Hewlett-Packard Australia Scanjet 2400
- Good image quality for the price
- Slow speed, limited resolution, basic software
A cheap and cheerful scanner that offers enough to make it a worthwhile purchase
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Way, way down at the bottom of Hewlett Packard's lineup of scanners sits their Scanjet 2400. This really is a bargain offering and one of the cheapest scanners on the market at present. Novices will be well served by the simplicity and low cost of this unit.
The Scanjet 2400 is an incredibly basic product, reflected through every aspect of its design. From the plain white plastic casing through to the simplistic software package, everything seems to have been created with cost in mind. The scanner's specifications are equally low end: a maximum resolution of 1200dpi and only a low speed USB 1.1 connection. However, despite these limitations, the Scanjet 2400 is still a decent product.
Setting up the scanner is incredibly simple, a matter of connecting two cables. Installing the accompanying software took a fairly long time, but seeing as this only has to be done once it's not such a problem. Two shortcut buttons are located on the front of the scanner; one for direct scanning and one for printing. Pressing these opens up HP's scanning software. This software is fairly basic, but offers enough customisation and image control to still remain satisfactory. We wouldn't recommend using the image editing functions, however, as the software made scans appear grainy with low grade colours. Even Windows Paint does a better job of displaying photos, and that's saying something. HP also includes OCR software for making scans of documents. This is also adequate, managing to faithfully replicate text on screen (though it did appear to struggle with underlined text). The lid of the 2400 can also be removed at the hinge for scanning bulky items such as books.
Of course, image quality is of primary concern when buying a scanner. The maximum resolution of 1200dpi more than adequate for scanning items no smaller than a 6x4 photograph. We tested the scanner at maximum resolution with maximum colour depth and were fairly impressed by the results. The colour reproduction was excellent, with vivid colours and good differentiation between shades. There were no clear signs of pixilation or image degradation either.
The 2400 does fall down slightly when it comes to speed, but this to be expected from a low price scanner with no high speed USB connection. A standard A4 colour page took 40 seconds at 300dpi. Compare that to 12 seconds on the best scanner we have tested, the Perfection V700 Photo and the difference quickly becomes apparent. Of course, given that scanner costs eight times as much it's hardly a surprise that it outperforms the 2400. At maximum resolution the 2400 took three minutes to scan a 6x4 photo; again a little slow.
Despite all the scanner's limitations with slow speed, low resolution and simplistic software, it performs well in two of the most important areas: image quality and price. If your budget is limited and the 2400 would make an ideal purchase.
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