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Microtek ScanMaker 4800

  • Editors' rating
    6.8 Good
  • $129.99

Pros

  • Low price;
  • high maximum resolution;
  • sharp colour scans;
  • fast greyscale speed;
  • dedicated scan buttons.

Cons

  • Slow colour scanning;
  • inefficient manuals;
  • poor-quality film/slide attachment.

Microtek’s low-cost ScanMaker 4800 promises a big return on a small investment. It features 48-bit colour, a 2,400 by 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) maximum resolution, and a film/slide attachment. But our tests revealed that although some of the ScanMaker 4800's features are exceptional, others are just for show.

The £99.99 (ex. VAT) ScanMaker 4800's descriptive poster makes setup easy. The scanner connects via USB and supports Windows 98, 2000, ME and XP, as well as Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x. Installation of the Microtek ScanWizard 5 driver and additional applications – Abbyy’s FineReader for optical character recognition, Ulead’s PhotoExplorer for Windows Explorer-like file searching, Adobe’s PhotoDeluxe 4.0 (PC) or Photoshop LE 5.0 (Mac) for image editing, and Adobe’s Acrobat Reader -- was also fairly painless, although Microtek offers novices no guidance for deciding which ones to load.

The ScanMaker 4800 is also easy to use, thanks to the five buttons lining its face. The Scan button generates a preview of your image in the ScanWizard 5 driver that you can then tweak, scan as-is or send to another image-editing application. Three other buttons scan the image and transfer it automatically to your printer, your email program or your word processor. A fifth button sends your scan directly to a Web site of your choice.

The ScanWizard 5 driver itself has a host of satisfying features, including a pared-down control panel that lets you set the brightness, contrast and saturation; an Advanced panel extends these capabilities considerably. Unfortunately, you cannot switch between panel modes while working on the same pre-scanned image.

We usually criticise products for having insufficient documentation, but in the case of the ScanMaker 4800, it was just the opposite: its mélange of brochures and CD-based material actually left us more confused than informed. One brochure guides you through ScanWizard 5, while another walks you through the included LightLid attachment for 35mm film and slide scanning. However, the full-blown user manual is available in electronic format only. Microtek should collect all of this errant documentation into one convenient guide.

The ScanMaker 4800 displayed mixed results in our tests. The scanner's sigma-6 CCD (charge-coupled device) scanning mechanism (with six instead of the usual three rows of light sensors) produced good colour scans, but took 43.7 seconds per scan, making the ScanMaker 4800 among the slowest models we've tested. Its 16.4-second greyscale speed was a lot better, but scans looked slightly overexposed. Quality took a drastic dive with film and slide scanning using the LightLid attachment. You can't expect professional-level film/slide output from a sub-£100 scanner, but the particularly poor film scans looked as though they were made inside a fish tank.

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Microtek’s two year Total Support cover provides a replacement scanner in the event of a failure and telephone technical support throughout this warranty period. The company’s Web site hosts email support, FAQs and driver downloads.

If you're on a really tight budget, the easy-to-use ScanMaker 4800 delivers good-quality colour and greyscale scans for the price. But if you have a box of photos that you want to digitise, plan on spending more money to get a scanner with a decent film/slide attachment.

Specifications

General
Max Supported Document Size 8.5 in x 11.7 in
Power Device
Voltage Required AC 110 V
Voltage Required Margin ± 10%
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Type external power adapter
Expansion / Connectivity
Interface Provided 1 x peripheral - 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9)
Interface Provided
Gender female
Connector Qty 1
Type peripheral
Qty 1
Connector Type 9 pin D-Sub (DB-9)
Miscellaneous
Color white
Color Category white
Media Handling
Max Document Size 8.5 in x 11.7 in
Supported Document Type Transparencies, plain paper, slides, film
Document Feeder Type Manual
Software / System Requirements
Peripheral / Interface Devices USB port
Software Included Drivers & Utilities, Adobe PhotoShop LE, Adobe Acrobat Reader, ABBYY FineReader, Microtek ScanWizard PRO, Kodak Digital Science Color Management, Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 4.0, Ulead Photo Explorer
System Requirements
Min RAM Size 64 MB
OS Required Apple MacOS 8.6, Apple MacOS 9.x, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Microsoft Windows XP
Scanner
Optical Resolution 1200 dpi x 2400 dpi
Interpolated Resolution 9600 ppi x 9600 ppi
Type flatbed scanner
Interface Type USB
Form Factor desktop
Scan Mode single-pass
Input Type color
Scan Element Type CCD
Document Size Class A4/Letter
Max Supported Document Size 8.5 in x 11.7 in
Max H-Document Size 8.5 m
Max V-Document Size 11.7 m
Color Depth 48-bit color
Max H-Optical Resolution 1200 dpi
Max V-Optical Resolution 2400 dpi
Max H-Interpolated Resolution 9600 ppi
Max V-Interpolated Resolution 9600 ppi
Lamp / Light Source Type cold cathode fluorescent lamp
Supported Document Type film, plain paper, slides, transparencies
Document Feeder Type manual
Compliant Standards TWAIN
Header
Brand Microtek
Product Line Microtek ScanMaker
Model 4800
Localization English
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Mac, PC
Interface Required
Connector Type 4 pin USB Type B
Gender female
Connector Qty 1
Total Qty 1
Cable Details
Type USB cable
Included Qty 1
Dimensions & Weight
Width 17.1 in
Depth 11.3 in
Height 3.1 in
Weight 0.1 oz
Software
Type ABBYY FineReader, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 4.0, Adobe PhotoShop LE, Drivers & Utilities, Kodak Digital Science Color Management, Microtek ScanWizard PRO, Ulead Photo Explorer

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