Deal: $119.99 (SAVE Now!)
as of 09/27/2020 (Details)
The Astra 2100U makes scanning easy. With the touch of a button, you can scan or copy images or text documents and export them to popular applications. And with the USB interface, you get quick, painless Windows or Mac setup. Hardware setup was easy and straightforward following the included quick-start guide; software setup was lengthy but automated and essentially problem-free. We connected the USB cable from our PC to the scanner and the AC adapter cable from the scanner to the outlet, dropped in the CD-ROM, and followed the Umax setup wizard. To test the Astra 2100, we started an imaging application and used its Acquire Image command to scan a magazine photo. The Umax VistaScan driver software started automatically and, after a short delay while the lamp warmed up, showed us a preview scan. (VistaScan consistently waited for the scanner's lamp to warm up even after the lamp was already warm.) VistaScan has Beginner and Advanced buttons at the top of its window; the Beginner screen includes icons for color photos, printed material, text, line art, and Web images. We selected the working area on our preview scan and clicked the Color Photo icon for a final scan. After performing the final scan, VistaScan automatically exported the image to our graphics application, where it appeared with an unsightly moiré pattern. We returned to VistaScan and, after finding a No Descreen option, changed the option to Magazine and repeated the scan. The new scan took 121 seconds and, although it had no moiré patterns, the image was a bit softer than we expected. To test the Astra 2100's optical-character recognition (OCR) ability, we scanned a single page that contained two columns of text plus some line art. The scan took about 55 seconds, including OCR translation. Caere's OCR software ignored the line art and created a two-page document with a single column of text, which it then exported to Microsoft Word. The two-page format was unexpected, but the interpreted text was correct, and the OCR software did a decent (though not perfect) job of recognizing fonts and font styles. Finally, we explored the well-chosen bundled applications, which are especially fun and helpful for managing digital photo albums. Overall, the Astra 2100U is a nice scanner with a good software suite for a reasonable price. Pros: PC and Mac compatible Easy to use Cons: Lengthy software setup Slim printed documentation
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