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-- by Jim Forbes
You don't have to be a scan fanatic to make investing in the UMAX PageOffice Color Scanner worth your while. This 24-bit sheetfed scanner is a reasonable choice for the small or home-office user who occasionally inputs color photos and printed documents. You just have to make sure your PC is up to the task.
UMAX's roller scanner accepts up to 10 sheets of paper in a receiver tray on top of the unit, although I suspect most people who buy this device will likely use it to scan only single sheets.
The PageOffice Color connects to your parallel port. But you don't surrender a port to use it-the scanner uses parallel pass-through port technology. Connect the scanner to your PC's parallel port, then hook up another peripheral to the scanner's pass-through connector. Its small (11.54-by-3.5-by-4.1-inch) footprint makes it desk-friendly. The unit's scan head offers a 300x600-dot-per-inch maximum optical resolution and a 2400dpi maximum interpolated resolution, more than enough for most applications. It performs at 6 pages per minute with line art, or about 10 seconds for a color snapshot.
I tested this scanner with Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 computers without any problems. The unit comes with Presto Software's PageManager software and Adobe PhotoDeluxe image-editing software. PageManager's OCR component is more than adequate for most needs.
The scanner worked with nearly all of the stock I tried, but like most sheetfed scanners it had trouble handling thin paper-especially superthin onionskin. It can scan a 2-by-3.5-inch business card, which is the minimum size it will accept.
Although the scanner itself isn't too demanding on system resources, you need a hefty amount of hard disk space to scan and store color documents. Also, color image editing requires a fair amount of memory for best performance.
The UMAX PageOffice Color doesn't offer the performance or functionality of the Agfa SnapScan, Logitech PageScan or Visioneer PaperPort ix scanners currently on our Recommended List. But it does provide the basic feature set most first-time users require, and its parallel port connection is a better choice for novice do-it-yourselfers than the adapter card used in many advanced units.
Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.