A flatbed scanner with a transparency and negative adapter built into its lid will normally cost you over £100, but HP’s Scanjet G3110 beats this price by over 10 percent and looks good into the bargain.
With something of the curves of a stealth bomber, its thick, ice-white top includes a raised plateau, which hides the transparency adapter in its lid and holds the four quick-task buttons, which are its only controls. These start scan, scan-to-email, scan-to-PDF and copy jobs. You need a printer to copy, of course.
The lid has extending hinges, so you can easily scan from books and magazines. A small panel at the back of its left-hand side offers a power switch and sockets for the separate, black-block power supply and a USB connection, the only way to transfer data.
We had some difficulty installing the Scanjet G3110, as the install program kept claiming it had found a newer version of ‘MSI.BufferChm’ than the one it was trying to install. You’d think it would be happy with a newer version, but it refused to proceed and uninstalled the entire package.
After an hour’s online chat with HP technical support, we had installed all the software elements manually, but Solutions Center now claimed there were elements missing from the installation and it wouldn’t scan. In the end, we had to use a different PC, where it installed without problems. A quick search on the Net showed our experience wasn’t unique, though, and it’s something HP should resolve.
The software provided includes HP's Photosmart Essentials and Solution Center, which includes built-in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - for turning printed text into machine-readable digital text - from IRIS. TWAIN and WIA are ways for PCs to talk to scanners so it’s good to have both supported here, but each uses a different scanner interface and the WIA-only HP Scanning application is a lot better-featured than its TWAIN counterpart.
The driver offers comprehensive control of the scanner, and includes colour correction plus dust and scratch removal. Both of these are reasonably effective, though not up to the standard of applications like Digital ICE.