Entry-level HP scanner drops resolution and price by half

The small, flatbed color unit scans at half the resolution, 300 dots per inch, but it's
also about half the price and easier to install and run. Although the software lacks
precise control, I'm happy to see an easier interface.


The scanner comes with its own UltraSCSI adapter that fits an EISA slot. The primary
TWAIN_32 application is HP's PictureScan Task Manager.


You choose from four scanner buttons: OCR/Text, Fax and Other Pages. Examples appear as
you make your selection.


On some selections, a settings button gives slight control but does not exceed 200 dpi,
the standard fax resolution.


The default preview scan, at 150 dpi, lets you zoom to double size but never actually
goes beyond 150 dpi. For example, say you're scanning a 3- by 5-inch photo. You can scan
it to a 6- by 10-inch image, but it's still 150 dpi. To double the resolution to 300 dpi,
you must turn to a program like Adobe Systems Inc. Photoshop.


If you're scanning for the World Wide Web or on-screen presentations, you need only 72
dpi. For print or basic publishing, 150 dpi is minimal and 300 dpi acceptable.


The ScanJet 5p comes bundled with the practical Copy Utility that sends quick copies of
black-and-white or color documents directly to your printer. Printing out a color copy
took about five minutes, and it wasn't the best color copy I've ever seen, but this
feature will be handy in a pinch.


If you're looking for an entry-level color scanner, look here first.


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