Visioneer's PaperPort ix grows on you. You can connect the PaperPort ix to one of your computer's serial or parallel ports. The keyboard and scanner wires are sheathed into a single cable, as is the cord for the device's power supply.
The keyboard has a sculpted design that's pleasing to the touch; it also features 12 function keys and three Windows 95 keys. Three LEDs indicating system status are on the keyboard's right side.
A sensor detects when you insert a sheet of paper into the PaperPort ix and automatically turns on the unit. The scanner can handle only single sheets, but they can be as long as 30 inches.
The PaperPort ix's CD-ROM-based software is this peripheral's true added value. The software bundle includes applications for document management, image enhancement, business card scanning and document copying, plus a variety of links that let you seamlessly integrate the PaperPort ix's features with other applications. A version of Xerox's OCR package, TextBridge, is also included.
The PaperPort software streamlines activities through extensive use of drag and drop. At its heart is the Link Bar, where you can arrange icons for applications such as e-mail, fax, filing and OCR; you can also e-mail a document in any message. To activate one of these apps, just drag the scanned document's thumbnail representation and drop it on the appropriate icon.
Visioneer PaperPort ix
Pros: Handles business scanning needs; keyboard and scanner in one unit
Cons: Only one sheet at a time; takes up more desktop space than keyboard alone
Platforms: Windows 3.x, 95, NT
WinMag Box Score 4.0
Logitech's PageScan Color scanner has a 200x200-dot-per-inch maximum color resolution and a 400x400dpi maximum gray-scale (black-and-white) resolution. It works in 24-bit color and 8- or 1-bit gray-scale modes.
Connecting and installing this scanner is a breeze. We tested it under both Windows 95 and Windows 3.11, and installed it on three different systems. The longest setup time was 18 minutes. PageScan Color connects to your computer through its parallel port. It comes with a seven-foot connector cable and a pass-through parallel connector so you can attach your printer and scanner to the same port.
PageScan Color ships with an OCR program, a scanning program, a document-management application and an image-editing program. Because this is a TWAIN-compliant device, you simply insert a document into the scanner to begin scanning from within most Windows applications.
PageScan Color uses a top-loading paper path. If you need to scan an image from a book, PageScan Color can be removed from its bed and placed over the document. The scanner then crawls over the document with a tractor mechanism. Crawling across a book, it looks a bit like a toy tank in a Godzilla movie.
Logitech's PageScan Color scanner is extremely versatile and powerful enough to handle most small-business or at-home scanning applications.
Logitech PageScan Color
Pros: Ease of use
Cons: Low maximum resolution
Platforms: Windows 3.x, 95, NT
WinMag Box Score 4.5