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

I frequently use a scanner to scan images and documents for Web sites. The Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 5200C provides just about the right combination of cost, quality, features, and speed for this function.  It is a step above, and about $100-150 more than low-end  scanners primarily designed for the occasional home or office user and well below high-end scanners you will find in ad agencies.

SUMMARY.  I finally found a scanner that I would consider purchasing to replace my trusty HP-4P: this one.  That is, if the 4P were to break  beyond economical repair.

Hardware quality is a major consideration when I buy any computer product.  This scanner is heftier than the low-end scanners I've seen, but the plastic does not seem to be quite a tough as my 4P.  Overall, I think will provide good since for many years.

Resolution is not that big a deal for Web graphics which are 96 (not 9,600) dots per inch (DPI) in most cases. The 5200C can scan at 600X1200 DPI, mechanically, and 9,600 DPI, enhanced. The output quality of the 5200C is very good and, using automatic settings, it is more than sufficient for any Web site work I do and does the job in my store for scanning most anything else I would need for myself or customers.

Speed is important if you do lot of Web site work or a lot of any kind of scanning.  And speed is what sets this scanner apart from HP scanners at the low-end and all scanners using a parallel printer interface.  Although, for example, the HP 4100C also has a Universal Serial Bus ( USB) interface; 5200C is noticeably faster.  HP's PrecisionScan software with its one step scanning, optical character recognition (OCR), and automatic production of documents containing both text and optimized graphics, can be a real time-save.

INCLUDED.  The scanner comes packed in sturdy, well-organized box which includes:

  • A setup - configuration poster.
  • Parallel and USB cables
  • Power cable
  • Ferrite clip which clamps onto the power cable to reduce RF emissions
  • CD with drivers, software, and documentation

There was no hardcopy User Manual.

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