Not just passing through

GCN Lab Review | Kodak's small, fast scanner is versatile, too

Kodak i1220 Document Scanner

Scan Speed: A+

Color/Image Quality: B+

Ease of Use: A-

Features: B+

Value: A-

Price: $1,199

Reviewer's comments:

A great multipurpose workgroup scanner with a blazingly fast throughput. Good with all sorts of source media.

Contact:

Eastman Kodak

(585) 724-5130

www.kodak.com

When it comes to scanning, speed often rules. Getting a massive document scanned as quickly as possible is close to an all-consuming goal for some.

If that's also your top priority, you'll like Kodak's i1220 scanner. The small, light, multipurpose pass-through workgroup scanner would fit easily into any office environment.

It is a Charge Coupled Device duplex scanner, which is rapidly becoming the norm in today's offices. It can switch from an upright, single-page mode to a horizontal mode that can more easily handle multipage documents, photographs and banners. Taken together, these attributes make the i1220 one of the most versatile scanners for the amount of space it occupies.

The i1220 weighs only 12 pounds, and it is 13 inches wide and anywhere from seven to 14 inches deep, depending on its configuration. This almost makes it a portable scanner.

We found setup easy. Just plug the scanner into the computer's USB port, insert the CD and let the Windows Add Hardware wizard find the drivers. After the installations, the i1220 was ready.

The Automated Document Feeder can handle as many as 50 pages of 20-pound paper at a time. This is what we have come to expect from scanners of this size. It will take significantly fewer documents made of thicker material, but it can easily handle embossed plastic cards. The i1220 will usually even scan a haphazard pile of papers and cards of various sizes one by one.

One feature most Kodak models have is Smart Touch. This takes the form of two buttons and a single-digit LED readout. The first button lets you select the digit, and the second button executes the function. The i1220 can be preprogrammed with as many asnine settings and output modes. By pushing the right button, you can send a scan to a specific program ' e-mail or Adobe Systems' Photoshop, for instance ' at a specific resolution without having to re-enter all those settings.

We found the details in the color scans to be very good, showing differences in even the darkest of shadows. Unfortunately, the colors tended to be a little dark, and light areas sometimes were washed out. We found text a bit jagged at lower resolutions, but not to the extent that a good optical character-recognition program wouldn't be able to interpret it.

The i1220 is as fast as Kodak claims, which is not always the case with scanners. It scanned a 30-page black-and-white text document in exactly 1 minute. This 30 ppm rate is what it says on the box, and that is one of the fastest times for scanners we have tested. Of course, because it is a duplex scanner, two-sided scanning approaches 60-ppm. Color scanning is significantly slower but still fast compared with similar scanners.

The output tray can be placed in two configurations, depending on which position the scanner is in. For the horizontal position, the tray attaches to the scanner just fine, but in vertical mode, the tray is supposed to be slid under the scanner's foot until tabs lock it in place. This works unless you have to move the scanner: Then the tray will be left behind.

The i1220 comes with a good selection of software. In addition to drivers and documentation, Kodak provides a copy of its Capture Software, excellent photo scanning software with unbeatable auto-correction capabilities. It also includes Nuance's ScanSoft OmniPage 14 and PaperPort 10, each widely recognized as the standard in its class.

One thing we found potentially useful is the vast variety of power plugs included with the i1220 and most other Kodak scanners. Users will find that handy if they need to move the scanner to a satellite office in another country or on travel.

Flatbed addition

Although the pass-through scanner has become the norm, it hasn't totally eliminated the need for flatbed scanning. For those rare occasions when a flatbed scanner is necessary, Kodak provides an accessory that hooks into one of the i1220's two USB ports. With this accessory, you can scan at up to 1,200 dpi, compared with the 600-dpi upper limit in pass-through mode.

The Kodak i1220 costs $1,199, which is a good deal for a workgroup scanner with this much speed and versatility. Government users can expect a big discount if they buy the device off a General Services Administration contract.

The scanner would do well in almost any workgroup environment, especially one where there is a lot of scanning of documents on variable media. It's speedy, reliable and easy to use, and you can't ask for much more in an office scanner.

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