The $799 (as of 2/6/07) Kodak i1210 is designed for small businesses and workgroups that need a simple but reliable scanner to perform document-imaging chores. This 600-dpi, USB, sheet-fed scanner produces good-looking images, and it offers a first-rate optical character recognition (OCR) tool, ScanSoft OmniPage Pro 14, for converting printed documents into editable text. Only two other scanners we tested recently--the $500 HP Scanjet N6010 and the $595 Xerox DocuMate 152--also come bundled with a full-featured OCR application.
On the downside, the i1210 is more expensive and slower in its overall performance than all of the other scanners in our latest roundup. It's also the only non-duplex scanner in the group, which means that it can't scan double-sided pages automatically. Instead, you must scan one side of a stack of pages, then do the other side, and finally use one of the bundled applications, ScanSoft PaperPort 10, to automatically collate the pages in their proper order--a serious limitation that kept the i1210 from making our Top 5 chart.
The i1210 performed best when scanning text documents. Among our test group, it was the second-fastest model at scanning a 15-page, single-sided text document, doing so in 55 seconds versus the average of 70 seconds. But this model's slow color scans put it in last place for its overall performance. It dawdled in turning a double-sided color page into a 300-dpi PDF, taking 96 seconds--a result that was more than twice the time (43 seconds) that the next-slowest scanner, the Plustek PS252, took to complete the same task.
In our image-quality tests, the i1210's scans earned a Superior rating for text documents and a Good rating for color documents. Like the Canon DC-2050C, this model excels at monochrome image quality, displaying razor-sharp text in a variety of different sizes, and capturing more details in line-art illustrations and photographic images than most competing scanners we tested. Its color-graphics rendering was also very attractive, though its color accuracy was not quite as dead-on as that of the higher-rated models in this category.
The moderately sized i1210 weighs 11.5 pounds and measures 13.0 by 6.3 by 9.7 inches (width by depth by height). It has a unique tilt feature that lets you move the scanner body on its stand and position its input and output trays at different angles. For example, you can position the scanner upright with its input tray pointing up, or you can tilt it horizontally for it to hold large stacks in its trays more easily. To change the scanner's placement, you simply press a tilt-release button on the stand and position the body. This added flexibility in setting up the i1210 is a nice plus, especially where space is limited.
A convenient start button and function indicator on the front panel control up to nine different quick-start functions, including the creation of searchable PDFs. One minor irritant is that you have to reach in back of the unit to flip the power switch.
The i1210's software bundle contains simple-to-use TWAIN/ISIS-compatible scanner drivers and other scanning software, including a workflow aid (Kodak Capture Lite) and a utility (SmartTouch) for customizing the scan function button. Also included are the aforementioned PaperPort 10 document management and OmniPage OCR applications, but no business card recognition software is provided. If you need to scan bound documents, photos, or other fragile materials at up to 1200 dpi, Kodak offers an optional ($495) flatbed scanning accessory that connects to the i1210 via a tethered cable (not included in our test unit).
The premium-priced Kodak i1210 delivers high-quality text scans, but it's slow and primarily designed for single-sided documents.