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Microtek ArtixScanDI 2020

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At a Glance
  • Microtek ArtixScanDI 2020

A legal-size flatbed scanner with an automatic document feeder (ADF) attached, Microtek's $500 (as of 2/6/07) ArtixScanDI 2020 is heavier (13.5 pounds) and considerably larger (11.8 by 21.6 by 6.1 inches, width by depth by height) than the sheet-fed models we tested recently. But while it requires more desktop real estate, the DI 2020 also offers more speed and productivity potential than other scanners we looked at, making it a good choice for any paper-pushing office.

This 600-dpi USB scanner comes with a 100-sheet ADF, which has twice the capacity of the ADF on all the other models in our test group. In our tests, the DI 2020's ADF flawlessly scanned both single- and double-sided documents with no misfeeds or paper jams. Unlike sheet-fed scanners, flatbed models like this one also can scan books and other large items; in addition, they can manage photos without risk of damage, which adds to their general versatility.

The DI 2020's most impressive feature is arguably its incredibly fast performance, which earned it the top overall speed rating of the group. In our tests, the DI 2020 scanned a single-sided color page (at 300 dpi) in 11.5 seconds--the fastest time for all scanners tested. It also scanned a double-sided, 15-sheet monochrome document in 81 seconds, the second-fastest time after that of the HP Scanjet N6010, which took 63 seconds to finish the task.

Overall, the DI 2020's image quality earned a Good rating. Although its color scans were generally attractive and displayed well-rendered text, some colors were a bit more vibrant and saturated than the original shades. This model's monochrome scans exhibited sharp-looking text but were a bit darker and contained less detail in line art than the best in the group. To be fair, we were able to produce scans closer to the original color and brightness by adjusting some of the default settings in the scanner driver.

Thanks to the clear on-screen illustrations that accompany the installation process, setting up and using the DI 2020 is a breeze. The document trays, extenders, and guides are all part of the ADF, so no assembly is necessary. Along with the power switch, three customizable function buttons are conveniently located at the front of the scanner; they jump-start common scanning tasks (such as scan to file or scan to OCR) at a single touch. By default, one of the function buttons scans pages into a PDF image file. To create a searchable PDF, however, an additional step using third-party software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 (which is not bundled with the scanner) is required.

The DI 2020 scanner software, Microtek ScanWizard DI, is a TWAIN/ISIS-compliant driver with a nice assortment of both basic and advanced controls. Other useful applications bundled with the DI 2020 include a document manager (ScanSoft PaperPort Deluxe 9) and image organizer (Ulead Photo Explorer 8.0), but no business card recognition software. A separate optical character recognition package (Abbyy FineReader 6.0 Sprint) that does a fine job of converting simple text documents is also included, but for complex layouts and more formatting options, a full-featured OCR application is more appropriate.

Nonetheless, the competitively priced Microtek ArtixScanDI 2020's impressive speed and large-capacity ADF make it an excellent choice for high-volume document imaging.

Richard Jantz

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Fast scanning speeds
    • 100-sheet ADF and flatbed add versatility

    Cons

    • Can not create searchable PDFs
  
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