Flatbed scanners cover the full range of scanning needs, from single-page SOHO devices to high quality photo scanners and high throughput archival scanners. Canon’s CanoScan range is aimed at consumers and the LiDE 210 is a little above its entry-level offerings.
Since the introduction of the LiDE range, which stands for LED inDirect Exposure, most of Canon’s consumer scanners have an attractive, low-profile look. The combination of a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scan head and LED rather than cold cathode illumination has meant the mechanism itself takes up very little room.
The dark grey body of the scanner has a pewter-coloured lid with an inset silver hinge that allows books to be scanned, as well as single sheets. At the front are five easy-scan buttons and at the back is a single miniature USB socket. The left-hand edge has fittings for a clip-on stand, as the scanner can be used flipped up close to the vertical, useful if desk space is particularly tight.
Physical connection couldn’t be much easier, as the CanoScan LiDE 210 draws all necessary power from its USB cable. Plug that in and the scanner springs to life, checks itself – make sure you’ve unlocked the scan head via the slide switch underneath – and sits in standby until asked to scan.
Canon’s ScanGear software is well designed and offers three basic scan modes. In Auto Scan, it sets everything for you and scans automatically, showing the result as a thumbnail. Basic mode enables you to select destination: screen or print, but most other parameters are still set to auto. In advanced mode, you can stipulate resolution and select treatments such as descreening and dust removal.
This three-tier approach caters for everything from a quick scan of a print, a document scan for OCR, and to semi-pro scanning of a photo for manipulation in third-party editing software.
As well as working through a TWAIN connection to a document editor, you can use any of the five buttons on the front of the scanner to perform one-touch scans. The left-hand two start and stop the scan to PDF function, so you can scan single or multiple pages and create a single PDF file from them.
The centre button is similar to the Auto Scan mode of ScanGear, while the right-hand two scan for copying (assuming you have a printer attached) and create an email with the scan appended as an attachment.