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High-End Gear: HP Photosmart 7960 and Scanjet 4600

Hp Scanjet 4600

The first of its kind, this scanner is transparent and scans things face up. This means you see what you are scanning. Better still, you can take the scanner off its base, leaving you with just the glass and its frame, yet it contains all the ingredients for scanning a map on a wall, your knees or all sorts of things, whether in relief or flat.

Impressed though we were by this lovely device, we couldn't help wondering why it still had to have a wire.

On the right is a wire which divides in two, one half leading to the computer and the other to the power. Though not development engineers, we thought it would be better to have made a battery-operated WiFi scanner that can be recharged when you set it back on its base, the latter of which would have the power connection. That really would have been a portable device! But we bet hp has thought about this and has something tucked away somewhere.

Here we scanned an image with the glass on the desktop. This didn't worry the scanner which previewed and framed the image correctly without letting the marks on the desktop surface get in its hair. It realizes on its own that it should take no account of them. An impressive performance!

For the time being, then, we shall make do with this very good scanjet 4600.

Each operation sets in motion, at varying speed, a metal bar lit by a dim blue light. This is the sensor bar. It moves quite quietly and very quickly to preview a document (less than 6 seconds) or fairly quickly (11 seconds for a 10x15cm photo at 300dpi). However, the way it is designed for a wide public gets to you after a bit. The driver shuts down after each scan, and running the (not too efficient) descreening option automatically starts a new preview, etc. This doesn't matter too much if you only have one image to scan, but can really bug you when you have a dozen or, worse, when you want to make a digital album of lab photos.

Three buttons

Like all such devices nowadays, the scanjet 4600 has three buttons on the front to send images automatically to a program, a printer or by e-mail.