Canon imageFormula DR-2510C review

28 Apr 2008

A small footprint, great software bundle and high output quality make this a good workgroup desktop scanner, but speeds drop at 600dpi and above.

Price when reviewed: 
423exc VAT
5

The DR-2510C is part of Canon's new imageFormula family, which aims to bring all its myriad digital scanning solutions under the same roof. It may be a compact unit, but this little desktop scanner claims a fast 25ppm scan speed and - thanks to Canon's new single-line CMOS sensor - it can do this for both mono and colour documents.

It incorporates a number of features previously only available in higher-end scanners, including the PC Pro Recommended Canon DR-4010C. You get automatic paper-size detection and paper-skew correction, while the ability to skip blank pages (and auto-colour detection) means you don't need to separate document pages prior to scanning. The scanner also recognises text orientation and adjusts accordingly.

The features don't stop there either. Two double-feed detection methods are available, where the scanner can use paper length measurements or Canon's ultrasonic wave system. There's a green element, too: placing the scanner's power switch to Auto causes the scanner to power up and down in keeping with the host computer.

For testing, we loaded the base software and drivers on a Boston Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D workstation running Windows XP SP2 and then connected the scanner using the supplied USB cable, where it was identified without any problems.

Our first task was to program the three buttons on the scanner's front panel, and we easily set one up to start scanning, another to scan to a folder, and the third to go directly to email. For the latter two operations, we could choose PDF, TIF, JPEG or BMP formats, select high compression and - for email - save the image to a folder as well as attach it to a new message.

You get an impressive software bundle, but the ISIS/TWAIN-compatible CapturePerfect 3 sits at the top of the list. This offers options for batch-scanning directly to a file, printer or email, while the presentation tool scans the documents to a full-screen window. You use the Backspace and Enter keys to move through the presentation, and a pop-up menu allows you to zoom in and out, rotate the current page and display thumbnails to one side.

In our real-world tests, we found speed varied considerably depending on the tasks selected. Scanning 25 pages of bank statements at either 200dpi or 300dpi with auto-colour detect took 1min 20secs for an average of 19ppm. With mono selected, the statements were scanned at 200dpi in 56 seconds for nearly 27ppm while 600dpi dropped this to only 15ppm.

Output quality for documents at 600dpi is particularly good, and a distinct improvement over lower resolutions. In fact, colour photographs were almost impossible to tell apart from the originals at 600dpi with 24-bit colour selected.

However, as with the DR-4010C, we found CapturePerfect's advanced text-enhancement modes of limited use as, at 600dpi, it scattered dots and smears over the scanned image, while paper folds caused bands of lines to appear in the image.

Considering its compact dimensions, the DR-2510C delivers a fine range of scanning features and very good output quality. The software bundle adds considerable value, although selecting the highest resolution drops scan speeds considerably. But even with these faults, it's the best document scanner we've seen.