Canon ImageFORMULA DR-X10C

Not everyone needs to scan up to 60,000 items a day. But if you do, Canon's ImageFORMULA DR-X10C is up to the job.

The ImageFORMULA DR-X10C automatically detects the size of a page, its orientation, colour and skew angle. It ignores blank pages and copes well with double feeds, sensing them both ultrasonically and by page-length. There are three ultrasonic sensors across the paper width and you can turn them off individually. This is useful if, for example, you're intentionally scanning pages with Post-It notes attached. By turning off the sensor in the corner where the attachments are, it'll scan the document, while still detecting double feeds not involving the Post-Its.

If the machine detects a double-feed, it automatically refeeds it up to three times - you can set the default - before presenting it to you for attention. This is an unusual feature and can be a time-saver, if you're scanning old or poorly separated documents.

The firmware in the scanner de-skews pages and crops them to size, even when scanning at full speed. The machine has both USB and SCSI connections, so will fit in the majority of PC environments. It has no network connection, but this is not appropriate for a scanner of this type, which requires a dedicated control PC and manual attention to load its bulk document hopper.

Staples and paperclips are the enemy of any sheet-feed scanner and the ImageFORMULA DR-X10C has a detector which can alert you to a stack of stapled documents.

The scanner's green credentials show up in its power management, where switching off the computer connected to it triggers a complete shut down. Canon claims it switches completely off, and not merely into standby, yet it also claims it detects when its controlling machine is turned back on, so there must be some residual current for the power sensor. Either way, you can take it that it saves power when not in use.

Maintenance is particularly straightforward, as the top half of the machine swings up to give access to its lamp and CCD sensors. It also has a cleaning blade, which wipes over the sensor during scanning, so a wipe down with a clean cloth once a day should keep it in trim. Replacement feed rollers are the only consumable, and they shouldn't need to be replaced more than every 500,000 pages or so.

Canon has obviously spent a lot of time putting diagnostics and self-maintenance features into this machine, aiming to keep down-time to a minimum. In the kind of environment it's aimed at, reliability is nearly all, assuming you get a decent image from a scan. From our tests, scanned images are more than adequate in colour and black and white. The purchase price may look high, but this is a machine intended for use round the clock and where it performs a key business task. In that environment, it's good value.

Verdict

A desktop scanner which can handle up to 60,000 pages a day at up to A3 is never going to be cheap. Canon's ImageFORMULA DR-X10C, though, has been designed to automate ways of dealing with most of the problems that might occur.

DPI: 600dpi, 128ppm (256spm) A3 scanner (A1 folio)

Technology: RGB LED lightsource (no warm-up)

Colour depth: 24-bit colour, 256 greyscale

Paper handling: 500 sheet feeder

Duplex: Yes

Extras: Ultrasonic double-feed protection, staple/paperclip detection

Software: Capture Perfect control software and driver bundled

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