You can tell by the price tag that the imageFORMULA DR-3010C from Canon isn’t your average desktop scanner. Indeed, at up to 30 double-sided pages per minute it’s one of the quickest you can buy and, with a duty cycle of up to 3,000 documents per day, clearly designed for use with high volume document management applications.
Compared to some scanners in this category the DR3010C is really quite small. Little bigger, in fact, than some office telephones, making it easy to site next to a PC, to which it can be connected via a high speed USB 2.0 interface (cable supplied).
It’s sheet-fed with a 50-sheet hopper on the top plus a fold-out tray at the front to catch documents once they’ve been scanned. You can’t, therefore, scan books or other bulky originals, although the mechanism is able to cope with a wide variety of materials and, thanks to its short paper path and an ultrasonic double feed sensor, jams are rare. Added to which you get automatic paper size and colour detection and intelligence to de-skew and improve image quality on the fly.
An external AC adapter provides the power and the only parts likely to need attention are the feed rollers which need changing every 100,000 documents or so.
Able to scan in full colour, greyscale or black and white, resolution is limited to 600dpi, but that’s not really an issue on this type of product, which is all about speed and throughput.
Controls are minimal. Just a couple of buttons to start and stop a scan and two more to select a pre-programmed job number. Up to nine such jobs can be configured to, for example, scan direct to email, to a printer, or create searchable PDF format, with a small LCD panel to indicate the job number chosen.
Of course the scanner can’t do this without the help of software, with Twain and ISIS drivers included to enable the Canon scanner to be used with most existing document management systems. For those without such tools there’s also a copy of Nuance’s PaperPort package plus a general purpose scanning tool called CapturePerfect. OmniPage SE is, similarly, bundled to convert scanned documents into editable text via OCR, together with a copy of Adobe Acrobat 8.0 to create and manage PDFs.
We found the DR-3010C very easy to use. It was also quick and, despite its flimsy looks, robust and capable. A4 and US Letter originals were handled with ease, the scanner heads capturing both sides of each page in a single pass.
It can also handle long documents such as invoices fastened together, and folded documents larger than A4 which are pieced back together in software. Surprisingly, it was even able to handle paper and plastic cards, with a business card management tool (Presto! BizCard) also included.
On the downside the DR-3010C is far from cheap, especially when compared to the kind of scanner you’d buy to capture a few old photos of the kids. But then that’s not what it’s designed for, and as a high-speed, high-volume scanner for use with document management systems it’s actually quite a snip.
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