Fujitsu fi-7180 review

£1255
Price when reviewed

Fujitsu’s family of desktop image scanners aims to streamline batch-scanning processes with the company’s new PaperStream technology. The fi-7180 is the latest addition to the range. It claims 80ppm speeds for 300dpi colour scans, and incorporates Fujitsu’s intelligent Sonic Paper Protection (iSOP) hardware, which is designed to prevent paper jams.

The fi-7180 is very well built. An 80-page ADF attaches securely at the back, and a paper tray folds out at the front. The small LCD panel and control pad can be used to scroll through a menu and choose from nine scan functions.

Installation on a Windows 8 PC is simple. After you load the drivers and software bundle, you’re prompted to connect the scanner via its USB 3 port. From the scanner’s software control panel, it’s easy to assign different operations to the scan function numbers and link apps to them.

For general scan operations, you use the ScanSnap Manager background task, which pops up whenever you press the Scan button. Using profiles, you can link various operations to the Scan button, including scanning to a folder, printer or email, or prompting the ABBYY FineReader software to convert a scanned document into a searchable PDF or a variety of Office documents.

Fujitsu fi-7180

You can use the ScanSnap Manager to assign various settings to each application. These settings include a choice of scanning resolutions; simplex or duplex scans; colour or monochrome output; and file locations. You can save settings as new profiles
for on-demand access.

The installation routine loads the PaperStream IP TWAIN and ISIS driver middleware plus the PaperStream Capture image-processing app. The latter is designed to manage the entire scanning workflow, and streamline batch processes.

PaperStream Capture uses profiles that combine scan settings, destinations, automatic page separation using indicators such as barcodes and page-indexing requirements. When a user runs a Capture profile, they simply view the scanned document, modify it if necessary, and then release it to the defined destination.

We also had no problems using the PaperStream IP TWAIN driver with Corel PaintShop Pro. When an image is acquired, a dialog box requests a profile to be selected and, if the results are acceptable, it saves to the profile’s destination.

Fujitsu fi-7180

Profiles are easy to create, and PaperStream provides wizard-based assistance along the way. Another handy time-saving feature is Assisted Scan, which loads original and preview images and offers a range of editing options for swiftly changing contrast and brightness.

The fi-7180 impresses in the speed stakes. A duplex colour scan of a 34-page document averaged almost 83ppm at both 200dpi and 300dpi resolutions. Selecting a 600dpi colour profile saw speed drop to 24ppm. Scan output quality is easily good enough for document-archival systems, and the scanning process is quiet, too.

The iSOP anti-jam feature works well in practice. We put the fi-7180 to the test by riddling our main test document with handfuls of till receipts and other small documents hidden between the sheaves of paper. Even at full tilt, the scanner stopped the moment it spotted a page overlap without damaging any pages.

For an 80ppm colour duplex scanner, Fujitsu’s fi-7180 is priced competitively. Speed and output quality are very good, and its PaperStream IP and Capture utilities will prove very useful for streamlining batch processing.

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