The scanner I've had for a few years has broke down, so I'm going to need to buy something to replace it. I've had a Canon CanoScan N1220U, which I bought because I needed a lightweight scanner which I could carry around with my laptop to libraries and other places.
Eventually it started to break down, when I put heavy books on the glass the scanner would sputter and not scan properly, and just recently it became stuck in a sputtering mode and won't return back to normal. I also had a problem where if the USB cable wasn't plugged in well, horizontal colored lines would appear on the scan. The sputtering problem may or may not be because I didn't take good care, and things happened like a chair was accidentally put on it to make a dent in the lid.
One of the scanners I'm considering buying is a Canon LiDE model, there is the 25, 35, 50, and 80. I'd probably buy the high-end 80 model. All of these models, strangely, are thicker and weightier than the N1220U. There's a Visioneer scanner about the same size as the N1220U but I'm not sure I want to buy from them and it has lower specs than similar HP or Canon scanners.
The top advantage of the Canon LiDE scanners is they gain their power completely through the USB connection, which is useful to me as a mobile user. I am worried that relying on the small power from USB means the scanning will be slower though.
I'm also considering buying an HP Scanjet 4600 or 4670 see-thru scanners, the only difference between the two I'm aware of is the 4670 can stand up vertically. An advantage of these scanners is that the glass is placed over whats being scanned and the top is see through so you can see whats being scanned. I've also read a review that the 4600/4670 is completely quiet while scanning, while the LiDEs make a high pitched noise. This is important, because of where I plan to use it most, libraries.
The HP scanner is thinner and lighter, but its also larger in width and length.
I'm also wondering about the scan quality of each of these models. The N1220U had good scan quality to me, though the colors on scanned images didn't really match the actual pictures, but I've seen that on all scanners I've used. I've read reviews on both the LiDE and 4600/4670 which say both have problems with quality, color and graininess. The reviews gave better scores to the HP, but remember I thought the Canon I owned was good enough quality.
I'm mainly going to use it to scan pictures from books or other sources. The scans will not be for printing but for viewing on a computer so don't need to be as large. I'd also want to know which is more convenient to use with book scanning, including considerations such as that some books need to be pressed down so the pages are flat.
i have a canon LiDE 80 scanner. im not sure if the HP models do this, but the lid can go up to an inch higher to allow for the scanning of larger objects like books without allowing too much light to seep through to the platter. the quality, for both color and grayscale, is more than acceptable, perhaps exceptional. i only had one problem and that was the scanner didn't start up properly one time and that gave me a few problems...all i had to do, though, is unplug it and plug it back in to the USB port.
from my experience, LiDE has worked beyond my expectations.