Microtek Europe BV
Microtek's latest scanner, the ScanMaker V6 USL, has both USB and SCSI ports on the back, so you can choose which interface to use. Either interface will work with both PCs and Macs, giving excellent versatility. An Adaptec SCSI card is bundled as well, so you don't have to fork out for an extra card to be able to use the scanner on a PC which doesn't have a USB port.
With an optical resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch), a colour depth of 36-bit and a 14", legal-size scanning area, the V6 USL certainly looks good on paper. In reality, it is a most unattractive piece of equipment. Due to its longer-than-normal scanning area it is very long, and its 'jelly mould' styling won't suit everyone.
The V6 does have its other advantages, though. Its metal frame construction gives it extra rigidity which makes for better scanning precision and durability. A single button on the front of the scanner is nothing new, but it makes scanning easy by launching the ScanSuite application.
The software bundle is comprehensive, including Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE, ScanWizard, ScanSuite, Caere OmniPage and Recognita OCR.
We ran our usual tough tests on the V6, scanning colour photos, our IT-8 target as well as an A4 page of text for OCRing. In terms of speed using USB, we weren't too impressed. The full-bed prescan time of 17.5 seconds was acceptable, but taking over a minute to scan our IT-8 at 300dpi was way longer than other USB scanners. Scanning an A4 page of text at 300dpi in line art took almost as long, at 53 seconds. SCSI times were much quicker, especially at higher resolutions of 600dpi and above.
As we have come to expect with Microtek scanners, the colour accuracy was excellent. Virtually no adjustment is needed for creating exact copies of photographs and other documents. The extra length is also handy for fitting more photographs on the scanner bed at one time.