HP's Network ScanJet5 aspires for midrange

Hewlett-Packard Co. is touting its charge-coupled device Network ScanJet 5 as the first
of a new class of scanner.


In function, the scanner falls somewhere between conventional photo-grabbing personal
image capture scanners and imaging systems that use workgroup scanners for archiving large
volumes of paper-based information, said Nolan Sundrud, workgroup scanner product manager
for Hewlett-Packard’s scanner division in Boise, Idaho.


The ScanJet 5’s workgroup design provides for sharing as well as capturing
information.


"The scanner gets the paper into the workflow network so that it can be used in a
variety of applications by multiple users," he said.


Functions of the ScanJet 5 include scan to share, scan to fax, scan to copy and direct
scanning to an application.


"This functionality is possible because the ScanJet 5 is connected directly to a
network, not to a PC or workstation,’’ Sundrud said.


It supports most major PC and network operating systems, including Microsoft Windows
3.1x, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0, Windows 95, Novell NetWare 3.x and
4.x, and IBM LAN Server.


If convenience and ease of use are priorities, the ScanJet 5 comes through with flying
colors. The control panel makes it easy to use. The alphanumeric keypad lets you select a
destination by typing in the destination name or number to route your documents, and it
comes with preset settings to scan text and photos. The panel also includes pull-up menus
for choosing predefined distribution lists or PC and fax locations.


Software utilities let users set up distribution lists at their own PCs. Simply hit the
green Go button and it scans the document and sends it across the network to its
destination, whether that’s on a LAN fax server or printer, or a desktop PC for
optical character recognition or filing.


"It’s the direct network connection on this standalone device that makes it
so useful,’’ Sundrud said.


The network scanner comes with document-imaging software, which lets recipients drop
the document image into any supported apps such as e-mail, groupware, OCR or word
processing. Or they can redistribute the document, add or delete information, or print the
document.


Setup is handled with HP Jet Administration software, which provides direct network
connectivity and Simple Network Management Protocol-compatible administration software for
remote installation and monitoring. Tool kits are available to integrate the ScanJet with
apps not natively supported.


The 300-dot-per-inch maximum resolution is not suited for high-resolution image
capturing and processing, but that’s OK because the scanner is meant for use
principally as an information sharing and sending device. For example, it uses a data
buffer to scan complex or large documents at optimum speed and data compression to speed
file transmission.


Document imaging is fast: You can put 50 documents into the tray and capture the images
at a rate of 15 pages per minute.


That speed and the ability to add the ScanJet 5 to an existing network with no need for
extra phone lines translates into a low total cost when compared with other processing
methods such as faxing, Sundrud said.


The Network ScanJet 5 sells for $2,999.


Contact Hewlett-Packard at 650-857-1501.


–Gina M. Roos

inside gcn

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