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SPONSORED INDEPENDENT PRODUCT REVIEW: Good quality scans

SPONSORED INDEPENDENT PRODUCT REVIEW: Good quality scans

Fujitsu fi-6130z document scanner

Fujitsu fi-6130z document scanner

Please note: This is a sponsored independent product review supplied to ARN by Enex Testalab

FUJITSU FI-6130z DOCUMENT SCANNER

Fujitsu’s latest document scanner is the fi-6130z. It is a compact desktop unit which looks similar to a small ink-jet printer. The unit we examined during testing proved to be fast and flexible. It handles a wide range of document types including a variety of page weights and page sizes.

It’s not a flat-bed, so it can’t handle pages fixed with staples or other bindings, but for those who prefer a traditional, flat-bed arrangement, Fujitsu’s fleet does include the fi-6230z or fi-6240z models, while for plastic-card scanning, the fi-6140Z or fi-6240Z are available.

A benefit of such a diminutive stature is that organisations are able to decentralise their scanning functions. In order to increase productivity, many businesses are moving away from large, shared multifunction devices in favour of smaller workspaces with more customised resources. This approach also aligns with the needs of consumers, who typically have limited office/desk space, but often still prefer a dedicated scanning solution.

Space savings are made on the fi-6130z by adopting a scan-through system. Paper is loaded in from the top, and fed through the device. Our test unit (the fi-6130z) also included a rather nifty carrier envelope to hold folded pages, meaning that double-sided scanning of folded A3 documents is possible. Accompanying software compiles the folded pages into single A3 image – quite a nice feature.

For larger organisations, network management of the fi fleet is possible through a well thought out centralised administration function “Scanner Central Admin”, which allows users to monitor the scanner’s running status, install and update scanner drivers and software, and quite a few other functions, directly over the network.

How we tested

To stretch the Fujitsu fi-6130z, Enex TestLab’s engineers devised a series of scanner specific tests. These included scanning a 40 page document, providing insight into the speed and performance of the scanner for a reasonably sized scanning task – measured in pages per minute (ppm). We tested the effectiveness, accuracy and quality of the scanner using a range of mixed media, including a range of different paper weights, sizes, colours and ink types.

Enex TestLab also undertakes a series of standard tests, which have known and industry comparable benchmarks. These are used used to evaluate scanners for criteria such as photograph scanning, graded grey/black scale scanning, and line/shape grid scanning.

Finally, we evaluated the unit’s ability to perform double sided scanning, and scan some unusual items such as business cards and sticky notes.

Test Results and Analysis

40 page document scan: (A4 single sided 300dpi, monochrome & 32bit colour)

Time: 76 seconds = 31.6 pages per minute

At 32ppm, this is slightly below Fujitsu’s claims of 40ppm for this model. This is probably more reflective of a real world, multi-sheet, user scenario rather than a controlled environment where individual page performance can be maximised.

Mixed media: various paper weights sizes, colours and ink types.

The device scanned onionskin paper without trouble and even managed to detect the watermark.

It has very good handling of contrast, which was evident in some nice bright images, however, was unable to distinguish grey shades beyond 70 per cent black.

There were no delays or jams produced by using mixed paper weights or sizes, which is great. Of course, if using sticky notes attached to pages, the sticky edge needs to enter the scanner first to ensure the note passes through without being left behind.

With the capacity to scan at 1200dpi, the handling of very fine grid patterns is very good. Black lines spaced at 200 lines per inch are quite distinct; however, they became blurry when the space was decreased to 300 lines per inch.

Double sided scanning

This device is able to scan both sides of a page, simultaneously, without any obvious effect on speed – a great feature.

A folded A3 sheet can be placed in a clear carrier envelope, when scanned, the two A4 halves of the sheet are automatically stitched together to form a single image. Of course, the folded A3 page must be placed carefully to ensure both sides are precisely parallel with side of carrier envelope.

Business Cards

Scanning business cards is a useful feature. The fi-6130z accepts about 16 stacked business cards at any one time. After scanning these, you still have the opportunity to load more items which will be included as part of the final document, so you can easily add more stacked batches.

OCR

The software supplied with the device includes an OCR function. This does an acceptable job of producing searchable PDF documents from good quality text documents. Trickier documents with (for example) text on dark backgrounds may be incomplete. On the other hand documents with coloured text are handled very well.

Conclusion

In a highly competitive category, the solution provided by the Fujitsu fi range is on the money. This is a dedicated scanner, as such it offers improvements in speed, efficiency and quality compared to some multifunction products. As dedicated scanner, it also offers a few extra tricks that multifunction devices won’t include.

During our tests, it performed well. It is fast and efficient as a dedicated scanner should be. It handles a good range of paper well, and can deal with changing sizes and shapes. Most importantly, it produced good quality scans.

Some of the additional features such as bar code recognition, enabling batch scans and indexing are also nice value additions, and well worth considering if your business requires features beyond basic scanning.

Its small footprint and stature means it’s a good option for organisations replacing their multifunction products – we would definitely recommend including the Fujitsu fi range on your list.

For home users, it’s also a good prospect, especially for those seeking a solution that can produce good quality scans from a variety of sources, without occupying too much room.

The price point, $1477, reflects a good quality business/enterprise product offering impressive performance. It’s well made, reliable and offers all of the functions most commonly sought.

Enex TestLab

Founded in 1989 as part of RMIT University in Melbourne, Enex TestLab commercialised in 2005 to become an independent provider of ICT testing services with a primary clientele of governments and multinationals worldwide.

With eight specialist delivery groups within the organisations, it provides testing for hardware, software, systems, security, usability and accessibility, gaming, physical, and publishing media and communications.

The company employs a user focused approach, offering flexibility to customise tailored testing solutions that are of value for investment and low risk.

Enex TestLab currently holds international laboratories and offices across Asia and Europe, servicing 90 industry sectors over 22 years.


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