The Canon Lide 210 is a simple flat-bed scanner. It isn’t coupled with a printer as part of a multifunction device and it doesn’t do film strips or slides. There is no automatic sheet feeder.

Some of us neither want, nor want to pay for these fancy features. We want barebones scanning and that’s what the Canon Lide 210 delivers. You get high resolution scanning and little else.

High resolution scanning

The 4,800 dot per inch resolution is possibly overkill for day-to-day  work. If you mainly scan printed documents, a lower resolution will do. Yet the high resolution quality looks so good you might want to leave them in the higher quality format.

The files are bigger, but disk storage costs next to nothing and there’s little processing to slow things down.

Having higher resolution is useful if you want to select small areas from a document or photograph.

Installation is simple. It takes less than five minutes from opening the box to getting the first scan. The hardest part was connecting the stand to the scanner so it can sit upright on a desk.

Canon Lide 210 comes with optical character recognition

The Canon Lide 210 scanner comes with optical character recognition software. While this is a plus, the OCR not much use.

There are other tools that do the job. Microsoft OneNote 2010 has built-in OCR. Nuance’s Paperport and Omnipage applications also do a great OCR job. In testing Canon’s OCR worked well – it was flawless with some basic documents.

Being able to scan direct to PDF is useful – a feature that often saves a step.

Scanning is easy. There are five buttons on the front of the scanner so you can insert a document and send it directly to various applications. Sometimes you need to scan from inside applications – there are drivers to work with Photoshop or Fireworks.

In practice the upright position is fine for single pages, but the flatbed scanner needs to sit flat when scanning from magazines or books.

The scanner’s speed is instantly noticeable – scans take about 25 percent as long to complete with the Lide 210 than with previous generation scanners. Canon has dramatically improved its software – and its aesthetics.

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