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Old 10-10-2008, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Here...
347 posts, read 1,012,556 times
Reputation: 253

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I need a scanner... for documents mostly, but would eventually like to scan photos too. There are just too many out there, and I am confused.

Was at wal-mart today, and saw a good dozen- most of them scan/copy/print.... which I like. Prices ranged from 49$ (lexmark) upto 250$ (fully loaded HP). I don't care about features like wireless, and the slots for different cards, or that it can print 8X10 photos, not 4X6 only like a lower priced model. But maybe I should care about such features? And I don't know if I should buy a brand name or not. I have a HP 3200C which I have used with my '98 desktop.... but now I use only a laptop with XPsp2... and I think it's easier (and cheaper?) to buy a new scanner-combo product, than try figure the driver out, not to mention the 25pin serial cable it has...

What do you have? Are you happy with it? What would you recommend for someone who just wants a good scanner (combo?) at a reasonable price?
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Old 10-10-2008, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,493,942 times
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The only recommendation I have is to go laser. Unless you really need color, laser is the way to go. It will last longer and has a lower cost per page.

FWIW, I have a Samsung SCX-4100 and it's great. It's almost certainly a discontinued model by now (it's a few years old), but it's a workhorse and has never given me any problems.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:45 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 7,225,051 times
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I have an Epson Stylus that prints and scans. Have had it for 2 years and use it alot. It's working like brand new and we love it! We bought it at Circuit City after doing quite a bit of research on them.
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:58 AM
 
10,753 posts, read 18,008,790 times
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Color lasers are far les expensive than they used to be, I have a Dell that was around $350 I think.
I'm in the IT field and would never, ever buy an HP for personal use, I also discourage my customers from buying them, their bloated driver/software install can cause no end of problems.
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
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A question like this really needs to be answered via a net search of the various printers being considered. Also, epinions.com and other websites give real consumer experience.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:40 AM
 
Location: United Kingdom
339 posts, read 1,149,538 times
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Cartridge price is also a big issue. Generally, and this may not be true for all manufacturers, the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the cartridges, although it does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Here...
347 posts, read 1,012,556 times
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From what everyone is saying, it seems I should stick with a higher end brand name. Meaning- maybe I should overlook the $49 lexmark, and buy a higher end one- upwards of $200? But actually I don't care too much about the printing part. I have an old, but reliable HP photosmart P1000, that I finally got to work with my laptop, by using some deskjet driver. So far, so good.
I want something that will scan reliably...do a great job scanning photos too... the problem arose was when I went to store and saw that most products were now multifunction. Maybe I should just buy a plain old scanner? It seems to me now that there is a quality compromise when they make all-in-one at reasonable prices.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: United Kingdom
339 posts, read 1,149,538 times
Reputation: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShuttrBug View Post
From what everyone is saying, it seems I should stick with a higher end brand name. Meaning- maybe I should overlook the $49 lexmark, and buy a higher end one- upwards of $200? But actually I don't care too much about the printing part. I have an old, but reliable HP photosmart P1000, that I finally got to work with my laptop, by using some deskjet driver. So far, so good.
I want something that will scan reliably...do a great job scanning photos too... the problem arose was when I went to store and saw that most products were now multifunction. Maybe I should just buy a plain old scanner? It seems to me now that there is a quality compromise when they make all-in-one at reasonable prices.
Any mid- to high-end all-in-one should be fine, just go for the recognisable names, like Canon or Brother.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,493,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShuttrBug View Post
I want something that will scan reliably...do a great job scanning photos too... the problem arose was when I went to store and saw that most products were now multifunction. Maybe I should just buy a plain old scanner? It seems to me now that there is a quality compromise when they make all-in-one at reasonable prices.
If the most important feature for you is scanning, then you should look at those specs and focus on the reviews that talk about that feature.

In the specs for a scanner, you're looking for optical resolution - the higher the better. Ignore anything about "software" or "ehnanced" (or "software enhanced" ) resolution - that's just a zoom-like feature which is basically the same thing as making the image larger using Photoshop or whatever. It makes it bigger, but quality suffers.

Look at the features you need - does it have/do you need a sheet feeder? Do the people that are using it like the TWAIN driver (the software that bridges the scanner with the software you're using to scan - e.g. Photoshop)? Do you need the ability to fax directly from the printer/scanner?

There's a lot of choices out there these days for multifunction printers, and they've gotten very cheap. I remember spending $300 about ten years ago for a flatbed scanner - no copier/printer, just a scanner.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,474,844 times
Reputation: 1907
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHDave View Post
Color lasers are far les expensive than they used to be, I have a Dell that was around $350 I think.
I'm in the IT field and would never, ever buy an HP for personal use, I also discourage my customers from buying them, their bloated driver/software install can cause no end of problems.
HP's are good printers, but as you said...they're bloated...just give me the driver please!
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