Canon imageFormula P-215 full review

A portable scanner is inevitably something of a niche product, but if you sometimes need to scan documents when you’re out visiting clients then Canon’s new P-215 might be just what you’re looking for.

When folded flat the P-215 measures just 285mm wide, 95mm deep and 40mm thick, and weighs 1Kg, so it’s easy to slip into a carrying case along with your laptop.  The scanner draws its power supply from a USB port on your Mac or PC, using a single USB cable for both the power supply and transferring scanned files onto the computer.

When you’re ready to start scanning you simply open the top panel, which unfolds to provide a 20-sheet paper tray. The scanner provides 600dpi resolution, which might not be sufficient for designers or photographers who require high-res scans, but should be perfectly adequate for scanning business documents such as letters and invoices, as well as marketing materials that combine text, graphics or photos.

The scanning software is cleverly designed too. As you might expect, the software is provided on CD-ROM for installing onto your Mac or PC. However, the software is also built into the scanner itself, and appears as an icon on your desktop when you plug it in. Double-clicking that icon allows you to run the software directly from the scanner – a handy option that enables you to control the scanner from any Mac or PC even if you haven’t installed the software on the computer beforehand.

The P-215 is a fast and compact portable scanner

Using our office iMac we got good scanning speeds of about 10s per page for both two-sided and single-sided scans.  You can scan documents up to A4 size, in colour, black and white, or greyscale, and save files in PDF, TIFF or JPEG formats. There’s also a special slot on the front of the unit for scanning embossed ID cards.

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