- Transparency adapter included;
- good price.
- manual adjustment required for decent image quality.
Acer's ScanPrisa models sit above its range of 300dpi and 600dpi scanners, but below the ScanPremio devices. The ScanPrisa 1240UT is a neat unit suitable for general-purpose home or office work. It has an uncluttered design with no hardware controls except a power switch and just a single green LED set jauntily into its front-right edge.
The 1240UT is a USB-only device with a single USB socket at the rear, along with a low-voltage power socket for the cable from the external AC adapter. A USB cable is supplied with the scanner.
The flatbed takes paper sizes up to A4 or US Letter, and there's a transparency adapter fitted to the scanner's lid. The adapter has a clip-on cover that you have to remove before you can see the backlight, which shines through the transparencies or negatives to illuminate them for scanning. Templates are provided for 35mm transparencies, medium-format and strip negatives.
Software installation is straightforward from the single driver CD supplied. As with most USB devices, it's best to install the software before connecting the USB cable, as Windows recognises the device immediately and goes looking for drivers.
As well as the scanner driver there's a TWAIN utility called MiraScan, which provides good control over the scanner. Some settings are described in rather vague terms (line-art, greys or colour rather than bit-depth, for example), although many users will feel more at ease with this approach.
There's bundled software to cover most uses of the scanner, with OCR and document management catered for as well as a separate CD containing Ulead's PhotoExpress for image editing. There's a copier utility, too, so you can use the scanner, along with your mono or colour printer, to make copies.
Under test, the ScanPrisa 1240UT was slow, and with auto-calibration being performed before most scans, it wasn't as slick as some others either. Warm-up time was very short, but scanning itself was ponderous. The scan samples produced were only fair, with both pastel and vivid colours emerging somewhat dull by default. This can be alleviated by tweaking controls in the scanner control applet, but it would be preferable if this step wasn't necessary.
Overall, the ScanPrisa 1240UT is a fair scanner at a modest price. It's adequate for 300dpi text scans for OCR and can make a fair job of photographic scans, too, as long as you don't push it too far.