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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
On the heels of last May's high marks for PacificImage's ScanMedia comes the ScanAce III, a scanner with spectacular 36-bit color and an optical resolution of 600x1200 dots per inch.
A SCSI-only unit, the ScanAce III comes with an 8-bit interface card and drivers (which accommodate any ASPI-compliant card) for running under Windows 95 or Windows 3.x. NT drivers are not yet available.
Driver installation was quick, and every TWAIN-compliant program I tried accessed both the 16- and 32-bit versions. The interface is attractive, well-organized, and lets you control just about everything-automatic gamma adjustments, dithering (for 1-bit scans), moire removal, highlight levels and color curves. Even the CCD exposure control can be changed.
The ScanAce III lets you scan documents quickly-for a coarser image-vs. a slower scan for better results. The highest-quality scan of an 8-by-11-inch page at 300dpi took a little over 7 minutes and produced gorgeous images. Dark colors reproduced well, while even hard-to-scan fluorescent-ink colors looked good.
The ScanAce III racked up a transfer test score of 0.36, an impressive score for a scanner under $1,000. With interpolation, the resolution increases to a whopping 9600x9600dpi.
Bundled software includes CyberView, PacificImage's TWAIN driver software; Ulead Systems ImagePals 2 GO image-editing software; and Xerox TextBridge Classic OCR. An optional transparency adapter is available, and the document cover is removable for scanning oversized items. Documentation is thorough and illustrated with screenshots and diagrams.
For $899, the ScanAce III is aces. Although its lack of NT drivers is a handicap, its high resolution and excellent scan qualities deserve a place on our Recommended List.