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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 The last thing I want from a new product is poor or outdated performance.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.

Resolution
Visioneer USB
Microtek USB
Microtek SCSI
100 dpi
13 sec
105 sec
105 sec
300 dpi
40 sec
110 sec
135 sec
600 dpi
120 sec
210 sec
135 sec

Oops, I think that factory speed tests were never ran on the V6USL. Certainly the SCSI performance is the most disappointing. The more than two year old Visioneer blew the Microtek away in every category. Seriously, Microtek's engineers should look into the unusually slow SCSI performance. The USB times are reprehensible in a newer product. Over three minutes to scan a standard page at 24-bit color. If you regularly scanned 20-30 of these per day just think of the lost productivity.

Noise

Usually, this isn't a category where scanners are concerned as they have all been moderately to extremely quiet. Not so with the V6USL as I thought someone turned on a gasoline generator when I hit the scan button for the first time. I thought, "people must hear this sound," so I recorded it and converted it to an MP3 file. Click here to listen to the Microtek in action.

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
Negative

I'll admit that the Visioneer is low on gamma (color saturation) by about 5%. The Microtek is about 5-10% over saturated. Microtek's negative quality is so low as to be unusable at this time. FYI, the two leftmost WhiteHouse scans were completed at 180dpi and the negative scan was done at 600dpi.

Conclusion

Quantity versus quality. It's the age old conundrum that provokes many classic arguments. The V6USL has the most features of any scanner I've ever laid eyes on but all that quantity comes at a price: quality, or rather the lack of. This Microtek earns a 6/10 score due to mainly the long scan times and obnoxious noise levels. If Microtek would fix the aforementioned problems and keep the price steady, then I could easily see the V6USL's score skyrocketing past the 9 mark but as it stands, I cannot recommend this unit at this time.

William Yaple
10/15/00

 





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