The USB 2.0 port offers a higher data transfer rate than the older USB 1.1 standard, so it makes sense to fit it to scanners to increase the scanning speed. That’s what’s been done with Canon’s CanoScan D1250 U2F. In case your PC is too old to have USB 2.0 ports fitted, Canon includes an Adaptec USB 2.0 PCI controller. You’ll need to be happy taking your PC to bits to fit this, but as an alternative you can use this scanner with older USB 1.1 ports; it just won’t be as fast.
Whichever interface you use, the scanner resolution is unaffected. The CanoScan D1250 U2F has an optical resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi with 48-bit colour scanning. This is higher than most PCs can actually use, but it makes the scanning process more accurate and the actual number of colours is reduced to 24-bit (16.7 million) before being used by your chosen software. On that note, software in the box includes Arcsoft Photobase (photo album), Scansoft OmniPage Pro (optical character recognition), Canon Photorecord for printing photos and Adobe Photoshop Elements for image editing.
Unlike some of Canon’s other scanners, the D1250 U2F doesn’t take its power from the USB port. Instead, there’s a plug-in mains adapter that supplies the energy required for the lamp, CCD array and stepper motor. This is a more chunky scanner than we’ve seen recently from Canon. Despite the relatively pleasant styling, with its translucent purple theme, it’s quite a large unit.
There are short-cut buttons on the scanner for ‘scan’, ‘copy’ and ‘e-mail’, plus one for ‘photo’. This latter is designed to be used when scanning photographs (obviously) or in conjunction with the supplied film adapter, so that you can scan 35mm transparencies. Larger objects can also be scanned, using the CanoScan D1250 U2F’s adjustable lid (called ‘Z-lid’ by Canon), which lifts up out of the way of books and other bulky documents.
A ‘multi-photo’ mode lets you place several photos on the glass and have the scanner automatically identify and crop them into individual images. This can be used with QARE, a tool that cleans up scratches and dust marks from scanned photos to improve the final image.
The results are good. Scanning speed is certainly improved when using the USB 2.0 interface, particularly when scanning at high resolution and high colour depth. The output is impressive and well balanced and can be used either for Web work or for printing on a high-resolution inkjet. A version of this scanner without the film adapter is also available.
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