Scan speeds are good, with a full A4 page at 200dpi taking just 10 seconds. Add in optical character recognition on a 300dpi scan and it takes 17s. A 600dpi, full colour scan of a 15 x 10cm print takes 18s, so for the kind of occasional work the scanner is likely to see, speed should be more than adequate.
Scan image quality is reasonable for what is a budget device. Colours are fair, though there is an overall brightening, with colours showing lighter than in originals. There’s no scanner to screen calibration software provided, but you can adjust brightness, contrast and HLS (Hue Lightness Saturation) via software sliders at scan time.
Scanning our test targets revealed a couple of glitches in the vertical scan line panels, even scanned at 1,200ppi resolution. In passing, Canon’s ScanGear TWAIN applet only offers resolutions of up to 1,200ppi as options; you have to type in any higher resolution directly.
Clean up tools include descreening, which is good at removing moiré effects from scans of printed materials, and dust and scratch removal. This isn’t always effective. Our scratched and dusty sample still showed a lot of marks after scanning, but some smaller blemishes were reduced or removed altogether. Don’t expect too much from the tool.
The OCR built into Canon’s MP Navigator EX software is fine for pages using regular fonts and works quickly to extract editable text. It’s basic, though, and ends up with a simple text file opened in a text editor. There’s no attempt to retain formatting or feed through into Word.
This is a good example of Canon’s home and enthusiast scanner offerings. Its compact, low-profile lines don’t hide a cheap and cheerful mechanism and for general purpose use, the combination of easy-use buttons and well designed support software provide a good system for photo print digitising, OCR and document archival. The ability to create multi-page PDF files with a few button pushes is a useful extra. If space is restricted, you can even flip the CanoScan LiDE 210 on its side.