HP ScanJet N6310 review

If your scanning needs sometimes includes slide conversion, this scanner has the features, but is it a fast enough all rounder?

HP ScanJet N6310

With more and more multifunction printers entering the market, sales of single-function scanners may have dropped, but in one way this has improved offerings, as scanner makers have to offer extra features. HP's ScanJet N6310 is a duplex machine, with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and a transparency scanner. Although aimed at the office market, the ability to scan slides and negatives gives it uses in the SOHO environment at one end and in the graphics market at the other.

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The ScanJet N6310 is styled in off-white and dark grey, with every corner curved. The big radii on these corners make the machine look modern and well designed, so it would sit just as well in an office full of Macintoshes as it would surrounded by PCs. The driver software is provided for both platforms, too.

There's a 50-sheet ADF on the top of the scanner and its feed tray extends to take legal-sized paper, as well as A4. The ADF is duplex, so can scan both sides of each page in a single job. In the underside of the lid is a transparency adapter, which can take up to three, 35mm negatives or a couple of mounted slides.

The hinged lid isn't counterbalanced that well. The hinges have two notched positions, around 80 degrees and around 45 degrees. The fully-open position is fine and the lid stays where you put it, but the half-open notch (as shown in the photo with this review, as it happens) appears to hold the lid, but when you let go it bangs down onto the flatbed. We imagine this isn't intentional.

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The control panel, which juts out from the front of the machine, has a backlit, two-line by 16-character LCD display and a series of the usual buttons for menu navigation and to start and stop a copy job. There's a single USB socket at the back, as well as a low voltage input from the separate, black block power supply. Shame there's no front panel USB socket for scanning to memory drives, though, as this would add an extra facility to the scanner's feature set.

Software provided with the ScanJet N6310 comprises control utilities for scanning and copying which comes from HP, OCR software from IRIS and document management software PaperPort, from Nuance. HP's own utilities include a range of standard scan presets, such as Scan document to PDF' and Scan picture to email', which speed up the whole scanning process. You can add your own, with parameters that best suit the documents you want to capture.

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