Brother ADS-2800W review: A well-rounded scan system

A well-featured and affordable desktop scanner with good speed and plenty of scan options

Editor's Choice
Price
£317
  • Web console for basic management; Rapid scan speeds; Great value
  • Configuring apps as scan destinations can be tedious

The ADS-2800W sits near the top of Brother's extensive family of desktop scanners, and delivers all the document digitising features an SMB could ask for. That includes both wired Ethernet and 802.11n wireless connections (plus plain old USB), along with a 40ppm scan speed and a user-friendly touchscreen interface - all for a very reasonable price.

Brother hasn't skimped on the software side of things, either. Along with the company's iPrint&Scan and ControlCenter4 scan management apps, the package includes Nuance's PaperPort 14 SE digital file cabinet and the ABBYY FineReader 12 Sprint and PDF Transformer+ OCR tools. A standalone remote network setup utility is included as well, with a system tray monitor that doubles up as a firmware upgrade advisor - and for low-level management the scanner has its own web console, too.

We set the printer up with a wired connection, and everything went smoothly. The installation utility automatically spotted the scanner on our network and loaded the entire software suite. This took around half an hour, but that's because the utility automatically downloaded the latest versions of all the various tools - and updated the scanner's firmware with the latest version, which unlocks its full 40ppm speed (this had previously been limited to 30ppm).

Once the software was set up, we were able to use the 9.3cm colour LCD touchscreen to fire off fast scans: any client with Brother's software installed will appear in the "Scan To PC" menu, and you can use the web console to configure 25 custom destinations, including SMB network shares, FTP servers, SharePoint locations and email addresses.

The Apps icon on the touchscreen also gives you the option to scan a document directly to Office, or export it in searchable PDF format. Scanning to cloud services takes a little configuration, but it's not hard to do: you simply need to visit Brother's Web Connect portal, choose from the various supported providers and register your account details. You'll then be given a unique 11-digit code, which you can enter at the touchscreen to complete the connection.

Scanning to mobile devices is also a slightly roundabout process, but it works well. Scanned documents are uploaded to Brother's website, where they can then be accessed and downloaded on your phone or tablet by scanning the QR code displayed in the panel.

If access security is a concern, it's possible to PIN-protect the scanner's settings; for more granular control, up to 100 named user profiles can be created, and you can decide which scan destinations each one is allowed to access. You can also enable Active Directory authentication, which requires users to enter their domain credentials to access the scanner's menus.

With a 3,000-sheet daily duty cycle, the ADS-2800W can take some punishment and we found that it delivered on its speed promises. The iPrint&Scan Windows app scanned a 30-page sheaf of bank statements at 40ppm at both 200dpi and 300dpi resolutions, in both colour and greyscale. Switching to 600dpi saw speeds tumble to 7.5ppm, but this isn't a big problem, as quality at 200dpi is easily good enough for document archiving. It didn't struggle with small receipts, courier flimsies, airway bills or registration cards either, and if a jam did occur, the scanner always stopped before its feed rollers damaged them.

It's all rounded off by strong OCR capabilities, with fonts as small as 6pt accurately converted into searchable PDFs. There's anti-skew, blank page skipping and image enhancement functions too, which can be handily included in one-click workflows.

The ADS-2800W provides a great combination of features, speed and value. Whether you're using it chiefly from a PC, a mobile device or as a walk-up, it'll make light work of your digitising tasks.

Verdict

Brother’s ADS-2800W provides a great combination of features, speed and value. Whether you’re using it chiefly from a PC, a mobile device or as a walk-up, it’ll make light work of your digitising tasks.

600dpi optical resolution 85ppm at 300dpi colour/mono Simplex/duplex 100-page ADF 3.7cm colour LCD screen USB 3 Maximum daily duty cycle: 9,000 pages External PSU Epson Scan 2, Document Capture Pro software 296 x 169 x 167mm (WDH, closed) 3.6kg 1yr on-site service warranty

OPTIONS Flatbed scanner conversion kit, £150 network interface unit, £255 (exc VAT)

Featured Resources

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Simplify cluster security at scale

Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environments

Download now

The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure

Threats to endpoints in a world of remote working

Download now

2021 state of IT asset management report

The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investments

Download now

Recommended

Kodak Alaris S2040 review: Clunky yet funky
peripherals

Kodak Alaris S2040 review: Clunky yet funky

24 Jul 2020
Canon imageFormula DR-S150 review: Just walk up and scan
peripherals

Canon imageFormula DR-S150 review: Just walk up and scan

16 Jul 2020
In search of the perfect scanner
peripherals

In search of the perfect scanner

12 Jul 2020
Brother ADS-3600W review: The perfect choice for SMBs
Hardware

Brother ADS-3600W review: The perfect choice for SMBs

9 Jul 2020

Most Popular

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Do smart devices make us less intelligent?

19 Oct 2020
Politicians need to stop talking about technology
Policy & legislation

Politicians need to stop talking about technology

21 Oct 2020
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

21 Oct 2020