Canon claims a scan speed of 8ppm for the ImageFORMULA P-208, which doubles to 16ipm if you’re scanning duplex. This is a fair lick for a small, portable scanner and we measured 7.5ppm at 200ppi, which is close.
A 20-side duplex scan took 1:05, so higher than the 16ipm claim, at 18.5ipm. The scanner conveniently scans the bottom sheet in a stack, first, so maintaining the collation. The higher the resolution, the slower the scan, of course, and at the scanner’s maximum level of 600ppi, a 15 x 10cm colour print took 29s, so only just over 2ppm.
The AI target, though scanned at 600ppi greyscale rather than our normal 1,200ppi, gave a comparatively good result, with reasonably clean gratings showing the ability of the scanner to resolve detailed images. Text pages scan well, producing good contrast and very readable characters.
Colour scans came through darker than we’d expect and would need tweaking before serious use. The head and shoulder skintones in the Q-60 colour target showed a distinct red cast, too.
It depends what you need to scan. If you mainly want to capture page images for archival or reading on screen, the scanner is swift and reasonably accurate, though better at greyscale than colour.
However, if you regularly want to be able to edit what you’ve scanned, you’ll miss the OCR software, included with portable scanners such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap s1300i or Canon’s own ImageFORMULA P-215
The Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 is a good, very compact, portable scanner. It scans up to 20 pages at a time quickly and well, though colour scanning is not so good. We think it’s a shame Canon hasn’t included OCR software with the device, since the lack of it limits the device’s flexibility.