Canon Imageformula P-150 review: portable scanner

Reviews 27 Nov, 2009

Canon touts the P-150 as the fastest portable scanner in the world. We review it to see if it's got the quality and usability to match.

4
Price: 
£219
ex. VAT
Verdict: 
For deskbound office users, the Imageformula P-150 is too expensive and its highest quality scan mode too slow to make it worth buying, even if you're desperate to save desk space. However, if your business relies on travelling representatives who need to file signed documents with a distant head office, this sturdy, high-quality scanner is an excellent choice.

Business trips, field work and meetings away from the office can all be sabotaged by a lack of essential equipment, particularly when it comes to printing and scanning. Canon's Imageformula P-150 sets out to solve one of those problems.

This is a portable scanner that can be folded down to just 42 x 282 x 98mm. Despite its remarkably small size, the P-150 is a fully-functional duplex sheet-fed document scanner, capable of batch scanning up to 20 sheets at a time.

Its folding design is ingenious. A rear paper feed unclips and hinges up and out from the scanner's brick-link folded state. Guides fold out from the tray itself to support paper of any height and width up to A4. The main body of the scanner also hinges open to allow access to the feed roller and separation pad, which ensure the seamless feeding of scanned documents. These are consumable parts. You'll be prompted to replace the roller after 100,000 sheets have been scanned and the separation pad is good for 10,000 pages.

A4 pages were fed smoothly, without any of the issues with alignment, skewing, creasing or paper jams that we've seen from some sheet-feed scanners. For optimal scan speeds the P-150 requires two free USB ports - one for data, and one for power, although it can run off a single USB port. A mains adaptor is also available.

It's very quick - we scanned 10 duplex pages in just one minute, three seconds at the scanner's default 200dpi. At the P-150's maximum resolution of 600dpi, everything moves a bit more slowly: 10 single-sided full colour pages were scanned in seven minutes and 39 seconds. A single page 600dpi scan took 50 seconds. While this compares well to a typical flatbed, it's significantly slower than most office sheet-fed scanners. The same page scanned in just eight seconds at 200dpi and 11 seconds at 300dpi.

Specifications: 

Scanner technology: CIS (Contact Image Sensor)

Quoted scan speed: 15ppm (200dpi B&W)

Max resolution: 600dpi

Paper thickness: 52 - 128gsm

Duplex scanning: yes

Warranty: 1 year RTB