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There came a time several weeks ago when I was in ergent need of scanning some a3 design plans I had produced for a particular university module. I required a quick, un-complicated, un-compromising piece of kit to deliver the goods, and the 'Mustek A3 Flatbed Scanner' had been made available to me by my father at home. So this seemed like a great way to escape university scanning charges and complete my work at my own leisure, in my own favourite surroundings. Seeing as my dad also owned an A3 printer, surely nothing could go wrong?
Well, there's always a twist in the tale, and my twist involved a broken power cable, and wonky closer hinge. But before that, let me explain exactly how I felt when I first approached the machine a fresh...
The exterior of the machine was minimalistic and basic, nothing more or less than you'd expect, nothing more or less than you'd need. When opening the machine, a clear sheet of glass (not plastic) would seperate your eyes from the electronic chip board and black belt inside. There was also one thick metal bar and two thin metal wires running length ways along the inside of the contraption (quite possibly something to do with the photo taking, I'm not sure). Two metal hinges clutched the lid to the base, but most importantly, everything was in order.
I turned on the machine and it flickered to life - with the computer showing 'a new device' had been recognised. As the sheets I was planning to scan were made of A3 tracing paper, I had to back them with white A3 printing paper before beginning. This really isn't much hastle, and it's very rare that people need to scan tracing paper anyway. As I went to click scan on the computer software which comes up on screen, I clicked, and nothing happened. I looked at the machine, and the power had gone off. A useful (not) message appeared on screen to say the computer had lost connection, but when I went to re-boot the scanner it did nothing. I looked round the back of the machine and discovered the thin (small jack sized) power cable head was bent, perhaps from having the device up against a wall? But nevertheless this was a bad design fault in my view (ofcourse it was). When I went to fish out my tracing paper design plans, the second dilemma was awakened. Opening the device, one of the two metal hinges had snapped so that the lid hung oddly when lifted... How could this of happened?! I had treated the machine with the upmost care and consideration, but it had repayed me with bitter disappointment and failure... "bad machine" I exclaimed, but it was too late.
...Back to university and back to the money charging scanners I retreated.
In my opinion you shouldn't buy this machine, just incase a similar event happens to you. I don't know what other peoples experiences have been like, but mine was clearly of a negative nature. You have been warned!
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Manufacturer's product description
The ScanExpress A3 USB is a USB scanning solution for A3 size. It features high-resolution, color accurate scans up...