large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 Review



rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Well-designed support software
  • Automated and one-touch scans
  • Plastic card scan


  • Fiddly paper guides
  • No OCR software supplied
  • Can only scan to graphics files

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £151.00
  • Mobile scanner
  • Duplex scans
  • USB-powered
  • 20-sheet ADF
  • 600ppi resolution

What is the Canon ImageFORMULA P-208?

There’s a growing market for portable scanners, which can be carried alongside a notebook or tablet and scan on the fly, whenever the need arises. Canon’s ImageFORMULA P-208 is one of these and includes a full duplex scan head, unusual in such a compact device.

Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 – Design and Features

The textured, black case measures 313 x 77 x 40mm, so is only slightly wider than the length of an A4 sheet and small enough in the other dimensions to slip in beside a portable device in even a compact travel bag. It’s only 600g, too, so it doesn’t add much to the overall weight of your mobile technology.
There’s only a single USB cable needed to supply power and data connections to the scanner, so no need for a separate power supply. There’s an optional wireless adapter, the WU10, which gives you direct access to any Wi-Fi equipped mobile device. It also provides power to the scanner for up to 400 colour scans.
Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 - Optional WiFi
Opening the scanner ready for work takes no more than flipping down the front cover and swivelling out the two paper guides. These guides take the form of two small bars and you can load up to 20 sheets and have the scanner feed them automatically.

However, the support sections of the guides are very thin and it’s actually more awkward to load paper between them than on some more compact guides with larger areas of location. They do ensure paper enters the scanner horizontally, but at the expense of some fiddliness when setting up a scan.

The top cover of the scanner also hinges, so you can clean the scan heads and deal with any paper jam, but the short, straight-through paper path makes jams very unlikely. When the scanner senses paper being fed, the feed rollers grab the top sheet slightly to hold it in place.

Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 – Controls and Software

There’s only one control on the scanner, a large, blue-rimmed scan button which is intimately connected to Canon’s Capture OnTouch software, which can handle a complete scan automatically with default settings, but also enables you to adjust settings for your needs on a specific document.
Canon ImageFORMULA P-208 - Open
You can scan directly to pdf, bmp, jpg, tiff and, unusually, pptx formats. Pptx is PowerPoint, so you can create a slide directly. What you can’t do, with the supplied software, is create editable text.

For some reason, Canon has decided not to supply OCR software with the ImageFORMULA P-208. While we can see the argument that this is a quick scanner for grabbing page images on the move, if you want to extract passages for research or quotes, it’s annoying not to be able to convert an image to text. You’ll have to rely on an online service or buy OCR software separately.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.