Friday, November 12, 2010

HP: Everything Is a Jet To Them - Scanjet 3570c Is Great For Most Users!

The Good: Looks good, Scans well, Easy to use interface
The Bad: Resizing options and resolution
The Basics: The HP Scanjet 3570c is a decent scanner for a reasonable price, with no serious issues, offering home consumers a great option for scanning!

For some appliances and computer accessories, I am a real simple person. Scanners are that way with me; if it scans and the picture the computer displays looks like the one I scanned, I am a happy camper. I should say, I used to be simple on scanners. Then, I started scanning things on a scanner where I worked and the colors always came out wrong. Add to that, the whites always ended up coming out pinkish. So, when I went to buy a scanner myself, I had some frame of reference for what I actually wanted. I've worked with my HP Scanjet 3570c for six years now and the plug-and-play capabilities of the scanner make it still worth buying today!

I purchased an HP Scanjet 3570c in order to upload images to my website and it has been a breeze to use. The 3570c is a flatbed scanner which is remarkably easy to use. You simply lift the cover, place the item you want scanned onto the glass plate, close the cover and hit a button. It works just like a photocopier and it is big enough to hold a single legal-sized sheet of paper. I am a bit of a novice when it comes to computer items, so the ease of use of this machine is a real plus.

The 3570c comes with all of the cords needed to connect it to your computer and most of them are even color coded so it makes connecting the scanner ridiculously simple. As well, the disc with the software to run the Scanjet loads up smoothly on Windows 2000 and it walks the user through the installation quickly and in a very uncomplicated manner. This is ideal for those who are not familiar or proficient in computers.

This device is also very easy to use when it comes to the actual scanning as all one must do to initiate a scan is press a button on the front of the scanner. There is no need to search around the hard drive for a program to open, as the touch of the button opens the appropriate program. Moreover, once an image is accepted for scanning, the program closes and launches the program that allows you to rename (a handy trait considering the scans always come out named "scan.jpg"), alter or manipulate the orientation of the image. I was able to scan several items before the first time I even had to open the manual to look something up. It is that easy to use.

As far as the relationship between the HP Scanjet 3570c and the previous scanners I have used, this is a huge step up. Unlike handheld scanners, which have never seemed to produce the proper image for me, flatbed scanners like this one largely take the responsibility literally out of the users hands. And in comparison to the scanner I used to use at work, this is light years better as the colors come out looking exactly like they do on the item being scanned. I've never had a photograph I have scanned look grainy using this device.

I have since used the scanner to scan everything from blueprints to legal documents, trading cards to box tops. Every single item I have scanned has produced a computer image that looks almost identical to the original. The colors remain sharp and real, the resolution remains equally impressive. In fact, I have scanned some odd items like holograms and foil cards and they come out with little to no distortion or "light spots" (reflections from the light used to actually scan the image). That's pretty impressive in my book.

One of the special features that this scanner boasts - on its box and in all of its literature - is the ability to make scans of slides or photo negatives. Though that was not a function I frequently (or ever) used, I decided to give it a shot for this review. This was another example of how easy to use this machine is; without going back through the manual, I opened the top of the scanner and found a diagram on the inside of the top illustrating where the slide (in this case) was supposed to go and I loaded it in. Outside the standard resizing problem (that I go into in more detail below), the experiment worked perfectly, resulting in a decent scan of the slide. This, again, illustrates, that this is a very easy to use piece of equipment.

The only real drawback I have run into is in the automatic resizing function. When I scan trading cards, the software instantly is able to edit out everything but the actual trading card (i.e. the white around the card that would indicate the scanner plate). This is wonderful because the preview then reveals just the item I am scanning without any superfluous space. However, when I put something the size of a postcard on the plate, it becomes unable to edit out the unused space automatically, which forces me to manually resize the outcoming image and remake the preview. It's not a huge flaw, but it's something to know about this.

Moreover, one thing I learned very quickly had to do with changing resolution, especially when you are scanning smaller items. If you want to get the most detailed image of the item you are scanning, you have to increase the resolution, right? On the HP Scanjet 3570c, that results in also making a larger image, so the scanned image will often be larger (sometimes considerably) than the original image. To solve this (and in fact to get scanned images the same size as the originals in the first place when they are smaller items), you simply need to decrease the size of the image every time you increase the resolution. Knowing that can save you even more time.

Of course, there is not a lot of time you will need to save with this device; it truly is ridiculously easy to use, making it easy to get started and to learn more advanced functions when you are ready for them. The HP tutorial programs keep things simple and easy to follow. An asset to anyone who wants to make copies of images to put on computers.

For other computer product reviews, please check out my layperson's reviews of:
HP LaserJet 1200 Laser Printer
HP LaserJet 6P
Acer Aspire 5532 Laptop computer


For other computers and electronic device reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here for a full list!

© 2010, 2004 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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