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Buyer's Guide to Scanners

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Buyer's Guide to Scanners

by Answers 2000 Limited

Scanners are devices which attach to your computer, and will scan paper, photographs, etc, and convert them into computer images.

Here's how we would recommend choosing a scanner:
  • Don't consider "Enhanced" resolution, but instead look at "Optical" resolution which should be 600 DPI (DPI = Dots per inch) or higher, for a good quality scanner.
    • Enhanced resolution is software technique for adding additional detail to scanned images.
    • Many graphics, painting and scanning programs may include an image "enhance" function anyway.
  • Scanners usually can be connected to your computer using USB or SCSI interfaces. SCSI transfers data faster which could be important if you plan to scan large high-quality color images.
  • Scanners can use either CCDs (Charge Coupled Devices) or CISs (Contact Image Sensors) to digitize your images. CCDs usually result in better quality images but can cost more.
  • Scanners often come with software. Make sure you know what you're getting and it's a good overall package.
  • If you want to scan text and put the text into your wordprocessor, you also need OCR ("Optical Character Recognition") software. Some scanners come with OCR software, sometimes limited versions, otherwise you'll need to buy OCR software separately.
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