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Scanner help, anyone?
mini me + poo
I'm going to be doing a lot of OCR over the next couple of months.

I have an Artec Ultima 2000 USB scanner that's good enough for most things, but it has a very long wait between pages. Doing a full A4 page 300 dpi b/w scan - what the OCR program wants - takes about 40 seconds. Which is ok-ish. But it also takes 55 seconds between the end of one page and the start of the next (it's returning the scanning head to the starting position and calibrating itself...)

Anyone have any suggestions for an inexpensive alternative that they know to be faster? Working bidirectionally would be a huge benefit for a start...

It has to be a flatbed. USB 2.0 or Firewire is ok, SCSI less so.

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Whats the definition...

... of inexpensive for pricing?

Re: Whats the definition...

Erm, certainly less than £200. The current one cost under £50 - the quality of scans it does is fine.

Re: Whats the definition...

Just the speed?

Well - There is a new HP one that I am hunting after, the 4500C -

I like the "rotated" set up of it , and its USB 2.0 so it should be pretty damn quick - its come out good in reviews recently.

Plus I like HP scanners for business-esque use - they seem to be doing very well recently - I used to like Microtek alot, and Epson well, again, only so so for speed... Some of our HP's at work are screamers!

I don't know whether its worth getting a scanner with an ADF - but it depends how frequently you will use it... And you wouldnt be able to get a scanner new for less than £200 with ADF... - btw for the first... Retails at about £120...

OR for one with ADF

But I can only find that for £250 from


Re: Whats the definition...

I'm neutral at best about the 'copier-like' ?!? landscape style and I don't want or need an ADF - the vast majority of what I want to scan is in a magazine or book.

An A4 B/W 300 dpi scan is 'only'.. does maths.. (300 / 25.4) ^ 2 * 297 * 210 = 8.7M bits uncompressed, so USB 1.1's top speed of 11M bits / second is actually more than fast enough.

I do note the HP specs talk a lot about the speed of a page, not the average over several. It's the downtime between pages that's the pain at the moment - 40 secs to scan and download a page, 2 secs to OCR it, then 55 seconds of waiting!

I suspect the only solution to go to somewhere like PC World (spit) and time some tests.

Re: Whats the definition...

Thats wierd though - as I have never seen a scanner take so long between scans - not even my parallel port scanner takes that long.

The HP's we have at work go and go and go, more or less right after processing...

They have an initial warm up, but after that fire away...

Heh - Good luck getting a demo at PC world - bet they dont have any plugged in to demo (they dont in Stockport anywayz)

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