Panasonic KV-S1015C review

The Panasonic KV-S1015C beat its rated speed in both simplex and duplex scanning to image PDF.
Photo of Panasonic KV-S1015C

The Panasonic KV-S1015C is one of two similar Panasonic desktop business scanners we tested at the same time, and a major difference between them is speed. The KV-S1015C’s rated speed of 20 pages per minute (ppm) for simplex scanning and 40 ipm (images per minute, where each side of a page counts as one image) is slower than that of the Panasonic KV-S1026C’s 30 ppm for simplex and 60 ipm for duplex scanning. But while they both matched their rated speeds for simplex scanning, the KV-S1015C met its rated duplex speed while the Panasonic KV-S1026C fell well short.

The KV-S1015C, a color duplexing scanner, is fairly typical in features and appearance for a desktop scanner of its class. It measures 5.4 by 11.9 by 7 inches (HWD), so it’s easy to share a desk with, and weighs 5.9 pounds. It’s identical in appearance to the KV-S1026C, though it lacks the latter’s skip button, and is has a black top rather than gray. Paper is loaded through a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), and the paper path is straight-through. Down the right-hand edge are five buttons: Power, three pre-programmed and customizable scan profile buttons, and Start/Stop.

The paper feed is rather finicky, and paper needs to be flush with the guides. I was puzzled why I would frequently get paper jam error messages after a scan had completed, as if it were expecting another page that wasn’t feeding. Having the paper guides snug with the paper’s edges eliminated these, and the act of scanning itself was generally issue-free.

Software
Another difference between the KV-S1015C and Panasonic KV-S1026C is software. The lower-priced KV-S1015C has the more complete software package, shipping with Presto PageManager 9.23 for document management, Image Capture Plus for document conversion, and Presto BizCard 6 for businesses cards. The KV-S1026C is limited to Image Capture Plus. Such a disparity is not uncommon; it presupposes that businesses opting for the faster scanner will already have their own chosen programs for these functions.

The KV-S1015C is Windows only, supporting all versions since Windows XP (SP3). Its ISIS and Twain drivers let you scan from nearly any Windows program that has a scan program.

The scan buttons are set by default to PageManager scan settings for Scan to Folder (image PDF), Scan to Printer, and Scan to E-Mail. You can select from a scan utility either one-touch or no-touch scanning; in the latter, the scan starts as soon as you insert the paper in the ADF.

Testing
I did our timed scanning tests using PageManager, which lets you scan to a variety of destinations and document formats, including image PDF and searchable PDF. The version of Image Capture Plus that ships with the KV-S1015C does not let you scan to searchable PDF format, unlike when it is used with the Panasonic KV-S1026C.

In scanning to the default 200 ppi image PDF format, the KV-S1015C beat its rated simplex speed by a hair, scanning our 25-page test document at 20.7 ppm and losing no time in duplex scanning of a two-sided document (41.4 ipm).

PageManager doesn’t have a setting labeled Searchable PDF, which is generally considered the most useful format for document management; you have to adjust the PDF settings yourself. Choices for saving include Image, Text and Image, and Text under Image; Compression choices include Lossy (JPEG), Mixed, and Lossless (LZW/G4); I tested using Text Under Image (which lets you see an image of the scan, and searching on a word should put you at the correct word), and Lossless.

Scanning to searchable PDF at 300 ppi yielded a peculiarity. It was actually quicker scanning in duplex than in simplex, scanning and processing our 25-page/50-image two-sided test document in an average of 3 minutes 17 seconds while taking 4:03 to scan a 25-page one-sided document. Neither speed is particularly good, however; the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C125, rated at a slightly higher 25 ppm simplex/50 ipm duplex, took a minute flat to scan our 25-page test documents in both simplex and duplex to searchable PDF.

OCR
It did a decent job in OCR, reading both our Times New Roman and Ariel test fonts at 8 points with only one error in each. It also did a good job in business card scanning, using Presto! BizCard 6, scanning about half of our test cards with no errors, and with minimal errors on the rest.

The KV-S1015C doesn’t have the raw speed of the Panasonic KV-S1026C, at least for simplex scanning, but still managed to slightly exceed its rated speed for both simplex and duplex scanning of image PDF files at its default 20-ppi resolution. It slowed down in scanning to searchable PDF, where strangely it was faster in duplex than simplex scanning, all else being equal. Using different software, the KV-S1026C blazed through image PDF testing at the same resolution, turning in a speed just above its own 30 ppm rated speed in 200 ppi scans but was slower in duplex scanning, only matching the KV-S1015C’s 41 ipm speed at that resolution.

The Panasonic KV-S1015C is a good choice as a scanner for a small business without any other scanners, while the Panasonic KV-S1026C requires that you already have document management software or are willing to invest in it. But while both scanners were zippy in simplex scanning to image PDF and the KV-S1015C had duplex chops as well, neither were particularly impressive in scanning to searchable PDF, unlike the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C125, which didn’t lose stride when we added that OCR step.

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Specifications
USB or FireWire Interface USB
Scanning Options Transparency
Automatic Document Feeder Yes
Maximum Scan Area Legal
Maximum Optical Resolution 600 pixels
Ethernet Interface No
Flatbed No

Verdict
The Panasonic KV-S1015C (barely) beat its rated speed in both simplex and duplex scanning to image PDF, but was less impressive in scanning to searchable PDF.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc