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HP Scanjet 300 - Performance, Scan Quality, Verdict

By Simon Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

HP Scanjet 300 - Performance

HP Scanning, the scanner control utility supplied by HP, tries to be clever. Rather than doing a low-resolution preview scan before you get the opportunity to change settings, it takes a 200ppi scan, sufficient for an archival PDF file.

If this is what you want, the file is transferred to your PC as soon as you finish with the setting screens, saving one whole scan cycle. However, most of the time you'll need to change the resolution or colour depth and both these functions force a rescan.

HP doesn't quote scan times on this machine, but we found it quite a bit quicker than the Scanjet G3110. A 200ppi text page took just 15s to scan, while the combined times to scan and OCR A 300ppi page into Word came to 27s. A 15 x 10cm photo scan at 600ppi took 36s. All these are very respectable, for what is basically a budget scanner.

HP Scanjet 300 - Open

HP labels this machine a photo scanner, which is slightly odd as it’s no better suited to scanning photos than any other general-purpose device. There is no transparency scanner in the lid, so it can't scan slides and it's just as good at scanning document pages and OCRing them as any other machine in its class.

HP Scanjet 300 - Scan Quality

The 200ppi text scan is very readable and, although the same page scanned at 300ppi and converted to editable text showed a few recognition and formatting errors, it was generally a very reasonable conversion, given it was entirely made using default settings.

HP Scanjet 300 - Back

Our test photo scan was too vivid in the greens and reds, though this could be toned down at scan time. The swatches on the colour test target were a little grainy, too, with a slight red shift, but for day-to-day scanning, they’d be good enough. Gratings on the MTF test showed grades of grey, rather than black and white, but again these are acceptable for a scanner at this price.

Verdict

The HP ScanJet 300 is a very serviceable personal scanner, suitable for document and photo print scanning, but not up to semi-pro standards. LED illumination and CIS image sensors, both used in this machine, still can't reproduce text or images with the same quality as cold cathode lamps and CCD transducers.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Features 8
  • Scan Quality 7
  • Scan Speed 9
  • Value 7

toboev

April 20, 2013, 10:14 pm

It started so well, with the hinge on the long side, meaning that you could place the scanner aligned with the edge of the desk top to make it easier to scan a book - the unscanned half of the book can hang down the side of the desk. But they really didn't think through the design, you need the platten to have as narrow a bezel as possible opposite the hinge. Not only has HP seemed to make the bezel deliberately wide here, they even put the buttons right where they will be covered over by the overhanging half of the book.

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