has a feature found rarely in its contemporaries—the facility to scan films. It’s aimed at the SOHO segment.

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