capsule review

HP Scanjet N6010

At a Glance
  • HP Scanjet N6010 Sheetfeed Scanner

    PCWorld Rating

The stylish design of the $500 (as of 2/6/07) HP ScanJet N6010 makes it appear to tilt backward rather than sit up straight. This gray-and-silver scanner is as solid as a safe; weighing 11.8 pounds, it isn't as portable as the much smaller document scanners we tested recently. Out of the box, this sheet-fed, 600-dpi scanner is 12.3 by 12.6 by 10.6 inches (width by depth by height); the output-tray extension adds 10 inches to its depth.

The front panel has four buttons that launch customizable scanning tasks (such as copy, scan to searchable PDF, and scan business card). The sturdy automatic document feeder can take 50 sheets at a time, and during our tests we experienced no misfeeds or paper jams. One minor quibble: The power switch is inconveniently positioned on the back of the scanner.

In our tests, the N6010 whizzed through text documents but slowed considerably on color jobs. For example, the N6010 scanned a double-sided, 15-sheet, monochrome document at 300 dpi in just 63 seconds, the fastest time for that test; most other scanners ate up another 40-plus seconds to complete the same task. On the other hand, the N6010 took longer than any other model--27 seconds--to scan a single-sided color page at 300 dpi. In the end, however, because it churned out monochrome scans so quickly, the N6010 was the second-fastest scanner overall among our recent test group, after the Microtek ArtixScanDI 2020.

The N6010 earned a rating of Good for its monochrome scans; text was well defined and easily readable, but some line art and graphics lacked fine details or failed to match various gray shades in the original. Scans of color graphics looked impressive and earned a score of Very Good, though in our scan of a magazine cover the blues and yellows looked slightly lighter compared with the original.

Setting up and installing the N6010 was as easy as the procedure for most other models. The generous software bundle includes scanner drivers (including a TWAIN driver), a tools utility, Presto PageManager 7 for document management, IRIS Desktop Search for indexing and retrieving files, and Presto BizCard 5 SE for business card recognition. Best of all, this model comes with a full-featured optical character recognition (OCR) package, ReadIris Pro 11, which provides a wealth of formatting options and more advanced tools than the limited-edition OCR software that comes with several other scanners we saw. When we used ReadIris Pro to convert a variety of sample documents (of both simple and complex layout), the results were outstanding, characterized by a high accuracy rate and excellent layout retention.

The reasonably priced HP Scanjet N6010 is somewhat bulky for a personal document scanner, but it's sturdy, it's capable, and it's fast at monochrome scans.

Richard Jantz

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Includes full-version OCR software
    • Fast at scanning text

    Cons

    • Slow at scanning graphics
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