The ScanMaker 5600 is perfect for home users who demand greater quality, and can serve as a useful office tool – especially with the addition of a media adaptor for scanning transparencies, and a document feeder for scanning multi-page documents for Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
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Microtek is one of the most established scanner makers around, and it uses its experience to good effect in the ScanMaker 5600. Most commendably, the company understands that its target mid-range SoHo audience demands high-quality results but with minimum of effort and know-how – and, to this end, it has largely automated the scanning process. This it does by virtue of ‘Smart-Touch’ buttons on the front of the scanner, which allow the user to automatically create email-optimized scans and have these sent to the email client; scan and send to the printer; scan a document for OCR (Optical Character Recognition); and scan an image straight to a Web site. All the user is faced with is a one-off configuration of each button, using the supplied software. Microtek also shows its status as a market elder in the hardware it provides. The 5600 offers an meaty optical resolution of 2,400dpi, and is considerably more affordable than rivals’ comparable models, such as Epson’s Perfection 2450 Photo (£298) and Canon’s £279 CanoScan D2400U (both prices include VAT).
Colours are calling The 5600 also offers true 48-bit colour, and a souped-up CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) which – Microtek claims – uses six rows of sensors rather than the customary three. Whatever. The proof of any hardware-pudding is in the eating – and the 5600 doesn’t disappoint: scan quality is impressively colour-accurate and sharp off-the-bat.The scanner also comes with an impressive software bundle, including the nicely crafted ScanWizard 5 scanning software; Adobe Photoshop LE and PhotoDeluxe; Kodak Digital Science Color Management; and Abbyy FineReader Sprint OCR.