Advantages Best scanner you can get if you can find it for £45. Looks, general quality of the product, size, simple operation, good scan quality.
Disadvantages Speed and options available not first class, can’t scan large items at high resolutions, age (USB 1,1 as opposed to 2.0), software line-up, doesn’t make the best noise in the world. Question marks as to why there are so many refurbished ones.
|Ease of use|
|Ease of Installation|
|Range of extra features / functions|
The Canon CanoScan N670/676U is a mid range USB flat-bed A4 scanner. I’ been around for nearly a year and is still in Canon’s current range. The scanner retails for about £60, but in March, I purchased a refurbished on for £45 (from Special reserve url: ukgames.com, though I bought it from a shop and not the website).•Basic specs:
The reason I bought this scanner was first of all because of it’s price relative to it’s quality. Secondly this scanner looks very sleek and attractive, it’s one of those slim ones, and it comes with a stand so it can rest vertically while scanning. It also has a “Z-lid” which on paper is very innovative as that means when scanning thicker items the cover wraps itself over the object to be scanned and you don’t put excessive pressure onto the cover. In practice, it’s pretty useless.It also features some useless quickscan buttons on the front, which I doubt many people use as you are unlikely to get what you want. These allow you to scan the image, to email it, or to print it, better than not having them I suppose. You need to have the supplied software to make use of this though, and I am not going to waste my time with it. Also there is no 35mm negative/positive scanner as you would find with other scanners.
The package comes with Arcsoft PhotoStudio 2000 (Editor), Arcsoft Photobase (Album programme), ScanSoft Omnipage Pro (Text recognition software), and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Which is a very average line up (none of which I installed; except Omnipage, which I have only used once, plus I have the full version of acrobat anyway).•Installation
The most important thing I think is a scanner that does what you wish to do, and efficiently without stressing your PC too much, and by in large, the N670U achieves it. The interface (i.e. what you see after you click scan on whatever programme you use) is pretty standard.
The first thing you do is click preview, this starts a preview scan which takes about 15 seconds (and maybe a calibration which takes a minute), you choose the resolution of the resulting image, from 75 to 2400 dpi and then play around with some more advanced settings if you wish to (like clearing bits of dust etc).Then you choose the section you wish to scan, the scanner can do that automatically if you wish, just click the align button as many times as required. With this scanner, you can also put more than one item into the bed, and it will automatically align them and scan for you, pretty clever.
Scanning a full colour A4 page takes about one and a half minute, either way, longer than an Epson scanner. During scanning you can use other programmes (well you’d expect that with a Pentium 3 with 320 megs of RAM right?), but it takes a few goes to see the progress, the interface is fiddly!Overall the operation feels second class, especially compared to an Epson scanner, but on the flipside, it’s miles better than the Afga scanner I used a while back. I’d love to know how good USB2.0 scanners are though…
Another thing that annoys me a little is the noise generated by the scanner during its operation, instead of an efficient buzz, it sounds like a painful push, something you just don’t want a machine so beautifully delicate to go through. The product is pretty solid but because of it’s size, there’s just the unjustified feeling of fragility.•Scan quality
That’s about all you need to know really. Overall for £45 this is as good a scanner as you can get. This is not the best scanner in the 600x1200 dpi range, but you can do a lot worse, and looks do matter at the end of the day.
However I would not pay the retail price of £60 for this, I would simply take a risk on another brand (Packard Bell do a similar looking/spec one for £45 retail) or just spend a little more to get an Epson one.My scanner is an official refurbished one, and there are lots of these about, this is worrying for consumers who may wish to purchase a brand new one, now I don’t know if this is common, but it’s certainly worrying.
For more info visit the Canon websiteRecommended alternatives: CanoScan N1240U or the newer version of that if you can get it for less than £80, or the Epson perfection series which costs a little more.
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