Kodak i2900 review
A fast rotary scanner with impeccable paper handling and excellent build quality
The i2900 comes in at the top of Kodak’s workgroup scanner family and targets businesses with a need for bulk scanning.
It’s a rotary scanner, combining a fast 60ppm scan speed with a hefty 250-sheet motorised elevator tray, and has a neat trick up its sleeve. Under the upper output tray lurks a colour A4 flatbed scanner, making the i2900 the ultimate all-rounder. The i2900 looks capable of coping with anything you can throw at it, too: build quality is superb, and it has a straight-through-paper path for thicker media, which is engaged with the flick of a lever.
Kodak’s Smart Touch software makes light work of scan tasks, allowing you to assign profiles to each of the scanner’s nine buttons. The profile names appear in the large backlit LCD panel, so you don’t need to keep a printed list next to the unit.
The profiles define a destination for scans, which can be a file, application, local or network printer, fax, printer or email. There are also options for SharePoint, webmail, custom applications, Box, Evernote and your own cloud service. Disappointingly, Dropbox isn’t currently supported, and the custom cloud service option for Google Drive also doesn’t work. The gDocScan utility that Kodak recommends for this operation costs extra and is very flaky on Windows 7.
After creating your destinations, you can apply groups of scan settings to each one. You can set single- or doubled-sided scanning, the resolution, image adjustments, anti-skew and blank page skipping, among other settings.
If Smart Touch isn’t enough, there’s also Kodak’s Capture Desktop software to play with. This covers primarily bulk scanning, indexing and document-management functions. However, you can’t run it concurrently with Smart Touch, since it takes over the scanner.
To test bulk-scan speeds, we loaded a 100-page sheaf of well-thumbed bank statements and opted to create colour PDFs. Single- and double-sided scans at 200dpi were completed in 1min 41secs for an average of 60ppm.
Add in 20 seconds of post-processing time on our 2.4GHz AMD Opteron 3280 Windows 7 host PC, and you have an average of 49ppm. This overall figure will vary with PC power: the scanner occasionally paused, waiting for Smart Touch to catch up.
Pauses became more frequent at 300dpi, with overall speed dropping to 30ppm. Creating searchable PDFs is slower still, with our wad of statements taking more than seven minutes to be converted after scanning had completed.
Even so, paper handling was impeccable, with the i2900 taking every bit of paper we threw at it in its stride. Scan quality at 200dpi is fine for archival purposes; OCR results were very accurate; and the anti-skew feature worked well.
The flatbed auto-senses documents, and scanning our A4 glossy photos at the 600dpi setting revealed good levels of detail. Contrast was light, but this was easily remedied in the settings.
The i2900’s price may seem high for a 60ppm scanner, but you’re getting a lot for your money. It’s easy to use, the bulk-scanning abilities are faultless and the integral flatbed scanner adds an extra level of versatility.