Xerox DocuMate 262i

If you want fast efficient scanning to archive documents the Xerox DocuMate 262i has to be on your shortlist.

Under test, the DocuMate 262i completed a 10-page scan of assorted documents, including invoices and tabular documents in 17 seconds. This equates to a scan speed of 35ppm, very close to the rated speed. A10-side duplex document (five pages) took 11 seconds, or 54ppm. Both these tests were conducted at 200dpi, the default resolution of the scanner, which is good enough for archival.

Increase the resolution to 300dpi, the minimum for effective OCR, and a 10-page document takes 25 seconds, or 24ppm. The scanner takes around 10 seconds for the lamp to warm-up, so this time needs adding on to the first scan of a session. With larger scanning jobs the DocuMate 262i can take 50 sheets at once any warm-up time will be a smaller proportion of the total and the scan speed will approach the rated figure more closely.

Pages feed well and even given the high speed, there are few misfeeds. The scanner includes ultrasonic double-feed detection anyway, and the software can auto-straighten and auto-crop pages.

There's a single USB socket on the back of the scanner as a local connection to a PC Macs are not currently supported. A network adapter is available as an option.

The facility to scan ID/credit cards from the front is a useful extra. Feed the card by sliding it onto the guides on the front feed tray and the scanner takes it in, spits it out onto the output tray below and produces a duplex scan of the front and back of the card, as separate pages. As with any job, a card can be scanned in colour, greyscale or black and white.

Xerox puts a 3,000 page-per-day duty cycle on this scanner, so while it doesn't have the vigour of heavy-duty devices like the Canon ImageFORMULA DR-X10C which is designed for scanning bureaus and dedicated archival departments a single DocuMate 262i would be able to handle most of the output from even a reasonably big department. At the price, it would be reasonable to add a second or third unit if that department grows in size, too.

Verdict

This is a fast, efficient, duplex business scanner, which is easy to use and comes with a good selection of useful support software. Given its comparatively low-price, it's well-specified, with features like double-feed sensing, de-skewing and auto-cropping. The front-feed card reader is effective, if a little Heath Robinson in implementation.

Dpi: 600dpi, 38ppm (76spm) A4 sheet-fed scanner Colour: 24-bit colour, 256 greyscale Paper handling: 50 sheet auto-document feeder Duplex: Yes Duty cycle: 3,000 pages per day Software: Nuance PaperPort 11 document manager, OmniPage Pro 15 OCR, Kofax Virtual ReScan 4.2 image enhancer, Vioneer OneTouch bundled

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