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Review of the HP ScanJet 3300C USB Color Scanner
(3300C, 3300Cse, 3300Cxi)
Last updated: 3/16/00

OPERATION  I came into work an hour and a half early yesterday so I would have enough time to play with ("test") the scanner, capture some screens, and take some notes before my customer came to picked-it-up.  Everything about this scanner is designed for "Dummies."  There are two buttons on the front of the scanner.  The left one has an icon of a scanner and the right has an icon of a printer.  They work as advertised.  Push the scanner button and HP's low-end scanning software, PrecisionScan Lite,  pops-up on the computer screen, makes a ding on the PC speaker, and scans whatever you have in the scanner.  Pressing the other one scans whatever is in the scanner and sends it to your printer.

Or, you can do things manually by firing-up PrecisionScan and using it's really well-designed, no brainer, menu.  It is well-organized by-the-numbers just like the installation Setup menu: 1. Start a Scan, 2. Tell it where you want it to go (to the right), 3.  Make optional adjustments, and 4. Save the scan.  Zoom magnifying glasses are conveniently located under the scan.

Here's a no-hassle scan I made of an EpoX G2 motherboard.  It has been worked over in Corel PhotoPaint like I usually do for web pages (I don't use the Adobe PhotDeluxe which comes with the scanner and did experiment with Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects which also comes in the software bundle and is an optional install).  I would say the quality of the scan is not quite as good as my HP ScanJet 4P scanner and not as good as the higher-end HP ScanJet 5200C.   The image is a bit grainy, but it is certainly a good scan for $130 and it is very useable for web work and the like.  The scanner hardware is capable of scanning up to 600 DPI (dots Per Inch) which is far beyond  the 96 DPI used for web page images.  If you need to do OCR (optical character recognition), the software includes that capability as well.

PERFORMANCE.  Here's how the 3300C stacks-up against the 5200C and 4P scanners using the Normal scan mode:

3300C
USB
5200C
USB

5200C
Parallel Port

HP 4p
PrecisionScan
SCSI

HP 4p
PaperPort
SCSI

29 Sec. 30 Sec. 50 Sec. 29 Sec. 44 Sec.

The 3300C, with its USB interface was just as fast as the more expensive scanners!  I don't know why HP rates both the 3300C and 5200C scanning speeds at "<90 seconds."  It could be because I fire-up PrecisionScan before scanning and time the actual scan, omitting the time it takes to save it to a file.

BOTTOM LINE.  All-in-all a fast, good-quality scanner at a very good price.  Just right for poor webmasters.

Larry

Specifications.

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