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WinLab Reviews
Visioneer PaperPort Strobe
Space-Saver Scans in Color

-- by Joel T. Patz

Visioneer is known for building small-footprint, monochrome scanners that do a remarkable job scanning common business documents. The Strobe continues that tradition and breaks new ground: It's smaller and adds 300dpi color support (the monochrome default is 200dpi)

The Strobe we tested scans black-and-white documents in 5 seconds, about 20 percent faster than the monochrome PaperPort ix on our WinList. Working with color takes considerably more time: A full-page, color-intensive document took 2 minutes, 32 seconds to scan at 300dpi (slower than either the HP ScanJet 5s or the Microtek Color PageWiz-see WinLab Reviews, September), and another 2 minutes, 31 seconds before the thumbnail image appeared on screen. We judged the output quality to be good, although 600dpi flatbed scanners produce richer colors.

The Strobe measures just 2 by 11 by 3.3 inches and weighs a scant 1 pound, 5.3 ounces. In comparison, Logitech's PageScan Color Pro measures 4.7 by 12.9 by 4.2 inches and weighs 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

The Strobe shares many features with its PaperPort cohorts: It's paper driven (inserting a single page activates the capture software), and the PaperPort Deluxe 5.0 software lets you organize documents into hierarchical folders. The software also allows you to automatically use OCR and index documents, and it provides support for drag-and-drop capability in more than 150 products that support PaperPort links. There is no serial port option, and the pass-through may force you to make some accommodations: We had to turn off Epson's Spool Manager to get our Stylus Color 600 ink jet printer to print (a condition the Visioneer folks are aware of)

The software package includes versions of Xerox TextBridge OCR, Corex CardScan, Quicken ExpensAble, PictureWorks and PhotoEnhancer.

Although the Strobe provided acceptable image quality and good monochrome scan speed, its lengthy color scan times and printer incompatibility keep it from replacing the Logitech PageScan Color Pro on our WinList.


Visioneer PaperPort Strobe

Bottom Line: Convenient color scanning for users with limited desk space
Price: $299
Platforms: 95
Pros: Small size; good software
Cons: Slow color scanning
Strongest Rival: Logitech PageScan Color Pro

Visioneer, 800-787-7007, 510-608-0300. Winfo #806

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 180.

[ Go to October 1997 Table of Contents ]