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Under Scrutiny: Four 1200 dpi Scanners

Umax Astra 4500

(Not available in North America)

The Astra 4500 works very fast at low resolution, but not very satisfactorily. It is at least four times faster at 75 dpi than Epson's Perfection. And yet the latter scanner is preferable, because the image delivered is poor and lacks sharpness. Apart from this, the Astra 4500 handled itself well on all the tests. As for quality, it is average, although without any notable weakness. There is simply a tendency to veer into the red. So if you choose this scanner, be sure to learn how to use retouching tools.

Similarly, although we think it a good idea to avoid the lowest resolutions, it does not do well at the highest resolutions, either. This is rather limiting if you know the optical specifications, but it is preferable not to use it at 1200 dpi and even less so at 2400 dpi. Scans at such high resolutions lack accuracy and the red is markedly too bright.

It is best kept to standard use. When used for 300 and 600 dpi images, it does perfectly well. The Astra 4500 is thus fine if you want to use it for storing family photos or scanning text documents.