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HP ScanJet 5200C USB Color Scanner Review
(5200C, 5200Cse, 5200Cxi)
Last updated: 07/29/03

SOFTWARE.  The following software is included with the scanner:

  • HP PrecisionScan version 2.0 with integrated OCR from Caere
  • Adobe's PhotoDeluxe Business Edition - photo touch-up and special effects software.
  • Caere PageKeeper Standard Edition - document management software.
  • Hemra's NetGraphics Photo-Objects Gallery.  Although HP's Web site states that the scanner comes with Hemera's NetGraphics Optimizer, the 5200C I reviewed came with Hemra's NetGraphics Photo-Objects Gallery.  I downloaded a trail of the Optimizer and didn't think too highly of the software and most certainly would not pay $39.95 for it.  It optimized a 40K file to 13K gif file.  I manually optimized it with Corel PhotoPaint to a 10K jpeg file.  The Photo-Objects Gallery software allows you to catalog images and includes a few nice pieces of clip-art with transparent backgrounds, but, after a brief look,  I did not find it useful for what I do with a computer.   A novice user may like it.
  • HP Copy Utility.

INSTALLATION.  The 5200C was easiest HP scanner I've ever installed (I state this with some trepidation, however, after quite a few problems with other HP scanners).  In my experience, both the 4P and 5P and, more recently, low-end HP scanners can be troublesome to install (see my articles on the 5P and 4100C scanners).  The 4P is also problematic.  Not the 5110C, at least the one I used for this review (note my disclaimer).  Before installing the scanner you should take the following steps.

  • You don't want to connect this scanner to your printer port.  It's just too slow and it has no provision for sharing the printer port with a printer.  Buy a USB board if your computer doesn't have a USB interface.
  • Windows 95 versions below OSR 2.1 do not support USB.  You will have to find the upgrade to 2.1 or upgrade to Windows 98 (I recommend the later).
  • If you have a Super7 motherboard with the Via MVP3 chipset, scoot over to VIA's Web site and download and install the VIA USB Filter Driver.
  • Make sure your USB ports are enabled in your computer's CMOS setup.

Once these items are taken care of, installation is just a matter of following the instructions on the poster. Like all HP scanners I've seen, this one installs logically backwards.  Install the scanning software first.  It includes the driver installation.  Don't install the rest of the software until the scanner is working.  Step through the driver installation choices, shut down, install the USB cable, unlock the scanner mechanism, connect the power cable (there is no power switch--its an Energy Star, green machine, man), turn-on the computer, and watch Windows install the software (if you have a problem at this point, see my article on 4100C installation problems).  Once this is completed, put a document in the scanner and push the green button on the front scanner.  This should fire-up HP's PrecisionScan software and scan the document.  You will hear a ping on your PC's speaker when it's done.

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.