Brother ADS-2100 scanner review

Brother's desktop document scanner comes with the ability to scan directly to USB devices, but the image quality and speed can't quite match the offerings from competitors such as Canon.

Software

Brother supplies this scanner with its MFL Pro Suite software; a package which ships with most of its printers and MFPs, configured to suit the device in question. In this case its principle components are Brother's own Control Center along with Nuance's PaperPort 12 document management software. The Control Center software generally feels well thought out, providing four shortcut buttons which allow quick scans to an image, PDF or email, as well as to text output through optical character recognition (OCR). It also integrates with the scanner's Scan to PC button, which dumps scans to a non-searchable PDF file by default.

Brother ADS2100 - PaperPort

PaperPort 12 has numerous shortcuts, which provide more functionality than the Control Centre

This and the other settings are a sensible start but the software is easy to customise, with a simple right-click opening up the detailed settings for each of the shortcut buttons. It's possible to configure the OCR button to create searchable PDFs and to enable automatic page rotation to ensure text is correctly orientated. The device settings page includes a remote setup for the scanner itself. Users can change settings for walk-up scan jobs and configure options such as the sleep time out.

Control Center provides a single application for configuring and using the scanner for a full range of day-to-day options, which leaves us unsure why Brother also supplies PaperPort 12. Nuance's software comes with image and PDF viewers, and the main application includes a document manager with useful thumbnail images, but its overall feel is that of consumer software. You can use it to initiate and manage scans, but it doesn't offer any additional functionality over Control Center, which we found more intuitive.

Whilst it's possible to configure Control Center to scan multiple business cards, no dedicated business card manager is included in the bundle. A further omission is the lack of support for cloud-based services such as Google Docs or Evernote; an increasingly common feature in scanner software.

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