The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2500W provides a good set of features for a scanner at its price, with some nice flourishes like a touch screen and both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. It can scan to a variety of destinations and showed very good OCR quality in our testing. On the downside, it was slower than its rated speed, and particularly slow at scanning to searchable PDF, and was subject to more misfeeds than is usual for a desktop scanner.
The ADS-2500W is a duplex scanner with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). It measures 11.8 by 8.7 inches (WD) when closed, and weighs 7.9 pounds. It has a straight-through paper path from the ADF into the output tray, and supports the scanning of business cards as well as plastic cards. You can control many functions, including scan destinations, from its 3.7-inch color touch screen.
The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000 is similar to the ADS-2500, but for its lower price it lacks the latter’s touch screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, and its ability to scan directly to cloud-based destinations, as well as scan to Microsoft SharePoint through Nuance PaperPort. It offers optical resolution of up to 600 ppi. The default resolution for scanning to file (PDF) is 300 ppi, which should be more than enough for most business documents.
The ADS-2500W lets you scan to a USB key, a PC, a network drive, email, an FTP server, or the cloud. (You can scan directly to Evernote, DropBox, Flickr, GoogleDrive, Facebook, and Picasa WebAlbums.) You can scan also scan to Android phones or tablets over a (user-supplied) cable.)
Other interesting features are 2-in-1 scanning (stitching 2 documents together into a ledger-sized scanned document) and continuous scanning (the ability to scan documents longer than the ADF’s 50-page maximum). The ADS-2500W has multi-feed detection, for catching when more than one page is fed through the scanner at once and stopping the scan so you can re-feed the unscanned sheet(s). As was the case when I tested the ADS-2000, I experienced a relatively high number of misfeeds for a desktop scanner in our testing.
Software bundled with the ADS-2500W includes Brother’s Control Center 4 scan utility; Nuance Paper Port 12SE (for Windows) and Presto! PageManager 9 (for Mac) for document management and optical character recognition (OCR); Presto! BizCard 6; and Nuance PDF Converter Professional 7 (for Windows), which lets you create, edit, search, and collaborate on PDF files, and send them to Cloud-based services. It also has Twain, WIA, and ISIS drivers, which let you scan from virtually any program that has a scan command.
Neither BizCard or PDF Converter are installed automatically when you install the main MFL-Pro Suite (which is described, peculiarly, on the installation screen as “Full Driver and Software Package”). They’re listed below under additional applications, but could easily be overlooked if you took the above description at face value.
Brother’s Control Center scan utility is simple and quite useful, with buttons for 4 scan destinations: Scan to Image (300 ppi JPEG); OCR (300 ppi .txt file), Email (200 ppi PDF); and File (300 ppi PDF). By right-clicking on any of the buttons, you can change the settings, such as resolution, scan type (auto black and white, gray (error diffusion), true gray, or 24-bit color), document size, simplex/duplex, and set brightness and contrast. (When you first launch Control Center, you get a choice between simple and advanced interfaces; the advanced one gives you much more flexibility.)
You can also initiate scans from Nuance PaperPort (or Presto! PageManager if you use the scanner with a Mac). PaperPort lets you scan to multiple destinations, displayed at the bottom of the screen with icons. The Twain, WIA, and ISIS drivers let you scan to nearly any program that has a scan command.
The ADS-2500W is rated at up to 24 pages per minute (ppm) for simplex (one-sided) scanning and 24 ppm/48 images per minute (ipm) for duplex scanning, in which each side of a two-sided document counts as one image. I did our timed tests over an Ethernet connection, with the scanner’s driver and software installed on a PC running Windows Vista.
In my testing, using the scan utility’s default settings to scan to file (color image PDF at 300 ppi), it averaged 13.8 ppm to scan and save a 25-page file, well off of its rated speed. For duplex scanning, its tested speed fell a bit to 21.4 ipm. It was slower in scanning to searchable PDF format, taking 3 minutes 54 seconds to scan our 25-page document in simplex and a ponderous 6:44 in duplex. It took 2:54 to the test document to a .txt file using the scan utility’s OCR button.
We do our official timings using default settings, as we’ve found that users tend to stick to them. But I also tried scanning the same document to image PDF at 200 ppi; the ADS-2500W turned in somewhat faster times of 16.3 ppm simplex and 14.2 ppm/28.4 ppm for duplex scanning. (I did not scan to searchable PDF at 200 ppi, as you’ll want to use the higher resolution for that format.)
Curiously, when I tried scanning to black-and-white PDFs, these scans actually took longer than scanning to color.
We clocked the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C125, rated at 25 ppm/50 ipm, at 25.4 ppm and 50 ipm for simplex and duplex scanning, respectively, to image PDF. Impressively, it maintained the same speeds when scanning to searchable PDF, scanning and processing our test document in a minute flat. The Kodak i2400 has a slightly higher rated speed (30 ppm/60 ipm for simplex and duplex scanning, respectively), and tested at 28.3 ppm and 53.6 ipm. It scanned a simplex document to searchable PDF in 1 minute 34 seconds.
The ADS-2500W did very well at OCR, reading our Arial and Times New Roman text documents perfectly down to 6-point type. For business card management with BizCard 5, it did a reasonable job, entering data in the correct fields without an error on about half my test cards, and on most of the others had no more than two or three errors.
The Brother ADS-2500W has a more robust feature set than the lower-priced ADS-2000, including items such as the color touch screen and Wi-Fi that are very unusual for a scanner at its price. It can scan to multiple destinations, and it performed very well in OCR accuracy. Its main downside is that it is sluggish for its rated speed, and lagged even more when scanning to searchable PDF.
The Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C125 not only was true to its rated speed for both simplex and duplex scanning (which is the same as the Brother’s), it lost no time in scanning to searchable PDF. The Kodak i2400 was slightly faster still, and although it lagged DR-C125 in scanning to searchable PDF, it finished in well under half the time it took the ADS-2500W to scan the same document. Although the Canon and Kodak scanners lack many of the ADF-2500W’s flourishes, they deliver on the basics, most importantly on scan speed, both to image PDFand searchable PDF formats.
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|USB or FireWire Interface||USB|
|Automatic Document Feeder||Yes|
|Maximum Scan Area||Legal|
|Maximum Optical Resolution||600 pixels|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc