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The HP Scanjet 4070 Photosmart is quite a decent enough multi-function scanner for the average home user. This was bought for me as a Christmas present because I wanted to scan in all my negatives (for which there is a proper holder inside the top-plate) and digitise as much of my stock photos as I possibly could. For any normal home, this product is fine but for someone who needs a bit more quality, I would recommend paying the right price for a high-end product. Bearing in mind, this product has been around for nearly three years so it shouldn't be compared with something that has come into the market recently. It was retailing at £99 when it was bought for me in 2005 and I think it came from John Lewis.
It has a scanning maximum resolution of 2400 X 2400 dots per inch which is pretty good if you did want to enlarge anything to at least A3 without it looking grainy - although in reality, this will depend on what resolution you scan the picture in with and what your original image is like).
So, the Pros and Cons!
Pros: - Multi-functional:
It can scan negatives, slides, photos and anything else that will fit onto the glass. It has handy slots for the different things you want to scan although for negatives, it can get a bit tedious if you have a lot to do - but this shouldn't bother someone who only uses that function occasionally.
You can also scan things in and use it like a photocopier so will print directly from scanner to your printer.
- Software included
The software includes a suite of tools to help you manage your photos and you can store them or send them off to be printed from within the software which is handy. There is also a facility to allow you to make adjustments such as reducing red-eye and changing the colour and brightness balance etc. These facilities are quite basic so don't expect something like Photoshop etc.
It will also create handy, dated folders for your scans so you can find them again based on the date you scanned them. You can have an original and an edited version and you get several different views of your files so you can quickly select the ones you want to do things with - such as editing or printing.
It does allow you to make various things like calendars, cards, brochures etc and I think it is great for a hobbyist or someone who likes to share pictures in this way for events, or for sending special gifts to family and friends. The output will depend on your printer as well though!
Cons: - Startup/Scanning time.
This was the most frustrating part for me. The scanning actually takes a while if the scanner has been "asleep".
- Software The software has some bugs in it which can prevent direct scanning from within the actual software but this is meant to be resolved by downloading the patches from the HP website for the driver but this didn't work! I ended up just using the built-in scanning program that comes with Windows or failing that, using the TWAIN in Photoshop which is fine for my needs but a user who does not have any knowledge about how these things work may find it really irritating.
- The actual quality of the scans wasn't that great and the glass on the scanner seems to collect dust and other foreign bodies and they become quite obvious once scanned. Even after cleaning the glass, it still had things on it - very small but I got annoyed with that because they look much bigger on scanned negatives.
I would only use this scanner for transferring hand-drawn pictures or previously undigitised things onto the computer or as a photo-copier but for scanning negatives/slides and photos in order to print them, there are ultimately better scanners to do that.
I suspect this came onto the market at the same time as many other multi-function devices and is trying to be too many things. I would say it's ideal for a student or for general use for everyone in a household. I will continue to use it but not for my photography.
I hope this review helps - I expect these to be in the second hand or ebay market now at between £25-£45. Don't pay any more than £35 if you have to though as there are cheaper NEW multi-functional devices out at the moment anyway.