Positioned at the lower end of the range, the 6100USB is a fairly basic flatbed A4 scanner aimed at the home user on a limited budget. It offers a similar set of specifications to even the highest model, the One Touch 8600.
An optical resolution of 600 x 1200 dpi and 24-bit colour output makes it a perfectly usable tool, but it can only interpolate up to 2400dpi, where the 8600 can reach as high as 9600dpi. Also, there's no option of either a transparency adapter or a sheet feeder. The 6100USB, as the name implies, just has a USB port on the rear, and this limits it to Windows 98 PCs.
Gone are the One Touch buttons, replaced by a single application-launching button. Pressing this launches the PaperPort software, in which you can scan in your documents, organise them and send them to various other applications by dragging them onto the link bar.
One of the most useful functions is the built-in Textbridge OCR. To convert a scanned document into editable text, all you do is drag it onto your word processor icon and the document is interpreted in seconds, then displayed as a new document in, say, Windows Wordpad.
The 6100USB shares the same Twain driver as the 8600 and has the same limitations. We felt that Visioneer could have made the driver much easier to use, considering the type of user this scanner is likely to appeal to.
Testing the scanner revealed that it wasn't as quick overall as other similarly priced models, but at higher resolutions it did produce some hard-to-beat times. Using the OCR function in PaperPort impressed us. Our test page was almost perfect, with just a few spelling errors. As with most OCR programs, it didn't handle formatting such as italics too well.
Testing the quality showed that the 6100USB couldn't compete with more expensive scanners. Colour recognition wasn't as accurate, and in our greyscale test, the results were visibly worse. However, the 6100 should be fine for most home uses, and with the bundled MGI Photosuite II SE you'll be able to touch up your scanned photographs as well.