Visioneer OneTouch 7300 USB
At a Glance
The Visioneer OneTouch 7300 USB is an inexpensive, entry-level scanner that might be right for you--if you're willing to make a few compromises. Its optical resolution is 1200 dpi, whereas other small-office models have 2400-dpi (and higher) resolutions. But for converting documents and photos into digital formats, 1200 dpi is plenty of resolution, and we found that the 7300 produced very nice looking scans even without the higher horsepower. The 7300 scans only photo prints, documents, and other reflective items; it can't scan transparencies. On the positive side, it weighs a mere 3 pounds and doesn't require a power cord, making it even more portable. Five quick-start buttons are preset to scan, copy, e-mail, run optical character recognition, or trigger other common scanning tasks.
Though it has a USB 2.0 interface, the 7300 posted extremely slow scanning times; its performance is the second-slowest among the scanners in our May 2004 Top 10 chart. For example, it took nearly 70 seconds to scan a 7.5-by-10.5-inch, color magazine page at 300 dpi, compared to 33.5 seconds for the Canon CanoScan Lide 50 to complete the same test.
In image quality, the 7300 scored well enough across the board to earn it a Very good rating overall, though results were somewhat mixed. A printout of black-and-white line art, for example, showed the best detail among all the tested scanners. But the 7300's relatively low maximum resolution proved to be a liability when we viewed a maximum-resolution scan of the same line art on screen. The 7300 didn't measure up to the results we saw from higher-resolution scanners. The 7300 again beat out more expensive models on our 2-by-2-inch color photo print, showing that the highest resolution doesn't always produce the best-looking image. This scanner did, however, have difficulty reproducing accurate colors and sharp details in our 100-dpi, 4-by-5-inch color print test, where it earned a lower-than-average score.
Included in the software bundle are ScanSoft PaperPort Deluxe 8, an excellent document management program that also provides a built-in optical character recognition engine for automatically converting simple text documents into editable text, and ArcSoft PhotoImpression 4, an entry-level image editor that's suitable for basic chores but lacks the full range of features found in Adobe Photoshop Elements. The Visioneer's ScanManager Pro driver doesn't offer basic and advanced modes as many other scanning drivers do, but it's easy enough to perform common tasks, such as scanning a color or black-and-white photo. Also included is printed documentation that does a fine job of explaining all scanner operations.
The compact Visioneer OneTouch 7300 is easy to set up and use anywhere, but if you want speed, look elsewhere.