Canon quotes speeds of up to 15ppm for the ImageFORMULA P-215, 30 page images per minute, if you're scanning duplex. The feed tray can take up to 20 sheets at a time and feeds from the bottom of the stack, so multipage documents retain their page order. We scanned a 20-side, 10-page test document at 200ppi to a PDF document and the scanner completed the task in 1:00, giving it a real-world speed of 10ppm, very impressive for a portable device.
A single, A4 page scanned simplex in just six seconds, giving the same speed as the multipage test. Taking the resolution up to 300ppi and scanning in greyscale, followed by PaperPort’s OCR into a Word document, took a combined time of 14s, very quick. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo at the scanner's top resolution of 600ppi took a more leisurely 24s.
Scan quality at 200ppi, black-and-white, is good enough for archival or to produce electronic documents for reference. At 300ppi, the test OCR worked well and although a couple of the fonts in the resulting document were incorrect, the layout was well maintained and we couldn't find any mis-recognitions in the text itself. As PaperPort is delighted to remind you, Nuance also sells the professional OmniPage OCR application, if you need a more sophisticated tool.
The only scan result which was disappointing was our test photo print, which we fed through at the scanner’s top resolution of 600ppi. This came through much too dark and with a couple of vertical lines in the image. The brightness can be compensated for, but the lines are more obtrusive.
Scanning a photo ID card, using CaptureOnTouch, produced a 200ppi image of the card by default, though this can be set higher within the program and then produces a satisfactory image.
The Canon ImageFORMULA P-215 is the best of the small, portable page scanners we've yet seen. It offers extra facilities not available in rival scanners at the same price, such as duplex and plastic card scanning. Though it's not perfect, particularly on scanning photos, and it doesn't have either self-contained storage or internal battery, if we needed to a take a portable scanner to accompany a laptop on a trip, this would cover most eventualities.