Microtek ScanMaker 4900
At a Glance
In our August 2002 speed tests, the 4900's overall performance ranked high among the five 2400-dpi units we tested with a USB 1.1 interface, and ranked second for performance among small-office scanners. For example, the 4900 took only 39 seconds to scan a 2-by-2-inch color photo at 1200 dpi, compared with 46 seconds for the next-closest USB 1.1 model, the Canon CanoScan D2400UF, to complete the same test. The only faster 2400-dpi scanner in our roundup was the $1000 Microtek ScanMaker 8700 Pro Design, tested on its FireWire interface.
As for image quality, the ScanMaker 4900 earned the best scores among small-office scanners in our print test of a 4-by-5-inch color photo, producing more-accurate colors and better details in shadows and highlights than other scanners we evaluated for our August 2002 roundup. Because of its high resolution, it also performed well in our on-screen black-and-white line-art test, reproducing finer details in small geometric lines and in tiny 4-point type.
Also in the software bundle are an image editor and image manager (Adobe PhotoDeluxe 4 and Ulead Photo Explorer 7 SE, respectively), optical character recognition (ABBYY FineReader 4 Sprint), and an image-archiving application (Ulead DVD PictureShow) that automatically copies image files and photo slide shows to CDs or DVDs. The excellent TWAIN driver (Microtek ScanWizard 5) provides separate modes for beginners and for advanced users, and a step-by-step online (PDF) tutorial helps you use both modes of operation.