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Speed Tests

Time is money. We've all heard that phrase and where computers are concerned, that saying rings loud and clear. The last thing I want from a new product is poor or outdated performance. Aside from image quality, the table below denotes how long each scanner and interface took to grab a standard 8.5" x 11" @ 24-bit color cropped page.

Above is the Achilles heel of the 4600. Similar to the slothful speed of the V6USL, this unit takes up to 300% longer when doing 100 or 600 dpi scans. That can be a lot of wasted time sitting around hoping the machine will hurry up and finish its task. If time isn't on your side, then the Microtek won't be either. The Visioneer 7600 USB has been the speed king for over two years, but that's the only area in which it slaughters the 4600 USB.

Noise

Usually, this isn't a category where scanners are concerned as they have all been moderately to extremely quiet. Microtek needs to find another supplier of their stepper motors as this one is slow and moderately noisy. While never obnoxious, resolutions at 100dpi an under (like the preview mode) bring forth all sorts of rattles and squawks. Some people may actually return this model because it sounds like it could be dying. Let me reemphasize that this noise is not heard to any appreciable level at scans made at 150dpi and above. In fact, the higher the resolution, the more softly the Microtek speaks.

Picture Quality

Before you download the scanned comparison images, don't forget to calibrate your monitor and video card. Remember that 9300K color temperature is meant for fluorescent lighting and 6500K is meant for incandescent lighting. If these are reversed, your picture will be dramatically shifted into the red or blue range. One of the best utilities I've found for proper monitor calibration can be found here.

Visioneer
Microtek

Recently, I purchased a new Visioneer 7600 USB to check the status of speed and picture quality. I was greatly dismayed at the color saturation and apparent blurrieness, but the swift scanning ability remained. Also, the price is about half of what it was two years ago ($80 or less). Picture quality is where the 4600 "smokes" the competition. Without clicking on the two images, one can easily see that the Microtek is light years beyond the cheaper Visioneer.

 





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