by January 12, 1998 0 comments

Last month we covered entry-level scanners
below Rs 12,000. Now we look at five scanners between Rs 24,000 and 155,000. Together,
these scanners cater to a broad range of users. They come with a plethora of software for
color management, OCR, and document management. Most have additional accessories ranging
from transparency adapters and document trays to graphic tablets.

How we tested

We invited the vendor to send an expert, who would scan our target visuals to get
best possible results for 133 LPI offset printing. These scans were then sent for proofing
to an offset press. The proofs along with the originals were given to our jury for
judging. The jury did not know which scanner produced which output. There were three
targets–a high-quality industrial photograph, an average postcard-sized tourist shot,
and an A4 transparency with line art.

All the scanners produced
good results, and you could get away with any for normal office work.

umax.jpg (6823 bytes)Umax PowerLook II

This scanner produced the
most well-balanced images of the lot. It produced the overall best image-quality,
surpassing the Powerlook III by hairline. The scanner is extremely simple to use–even
if you don’t know too much about scanning, you can produce some very good results
with this unit. The price is slightly on the higher side, but it also includes a
Transparency Adapter unit, and a Wacom graphics tablet. On the bundled software front,
there isn’t much except for the Umax MagicScan driver and BinuScan Advanced color
correction software. The scanner has a maximum optical resolution and bit depth of
600×1200 and 36 respectively.

Vendor: Summit Data Product, A-18 Hauz
Khas, New Delhi
110016. Tel: 11-6517994-98
Fax: 6854711 Price: Rs. 72,000 Warranty: 1-year onsite

powerlook.jpg (7557 bytes)Umax
PowerLook III

In terms of color
reproduction, this scanner surpassed the rest. Like its younger brother, the PowerLook II,
the images were well balanced, and the scanner is easy to use. On the other hand, this was
the most expensive scanner of the lot. The PowerLook III had the highest optical
resolution and bit depth at 1200×2400 dpi and 42 respectively. The scanner is positioned
for pre-press work, and the price includes a transparency adapter. The driver,
MagicScan,
has a host of useful features like multiple and batch-scan modes. It also includes a color
calibration system called MagicMatch. There is BinuScan Photoperfect Master software for
color correction, and Adobe Photoshop full-edition if you use a PC, or LivePicture if you
use a Mac.

Vendor: Summit Data Product, A-18 Hauz
Khas, New Delhi
110016. Tel: 11-6517994-98 Fax: 6854711 Price: Rs 150,000 Warranty: 1-year onsite

hp.jpg (8284 bytes)HP ScanJet 6250 ADF

The 6250 produced good
color output and well-balanced images. Its extra features justify its price. It’s
absolutely hassle-free, both in terms of installation and usage. A USB-connector makes
installation a breeze. To use SCSI, you need a separate SCSI adapter.

The only difference between
this and the 6200C is that this one comes with a 25-sheet Automatic Document Feeder. It
also comes with an additional ScanJet Slide Adapter for scanning 35 mm slides. It supports
push-button scanning, and if you install the ScanJet copy utility, the scanner will also
work as a copier. The scanner has 1200 dpi resolution and 36 bit depth. It can be shared
on the network using PrecisionScan LAN software. Other software includes Adobe
PhotoDeluxe, Caere PageKeeper document management software, and FaxSav’s FaxLauncher
Pro.

Vendor: HP India, Chandiwala Estate, Maa Anandmai
Marg, Kalkaji, New Delhi 10019. Tel: 11-6826000, 6826059 Price: Rs 32,500 Warranty: 1 year

agfa.jpg (6684 bytes)Agfa
StudioScan IIsI

The cheapest scanner of the
lot, it starts at a price of Rs 24,000 for the Mac. Add an extra 2,300 for a SCSI card,
and it becomes ready for the PC. Though the scanner has the facility for a transparency
adapter, it is not provided, apparently because it’s not meant for high-end
professional work.

It produced some stunning
results–images of high optical density and good color quality. If you really know
your scanning, you can really produce some exceptional scans with this unit. The scanner
has a 400×800 resolution and 30 bit depth.

Vendor: ASE Asia, D/S-480, (Double Story), New
Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi 110060. Tel: 11-5782408 Fax: 5755587 Price: Rs 26,300 Warranty:
1 year

agfasnapscan.jpg (8363 bytes)Agfa
SnapScan 600 ArtLine

This  good-looking
scanner can connect to either a Mac or PC. For the PC, you need to spend an additional Rs
2,200 for a SCSI card. The installation process for this scanner is hassle free. Just plug
in the SCSI card, which gets detected automatically. Next, plug the scanner into the SCSI
card, and the scanner gets immediately recognized. Apart from the standard OCR and image
manipulation software bundled with most scanners, this one also has Kai’s Power tools
SE, Bryce 2.0 SE, Convolver Full and Soap SE.

In terms of color
reproduction and sharpness, the scanner didn’t fare as well as others. There was a
distinctive color-cast visible and the images were quite dark. The scanner has a 600×1200
resolution and bit depth of 30.

Vendor: ASE Asia, D/S-480, (Double Storey), New
Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi 110060.
Tel: 11-5782408 Fax: 5755587 Price: Rs 37,500 Warranty: 1 year

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