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Reviewed: Acer Prisa 620U
Manufacturer: Acer Peripherals, Inc.
Product Type: Scanner
Price: $99 MSRP
Overall Rating:
Author: Derek "~CeiMaster" Edwards       Date: August 30th 1999

Full Review

Taking it out of the box, the Acer Prisa 620U USB scanner includes a power supply, USB cable, and driver/software package. Installing the scanner is as simple as plugging in power, hooking up the USB cable, and running the installation program. No additional devices are required, unless your motherboard doesn't already have integrated USB ports.

Software installation is kinda cheesy... Unlike other scanners I've had in the past, it doesn't appear that the Prisa 620U has any standard software platform. The program for OCR is completely seperate from standard graphical scanning, as well as the copier program. One program to note that, although overall it functions fine, there are times when you can't tell if the program is locked up or if it's just processing (not a good thing). Besides that, the software package covers all the needs of the standard user and requires almost no user-defined configuration.

The first part of the first test benchmarks scan speed on full-color images. A full page preview clocks at an average of 8 seconds total (software delay, scanner delay). This is the standard full-color preview that pops up in the TWAIN box before you do the full scan. A full-color 8.5x11 inch 100 DPI scan clocks an average of 17 seconds total. A full-color 8.5x11 inch 600 DPI scan clocks an average of 2:25 seconds total (although saving the image is a different story = P)

Part 2 of the first test benchmarks scan speed on grayscale images. The full-page preview is actually scanned in color regardless of what options you select, so it still clocks at 8 seconds. A grayscale 8.5x11 inch 100 DPI scan clocks an average of 8 seconds total (software delay, scanner delay). A grayscale 8.5x11 inch 600 DPI scan clocks an average of 55 seconds.

The first part of the second test benchmarks color image quality. A full-color 8.5x11 inch 100 DPI scan of a document is easily readable. Really tiny text (like disclaimers, etc.) starts to get blurry at 100 DPI, but the rest of the document is really what matters, right? A full-color 8.5x11 inch 600 DPI scan just starts to get ridiculous. You start to literally see the pixels of a graphical scan and sometimes even the grain of the paper. The image quality is more than acceptable.

Part 2 of the second test benchmarks grayscale image quality. A grayscale 8.5x11 inch 100 DPI scan of a document is still easily readable. Of course you lose some of the original document properties when you go to grayscale, but the scanner has nothing to do with it. A grayscale 8.5x11 inch 600 DPI scan is still ridiculous. You can't as easily see the grains on the paper, but they're still visible. Overall, grayscale image quality is comparable to the color image quality.

The third test benchmarks OCR performance (speed and quality). In the 100 DPI line-art B&W mode, the OCR recognizes about 60% of the text. At 200 DPI, it appears that the OCR recognizes about 95% of the text (and this is a document that even had some ink smears on it). Both OCRs took about 20 seconds total for both the scan, selection, and OCR.

Overall, this sub $100 scanner performs very well. If you need higher optical resolutions, feel free to look at others, but 600x1200 is more than enough for almost all purposes, and a 17 second full page color 100 DPI scan time definately sets it at the top of the sub $100 scanner class.

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Added:  Monday, August 30, 1999
Reviewer:  Derek Edwards
Page: 3/4

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