Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 8200

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Hewlett-Packard Scanjet 8200

Pros

  • Fast, high resolution

Cons

  • Poor colour scans with default settings

Bottom Line

The HP Scanjet 8200 can readily handle documents, photos and film, and is well suited to workgroups.

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The HP Scanjet 8200 is designed with offices in mind. Capable of scanning both reflective items and transparencies, the 8200 is equipped with an 8.5" x 14" scan bed, making it ideal for processing large documents. Workgroups that need to do lots of optical character recognition work can get an optional 50-page automatic document feeder.

The 8200 has a whopping 4800dpi optical resolution. Such a high resolution would theoretically allow you to make a tabloid-size enlargement from an item as small as a postage stamp or 35mm slide, without any loss of detail. And unlike most scanners, which use a single CCD (charge-coupled device) or CIS (contact image sensor) for scanning, the 8200 uses three different CCD sensors--two for colour, and one for monochrome--each of which is optimised for different scan modes and resolutions, according to HP.

In our performance tests, using its USB 2.0 interface, the 8200 produced very zippy scans. It scanned a full page of black-and-white line art in just 11 seconds, for example.

Unlike previous Scanjet models, the 8200 has its control panel on its long side, and it contains many more buttons than most scanners. Among these are six shortcut buttons for common scanning tasks (including scanning, emailing and posting images to a Web site) and photocopier-like controls for choosing colour or black-and-white printing (and the number of copies) when scanning directly to your printer.

The image quality of scans was a mixed bag. It scanned a greyscale photo extremely well, but was only average for black-and-white line art. Its colour scans were at best average. Colours often appeared more saturated than in the originals, such as in the too-red skin tones we saw. The colour accuracy can be improved, however, by changing the scanner driver's default Colour Adjustment setting from Enhanced Colour to Original Colour.

If you want to buy the optional 50-page automatic document feeder--which is a fast (25-page-per-minute) model--after purchasing this unit, you'll pay just as much for it as for the scanner itself. But if your OCR needs are less exacting, consider the Scanjet 8250, which comes with a slower (15ppm) 25-page ADF and costs less.

Like other models that have large scan beds, the 8200 is no lightweight; at 10.2 kilograms, it's not as portable as smaller units with lesser scan beds.

One of the most useful software tools included with the 8200 is Iris's ReadIris Pro 8, a full-featured OCR program that provides functionality beyond what you get with the reduced-feature versions of OCR software bundled with most scanners. Another feature of the 8200 is the TWAIN driver HP Scanning, which provides a basic interface for novices and easy access to advanced features such as colour and tonal adjustments. You also get HP Photo and Imaging, an integrated suite that includes tools for editing images, creating photo galleries, archiving images on CDs (viewable as slide shows) and printing photos with a wide variety of templates. The integrated image editor provides only basic tools, however, and lacks the more advanced features (such as photo composite tools and special effects filters) found in most standard image editors, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements.

The Scanjet 8200 is part of a document-oriented line of HP scanners that includes the Scanjet 8250 and the Scanjet 8290, which has the faster 50-page (25-ppm) ADF and more software.

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