Crème de la crème of scanners

I still remember the first scanner I ever bought. It was an HP ScanJet, from the US, which I brought back to Indonesia when I repatriated.

It was pretty heavy. I felt so proud to have it, as it was perhaps the first scanner anybody had in Indonesia at that time. It had its own SCSI card. Scanners have evolved a lot since then.

We know a scanner comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, if we need to scan an image, we have to use an image scanner. A scanner of this type is suitable for this purpose. If we need to scan a document, then a flatbed scanner would do the job well. A flatbed scanner looks like a copier. In fact, a copier also has a scanner, and a scamer is also used in barcode scanner. Have I lost you yet?

A scanner, as you should know, makes a digital image of whatever we place on its screen. What we do not always know is that they come under different brands. We have scanners from Canon, HP and Epson. Another brand that may sound a bit alien to us is Bowe Bell+Howell, which is now part of Kodak.

Another brand that we are not so familiar with is Fujitsu.

Fujitsu makes a variety of document scanners, most of which are intended for special uses. They have scanners for medical and healthcare, government, financial services, insurance and education.

Document scanners usually come with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), so we do not have to manually place the documents on the bed. A good ADF should have a straight paper path in order to prevent paper jam. Some more sophisticated scanners also have the duplex scanning capability, which enables them to scan both sides of the document at the same time.

In addition to the ADF, Fujitsu scanners also have different specifications. For example, they may differ in the speed at which they scan documents. This is indicated by the page per minute (ppm) number.

Another indicator of the speed is the image per minute (ipm). The so-called Production Model, which is used in organizations that do mass production scanning, has a high 100 ppm speed. Individual or small office home office (SOHO) users can buy the 20 ppm entry level scanner.

Workgroups in larger organizations can buy the network scanners, so they can share a single scanner without having to add a Belkin Network USB Hub that was reviewed last week.

For the Indonesian market, Fujitsu offers three scanner models: the fi-6140, fi-6240 and S310. The fi-6140 and fi-6240 models can digitize the image of photos, business cards and documents as large as A4-size. They are also equipped with an ADF with the 50 ppm scanning speed, can read barcodes and patchwork.

The two of them can certainly scan in color, grayscale and monochrome (black and white), with the resulting document in PDF format too.

If we need a scanner to go with our notebook, we can buy the ScanSnap S300.

Most scanners work with Microsoft Windows. However, Macintosh users can also use Fujitsu scanners.

The “M” at the end of the model name, such as Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M, tells us that it is meant to be used with an iMac, for example.

The fi-6240 can scan at 60 ppm or 120 ipm in grayscale and monochrome, or 40 ppm or 80 ipm in 300 DPI. It also has Fujitsu’s Paper Protection Technology, which helps preserve the paper document by stopping the scanning process when it detects an imminent paper jam.

Fujitsu is strong in research and development (R&D). Its Intelligent MultiFeed Function (iMFF), implemented on the fi-6140 and the fi-6240 simplifies pre-scanning preparation and improves efficiency by ignoring documents that trigger false multi-feed alerts. This usually happens when we have a photo or sticky note on the multipage document that we are scanning.

Fujitsu’s Intelligent Capture Correction Function (iCCF) automatically recognizes color and detects document size.

What many of us like most is the auto “de-skew”. One of the problems we usually have when scanning photos for Facebook is the vertical and horizontal alignment. The auto de-skew feature helps solve the problem.

Incidentally, according to the latest press release posted on the company’s website, the US Buyers Laboratory has selected Fujitsu as the First Ever “Scanner Line of the Year” Award Winner.

To receive the award, the company must have collected the largest number of “Highly Recommended” and “Highly Reliable” office equipment.