Trust Direct WebScan 19200 review

£34
Price when reviewed

We expected Trust to supply a scanner at the low end of the price range, but we weren’t quite expecting the WebScan 19200 to be this cheap: the nearest competitor, the Microtek ScanMaker 4850, is £15 more expensive.

As you’d expect, the 19200 is a no-frills affair, so it has only a USB 1.1 interface on a captive cable. If the cable gets damaged, you’ll need to replace the entire scanner. Usefully, though, the USB cable powers the energy efficient CIS/LED imaging system. Build quality isn’t bad, and the 19200 feels like it will last longer than the somewhat flimsy Microtek ScanMaker 4850.

It’s the only scanner to have a 600 x 1,200ppi optical resolution – all others (bar the Xerox) boast 2,400ppi. It’s also the only model not to feature slide-scanning capabilities, not even an optional lightbox.

However, our quality tests suggest that trying to scan negatives with the 19200 would be a waste of time. Scanning our 7 x 5in snack box print at 600ppi revealed good detail, but colour accuracy was poor and subtle changes in hue were lost. The overall image was dull and lacked punch.

The scan of the 6 x 4in skin-tone print was dreadful. Colours were particularly undersaturated and the image was much too soft, giving it an unfocused appearance. Sharpening the image in Photoshop resolved the problem to an extent, but the image still lacked impact. Our 150ppi A4 text document scan was another example of softness. Zooming to 100 per cent rendered the original laser-sharp text almost illegible.

Without a USB 2 interface, the 19200 was slower than everything except the Microtek ScanMaker. We had to wait 50 seconds for a 7 x 5in image to appear (at 600ppi) and 43 seconds for a 6 x 4in greyscale image also at 600ppi. The latter scan revealed poor dynamic range, the 19200 losing most of the detail in the shadows.

A preview image took 22 seconds in the TWAIN driver, which is broadly the same software as Mustek’s. There’s an adjustable histogram and an eyedropper to adjust the highlights and shadows. An adjustable RGB tone curve is also present, but no tools for restoring photos. The colour balance tool had no effect on our faded colour image. While it’s great to see so much control, it’s odd that Trust doesn’t provide something a bit more intuitive for users likely to buy a scanner at this price.

There’s no denying that the Trust is inexpensive, but even at £34 there are too many compromises in terms of speed, quality and features to make it worthy of a recommendation.

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