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About eight months ago I bought a scanner for my computer with the idea of creating a web site of the village where I live and using it to scan pictures of some of the famous buildings and historical sites in the area. Two things happened to delay that project, the first was the demise of my computer shortly after I connected the scanner – I think this was a case of connecting one peripheral too many; the second was finding dooyoo – which now seems to take up all of the time my wife has allocated me to ‘play’ on the computer. So here I am Sunday 4 November, recently returned from watching, Wrexham lose 3-1 to Cardiff (not in a good mood) and I find that dooyoo is closed for ‘servicing’. Disappointed as I am I decide that now is the opportunity to have a crack at the website. Out comes my copy of ‘Dreamweaver’, on goes the scanner, I play around with it for an hour and a half, get some excellent results and decide to quit the project for today and write a review of the scanner for dooyoo – addicted or what? I bought the Hewlitt Packard Scanjet 3400C from Dixons in the sale. It was about £39, possibly a discontinued line, but ideal for me at that time because it had both parallel and USB ports. My old computer would only accept parallel connections but I was conscious that I would soon have to buy a new computer (didn’t realise how soon!) so I wanted something which would be suitable for both. I think its fantastic, really good value and whilst I haven’t had much experience of other scanners I find it difficult to believe that the quality of equipment a lot dearer than this can be that much better. The picture quality is superb really realistic even at 200dpi and whilst it does go up to 1200dpi I have never found it necessary to use this setting. Its very easy to use, my daughter uses it for her school projects and had it sorted straight
away, in fact she taught me how to use it (along with video plus, my mobile phone and the dishwasher). There are three buttons on the front of the scanner, one for scanning, one for e-mailing and one for photocopying, and that’s how easy it is. Press one of these and it loads the appropriate programme on the computer very quickly from there all you have to do is click scan and it starts. It has two very useful features. Firstly, when using it as a photocopier you can remove the lid to make it much easier to scan large documents or books. Secondly, by using the e-mail button the document you have on the scanner can be compressed, so that it is the right size for an attachment. Both of these are very useful and can save loads of time, especially in a project such as mine – if I ever get around to it. The fact that it has both USB and parallel ports is also very useful, particularly if you have older computers or a relatively early version of Windows. The scanner came complete with easy to use software. Adobe ActiveShare allows you to you to do simple modifications to your pictures and save them in albums – very simple and quick to get the hang of. Though I am on the look out for some decent and cheap editing software if anyone can recommend any? The IRIS OCR software which also comes with the scanner, is also pretty useful and I’ve had some success in reading well printed documents using the scanner and downloading them into the word processor to edit. All I all I think I had a great bargain – a good quality basic scanner, ideally suited for my needs with a variety of features, reasonable software and at an incredibly reasonable price.
The first thing you notice about the ScanJet 3400C is it's looks. It's certainly not the smallest scanner on the market! But it is pleasing to look at. The main benefit of this scanner has to be its connectivity. There are connections for both USB and parallel AND both cables. This is a boon for people who have been having problems setting up USB hardware - good old fashioned printer port backup. This is also of benefit for those who have motherboards with VIA chipsets. I was told I would have problems with my motherboard, but found the scanner installed with absolutely no problems. At the price (from PC World it is less than £60) it is pretty good specification. The results from it are impressive if a little slow. However, its only downside is the meagre software bundle (saying that, I very rarely use bundled software, prefering to go with my own dedicated stuff).