Most of us probably picture flatbeds when we think of business scanners, but the sheet-feed scanner still has a place, particularly when the device is intended to be shared by a workgroup over a network. Being able to walk up to a scanner, drop a bunch of papers into its feed tray and have them scanned to your desktop can be a very efficient process, especially when the scanner, as with the Fujitsu fi-6000NS, can scan both sides of the paper in one pass and in colour.
The Fujitsu design is unusual in being not just a sheet-feed scanner, but also in having both a keyboard and an 8.4inch, XGA resolution touchscreen bolted on the front. For those familiar with Fujitsu business scanners, the mechanism is the same as in the fi-5120C. The keyboard is a US 101 layout, so there's no pound sterling sign, but there aren't many email addresses or fax numbers that need one.
The keyboard and screen are needed because the device acts as an electronic sender, as well as a scanner. Having sending facilities means you may well be able to ditch an old departmental fax, as long as you have network fax software on your Windows 2000 or 2003 server. You need to be able to add email addresses or fax numbers to send documents and the touchscreen gives the ability to view the scans and perform simple viewing manipulations, such as rotation and resizing.
Scanned sheets feed from an ADF tray at the rear, which can take up to 50 sheets at a time, through to an output tray which only projects a short way from the front. The whole device has a meagre footprint of just 360mm (W) by 394mm (D), though the upper edge of its feed tray is 390mm above the desktop.
You can feed paper and card - including embossed card - and the scanner's twin heads scan both sides of each sheet at once. That's why it can scan up to 50 sides per minute in duplex mode, but only half that, single-sided. You don't have to set any switches to turn from one mode to the other; the scanner automatically detects what you're putting through.
In fact, the fi-6000NS does a lot of automatic checking. As well as working out if there's content on one or both sides of the paper, it checks for blank sheets and deletes any it finds. It can also work out the orientation and size of fed pages, de-skewing any at odd angles, and has an ultrasonic sensor to check for multiple feeds. If two or more sheets go through at once, it alerts you so you can re-scan them.
The scanner can take sheets up to A4 or US Legal and there are also facilities for long pages, such as landscapes or banners, up to 34inches in length.