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BLI Announces Inaugural Scanner "Picks"

20 Jun, 2007

BLI Announces Inaugural Scanner "Picks"

Hackensack, NJ - For the first time in its 46 years of evaluating business products, BLI subjected document scanners to its comprehensive laboratory tests this year and is pleased to announce its Spring 2007 “Picks” in this fast-growing product category.

In categories ranging from entry-level workgroup to low-volume production, and including sheet-fed and flatbed models, scanners from seven vendors were honored with BLI’s coveted “Pick of the Year” awards. Presented twice annually, the “Picks” acknowledge the best products tested in their respective categories in a wide range of performance areas. In the case of scanners, these include reliability, image processing features, ease of use, productivity, file sizes, media handling and value, among others.

The vendors honored with BLI’s Spring 2007 “Pick” awards for scanners are BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, Canon, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Panasonic, Visioneer and Xerox.

Panasonic’s Image Enhancement Impresses
BLI’s “Pick” in the crowded sheet-fed workgroup segment of the market is Panasonic’s KV-S1025C. An outstanding overall performer, the highly reliable KV-S1025C was one of only a few scanners tested that completed its 7,500-scan reliability test without a single misfeed or jam. Its excellent media-handling capabilities include the ability to feed plastic ID cards and credit cards. BLI Manager of Lab Testing Pete Emory said, “Panasonic developed its own image enhancement technology and not only does it make for a more seamless scanning experience, since it cuts down on the number of different software programs required, but its color drop-out capability is among the best we’ve seen.”

Kodak’s Scan Station 100 Democratizes Scanning
In the network sheet-fed workgroup scanner category, BLI’s “Pick” award goes to the Kodak Scan Station 100. BLI’s Emory noted, “While this innovative product offers excellent reliability, productivity and image processing, what separates it most from the other scanners tested is its exceptional ease of use.” He explained that whereas other scanners require users to learn how to use drivers and sometimes multiple software programs, users of the Scan Station 100 don’t have to touch software. “Any office worker can scan from this unit’s extremely easy-to-use color touch-screen control panel,” said Emory. The Scan Station 100 also stands out from the crowd with its ability to scan documents directly to e-mail addresses.

“Having the Kodak Scan Station 100 recognized as a BLI ‘Pick of the Year’ is a wonderful honor and an important validation for a unique and innovative product, said Roger Markham, product marketing manager for Eastman Kodak’s Distributed Capture and Integrated Imaging Products, US&C, Document Imaging, Graphic Communications Group. “We designed the Scan Station 100 to make workgroup scanning easier and more practical for companies. This acknowledgement from such a highly respected leader in document imaging shows that we have succeeded.”

Visioneer And Xerox Honored For Exceptional Value
The Visioneer Patriot 430 and the Xerox DocuMate 152 were named BLI “Picks” in the entry-level sheet-fed workgroup segment. “Both of these models make it very easy for companies to bring scanning into their business workflows—in terms of their incredibly low prices and in terms of their excellent ease of use,” said BLI Associate Editor George Mikolay.

“In addition to being highly reliable, what’s great about these models is that they enable users to scan with the touch of a button on the control panel instead of having to make selections using software. While many of the workgroup scanners we tested have only one or a few such buttons, both of these models have nine.” With a speed of 15 pages a minute (or 30 images a minute for two-sided documents), both are also integrated with Kofax VRS 4.1 Basic technology.
“We are delighted to see the Xerox DocuMate 152 and Visioneer Patriot 430 honored with Buyers Lab’s ‘Highly Recommended’ rating as well as ‘Pick of the Year’ awards in their premier scanner awards,” said John Capurso, vice president of marketing for Visioneer, a Xerox licensing partner. “The DocuMate 152 and Patriot 430 have been extremely well received in the market due to their value, reliability and robust imaging solutions bundle.”

Canon DR-4010C: Superior Departmental Choice
A superior choice among the departmental scanners tested, the 42-ppm Canon DR-4010C has won BLI’s “Pick” in this segment. BLI Test Technician Joe Ellerman said, “The DR-4010C is a great fit for the higher-volume demands of departmental scanning because of its very fast speeds and its excellent media handling. With its choice of paper paths—straight or U-turn—it’s capable of feeding a wide range of media types and sizes, including plastic ID cards and business cards. And its well-designed, front-loading feed tray allows for very easy paper loading.” Another plus, noted Ellerman, is that scanning with the DR-4010C is highly automated, thanks to a wide range of automatic features, such as automatic color and black detection, that eliminate the need to make many selections in the software.

HP Scanjet 8390 Does It All
In the flatbed workgroup category, BLI’s “Pick” goes to the HP Scanjet 8390, which proved to be highly reliable and remarkably versatile. “Equipped with a 100-sheet document feeder, as well as a flatbed, and supporting up to 4800-dpi resolution, this model is as suited to scanning photographic images as it is to scanning documents,” said BLI’s Ellerman. Special attachments for the feeder that come with the unit enable it to feed multiple photos, slides and negatives at once. “It also comes with all the software users would need for both image scanning and document scanning, including templates for creating calendars, flyers and brochures. It’s surprising all you get for the price,” noted Ellerman.

“The HP Scanjet 8390 was designed to be the best tool for businesses that need customized document management solutions with fast scans and high image quality,” said David Haining, product manager for HP Document Scanners. “We are proud to have the Scanjet 8390 recognized with such an industry achievement and we will continue to create products that underscore our commitment to provide innovative digital workflow solutions.”

The fastest scanner BLI has tested to date, BÖWE BELL + HOWELL’s 62-ppm (106 images per minute) Tr?per 3600 has earned BLI’s “Pick” in the low-volume production category. BLI Assistant Managing Editor Lynn Nannariello said, “We chose this model as ‘Outstanding Low-Volume Production Scanner’ not only because of its speed, but also because of its excellent reliability and media handling, all for a very competitive price. Users in production environments will appreciate its easy paper loading and excellent access for removing misfeeds.” This model also comes with Kofax VRS Professional, which provides a wide range of image enhancement features.

Commenting on the award, Russell Hunt, president of BÖWE BELL + HOWELL Scanners, said, “We developed the Tr?per 3600 scanner to bring a new level of speed, durability and ease of use to low-volume production scanning. It’s clear that now more than ever, companies in the financial, insurance, healthcare and transportation industries need to be able to transform critical documents into high-quality digital images quickly and reliably. We are honored that, after putting the scanner through its paces in the lab, BLI’s editors and technicians have recognized our product as the best-of-the-best among low-volume production scanners in the ‘Pick of the Year’ program.”

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