Scanning so prettily

13th October 2000 at 01:00
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Justin Stevens has fallen for the stylish looks and performance of the Agfa SnapScan e50.

IT LOOKS quite the slimline beauty the Agfa SnapScan e50 scanner, and that's not just a superficial comment. After all, it produces high resolution scans and its exterior can be customised by applying different coloured plastic trim - I plumped for the funky orange but there are three other options. The SnapScan also has an extra light in its lid which has the bonus of being able to scan transparencies.

Yet although its price makes it competitive with other scanners, the SnapScan's beauty has one drawback - like the editor, it is reluctant to get out of bed in the morning, ie it's a bit slow. There is no getting away from the fact that it is significantly slower than other rivals in its scanning. I compared it with another scanner of similar price and it took almost twice as long to do the job - but then again the results are well worth the wait.

SnapScan has good detil, although the default settings were a bit on the dark side. For high-resolution scan quality, it delivers vibrant colour, skin tones, and details. Its four programmable buttons can scan direct to email. By default, the email button attaches a 100 dpi (dots per inch - the more dots there are per inch, the better the image quality) image to a mail message which is just about acceptable for text; you can, however, change any settings. Or to an OCR application, a printer or launch Agfa's ScanWise software to scan directly to other applications.

If you need to scan transparencies and don't want to spend extra for the option, then the SnapScan definitely has an edge. And with its impressive results it's a sleepy beauty that makes up for any lateness of arrival.

Agfa SnapScan e50

For Windows PCs and Macs

Price: pound;169

Online star rating

Suitability for purpose *****

Ease of use ****

Design *****

Quality of output ****

Value for money ****

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