If good-looking scanned images are your top priority in a document scanner, the Canon DR-2050C is an excellent choice--but it doesn't come cheap. Priced at $795 (as of 2/6/07), the Canon DR-2050C is more expensive than the majority of the document scanners we tested recently, which ranged in price from $399 to $799. This model is also hamstrung by its poky performance, which contributed to its failure to make our Top 5 chart.
In our tests, the DR-2050C's overall speed was slower than the average. For example, this model took 94 seconds to scan a double-sided, 15-sheet text document, versus the average of 70 seconds; to scan a single-sided color page, the DR-2050C took 25 seconds, versus the average of 16.5 seconds.
On the other hand, the DR-2050C's image quality was impressive. It received high marks for its image quality, earning a rating of Superior for its monochrome scans and Very Good for its color scans. In scanning a 15-page monochrome document, this model produced sharp text in a variety of sizes and generated excellent details in line art (such as a logo) and black-and-white photo images. In its rendition of a color magazine cover, the DR-2050C delivered solid text and good details in color graphics; however, the highest-rated scanners in this category (the Fujitsu s500 and Plustek PS252) were a tad more accurate in replicating some of the original colors, such as blues.
This 600-dpi sheet-fed scanner weighs about 5.5 pounds, measures 11.7 by 3.9 by 7.7 inches (width by depth by height), and comes equipped with a durable 50-page automatic document feeder (ADF). Setting up the DR-2050C was a bit more complicated in comparison with the other models we tried. Although the input and output trays are already attached (and fold up neatly when the scanner isn't in use), we had to spend some time carefully following the printed instructions to insert a feed roller properly. (We needed two attempts to get it right.) After that, though, the scanner performed well without any misfeeds or paper jams. A set of attachable paper guides is also included. Two buttons that serve to start and cancel scanning are located on the top panel, and a feed selection lever for document thickness adjustment is provided too. You have to reach in back of the unit to find its power switch, though.
The DR-2050C's software bundle includes easy TWAIN/ISIS-compatible scanner drivers and useful scanning software that creates searchable PDFs and enables you to customize the unit's scan-button function. Other applications include Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Standard for creating and editing PDF files, and ScanSoft OmniPage SE 4.0, a limited-edition OCR package that provides a text editor, proofreader, and other basic tools but lacks some of the more advanced formatting options found in full-featured OCR programs. Unlike several of the scanners in our test group, the DC-2050C doesn't come with applications for document management, file indexing, or business card recognition.
All in all, the sturdy Canon DR-2050C's strong suit is its image quality. Other document scanners are faster and less expensive.