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I've had my visioneer 6100B scanner now for a couple of years and i'm very happy with it's performance.
Ok,what's in the box. Firstly there's the scanner of course, an installation guide, software CD, USB cable and a power lead. The scanner it's self measures in at 48cm x 28 1/2cm x 8 1/2cm (19inches x 11.5inches x 3.5inches) which by modern standards is a little bulky but it's still not too bad. In appearance it looks like most other scanners on the market. The layout is very straight forward and simple. At one end of the scanner on the side you will see 2 ports, the one on the far left is where the power lead is connected and the square one in the middle is where the USB lead is connected. Now, when you lift the lid you will see the scanner bed which is made out of glass, this is where you place your document face down, around the outside perimeter of the glass there is a reference frame which you can use to position your item to be scanned, very handy.On the inside of the lid there is a document pad which helps secure your document in place and on the front end of the scanner there is a button, this is not an on/off switch, it's used to preview or start scanning your document. (the scanner does not have an on/off switch)
Ok, now you've had a good look at the scanner, time now to connect it to your computer which is very easy. Just connect the power lead to the power socket and connect the USB lead into the USB socket on the back of the scanner before you physically connect it to your computer you must install the software provided. On the software CD you get 5 different programs, firstly Paper Port, this program contains the drivers for the scanner, without which it wouldn't work and paper port is used to scan your documents,i find paper port very easy to use.Also on the CD there is MGI Photosuite, Photo enhancer 3.1, Internet explorer 4.0.1 and Acrobat Reader 3.01. (i'm aware that all of the software is quite dated now but i still find them very good)
Ok, once paper port is installed you will get a prompt to connect the scanner so as the computer can find it and install it on the system, when this prompt appears plug the power lead into the mains and switch on then plug the USB lead into the USB socket on your computer, after a few seconds the computer will inform you it has located the scanner and will now install it to the system, once this is completed you're ready to scan, weyhey.
Firstly you need to set up the scanner, basically, double click on the paper port icon and it will start up. When paper port is up and running select the file menu at the top of the screen, now choose 'select source', a dialog box will appear, in this box you'll see paper port or visioneer scan manager, select this and the click ok, this process sets the scanner to scan using the paper port software. Now to scan a document, place your document face down on the glass bed, i find lining it up along the referece frame helps a lot, especially keeping the document straight, now close the lid.If paper port isn't yet up and running then open it by pressing the button on the front of the scanner now press the button again, the scanner will now preview the document, what this means is that it scans the document for you to preview before you down load the scanned picture to your computer. Previewing can be very handy if you only want to scan a certain area of your document.In the preview screen you'll see your document displayed with what is called the selection rectangle around it, this looks like a slightly illuminated dotted rectangle. You can reduce or enlarge the scanning area inside of the selection rectangle by moving the curser over one of the dotted lines and your curser will turn into a kind of arrow, right click the mouse and you can now move this line back and forth to where you want it, do this to all 4 sides of the selection rectangle untill you have selected the area you want to scan. Also in the paper port window on the left side you will see a selection of options called scan page for, here you can choose from 5 scanning options: 1.for faxing,filing or copying this is very fast and has the smallest file size and is black and white200dpi;2. editing text, this scans business letters,contracts,memos etc that you want to edit (you need software called OCR for this)this is black and white300dpi;3.Black and White photo which is for of course, black and white photos which is a greyscale 100dpi;4. colour document faster, this is a default setting and it creates a pretty good scanned colour document in a file that is very small, colour100dpi and lastly colour document better quality this provides great scanned images but it takes longer to scan and this in colour at 200dpi. If you was wandering what dpi means, it means Dots Per Inch. Ok, you've selected the area you want to scan and selected the prefered colour or black and white setting, now click on the scan button in the dialog box, the scanner should now start scanning, this takes between approx 30 seconds to 1minute depending on the settiing you have selected which is quite fast, it takes longer for better quality scans.When it's finished the document appears in paper port and hey presto you've scanned an item, weyhey.
Now for the quality and value for money of the scanner, well i find that the Visioneer 6100B scanner is excellent, it produces very high quality scanned images upto A4 size, and has met my scanning needs, i suppose if i was in business where scanning was a huge part of my products and business then i would choose a more expensive and higher quality one, but for home use you don't need anything more powerful, i find the images are almost photograph quality.
So. overall the Visioneer 6100B scanner is great value for money, it produces great quality scanned images with minimal effort at a pretty fast speed, even if you have very little experience of computers you will find this scanner very easy to use, try one you'll be surprised
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