What it offers
|UMAX Astra 1220U|
|Color flatbed scanner|
|600x1200 optical resolution, 9600 maximum resolution using BET|
|Up to 36-bit color quality using BET|
|single pass scanning|
|letter sized (8.5"x11.7") scanning area|
|Vistascan scanning software, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, Presto! PageManager, Omnipage LE, Presto! PhotoAlbum|
|Cold cathode lamp has long bulb life|
One of the first things that I liked about this scanner was the fact that it was a flatbed scanner and not one of those types that you feed the document through the scanner, like those fax-scanner-copier-printer-message center-phone-blender combos. Granted, flatbeds take more room, but they are easier to use, and give you the option of scanning part of a bigger document, or scanning pieces of a big document and using software to patch them together (which I've actually done). A document-feeder scanner will not let you do this.
The scanning area was a little smaller than I would've liked it, though. 8.5"x11.7" means that in order to scan larger images, you would have to scan them separately and then piece them together in a software application.
Included with the scanner was a nice set of instructions as how to set up the scanner, and a CD with the software on it. I was surprised at how light it was- this scanner weighs in total less than eight pounds. I'm used to dealing with HP scanners, and for any of you that use HP scanners or printers at home, their products weigh a ton, as I'm sure you know.
Setup was easy. It makes you appreciate the USB port, even. Plug it in, install some software, and you're good to go. I was up and running within minutes, although I did have to download a patch for their VistaScan software to bring it up to the current version. No problem on the company T1, though. Another thing that I noticed after plugging it in is that it is one of those products, like the Zip drive (normal, not the Zip Plus) that has no power switch. I never quite understood this whole "no off switch" concept. Well, the cold cathode lamp bulb shuts itself off after a couple of minutes of inactivity, so that's not a big deal either.
Cool, I'm ready to start scanning some stuff.