- Pleasing design;
- easy to install and use;
- Some users may find the transparency adapter awkward to use.
Hewlett-Packard's ScanJet range was among the first to deliver scanning facilities to home and small business users, and the 5370C continues this philosophy. The scanner's design is pleasantly curvy, with just four blue activation buttons at the front, a physical lock for transport at the back of its left side and connection sockets at the back. There's no power switch.
The scanner can be connected using USB or parallel cables, and there's a through socket on the back of the unit to connect on to a parallel printer, if necessary. A final socket connects to the supplied transparency scanner. HP has chosen a rather different solution to transparency scanning than most other manufacturers. The adapter takes the form of a smaller square panel that connects to the scanner through an umbilical cable and is placed on its bed over transparencies or negatives, which are held in one of the supplied frames.
The ScanJet 5370C is easy to install, as long as you follow instructions on the large installation sheet enclosed in the top of the box. As with most USB peripherals, it's wise to install the software before plugging the device in. HP's Precision Scan Pro software includes OCR functionality, while third-party applications from Corel, Caere and Boomerang provide ample support for mainstream home and office scanning. You can scan to file, fax, copy and email via the blue buttons on the 5370C's front panel.
Test scans produced by this device were generally good on default settings. Pastel colours came through naturally and reasonably close to the originals, although vivid colours required a little tweaking in the scanner applet to bring them up.
Scan times were nothing special, with the 7x5in. sample taking nearly half a minute for the full scan and around 16 seconds for the preview. The full page text scan at minimum colour depth -- the selection you'd make for OCR -- took only 15 seconds, which is more impressive.
We noticed some specks of dust trapped underneath the flatbed glass, where they're very difficult to remove. Although this was a review sample, which had therefore been moved around much more than is normal, it's not something you want to see in a scanner.
Overall, the ScanJet 5370C is a well specified scanner with the supplied transparency adapter adding to its flexibility. The activation buttons make it easy to use and the software is simple to install and integrates well.