Scanners

Software with which scanners are commonly associated

Image Editing Software

This is the software used to manipulate colour, greyscale and line art pictures, which usually correspond with settings in the scanner's TWAIN driver.

Almost all scanners will ship with some type of image editing software, whether it be a cut-down version of a full product such as Adobe Photoshop or the full version itself.

This link provides an example of how editing software allows you to touch up images.

Optical Character Recognition Software

This software is used to get text documents into a word processor without having to retype the document. Good OCR packages will be able to understand a variety of languages as well as have the ability to retain formatting. As with image editing software, most scanners will ship with either a full version of OCR software such as Omni Page or a cut-down version.

Unlike printing, there are no ongoing consumables costs involved in scanning. Your scanner's initial purchase cost plus the cost of any accessories and additional software will pretty much determine the bulk of your scanning costs.

Some hidden costs to look out for are hardware upgrades to your PC that may be needed to run the software for manipulating the images or documents you have scanned. Other costs include the purchase of optional accessories such as automatic document feeders or film holders.

Also keep in mind that an A4 or A3 flatbed scanner will require a substantial amount of desk space. Remember, too, that if you are planning to do a lot of scanning - especially of colour images at high resolutions using large bit depths - then you are going to use up a lot of hard disk storage space.

Scanning costs

Your scanning costs will be determined by your initial knowledge of your exact requirements of the scanner and how your PC needs to be configured to accommodate them. All things considered, it can range from under $100 up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Scanners: an overview
Feature Low End Mid-range High End
Resolution 600 by 1200 dpi 1200 by 2400 to 2400 by 4800 dpi 2400 by 2400 to 2400 by 4800 dpi
An important consideration. The resolution indicates how detailed the digital image will be. The higher the numbers, the sharper the scans will be. This is especially important when making enlargements.
Scan area 8.5 by 11.7 inches 8.5 by 11.7 to 8.5 by 14 inches 8.5 by 11.7 to 8.5 by 14 inches
Somewhat important. While few home users will need to scan legal-size documents, business users may find the letter-size scan area of most scanners too small. A larger scan area also makes it easier to scan large books, maps, drawings, paintings, newspapers, and tabloids.
Scan head technology CIS or CCD CCD CCD
Somewhat important. CCD (charge-coupled device) scanner heads are far more common than CIS (contact image sensor) models, and generally provide higher-resolution scans. CIS-based scanners are often smaller than CCD scanners and may not need a separate power cord, but some models will scan faster if you use an optional power cord instead of powering them from the PC's USB port. CIS scanners can't use transparencies or automatic document feeders.
Scanner ports USB 1.1, parallel USB 1.1, USB 2.0, parallel, IEEE 1394 USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, SCSI
Somewhat important. Your PC has to have a compatible port to connect with the scanner. Most scanners come with a USB 1.1 port, which is fast enough for small jobs. Some scanners offer dual interfaces--like USB and parallel--to allow them to work with older computers. Only the newest USB 2.0-capable PCs are able to reap the speed benefits of a USB 2.0-capable scanner.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?