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Hardware Reviews
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HP Scanjet 4850 Photo

£92 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HP

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

One of two new scanners from HP, the 4850 Photo aims to produce high-resolution scanning at an affordable price. Despite its moderate cost, the 4850 has got some heavyweight features and in contrast with the Scanjet 3800, it looks incredibly robust; its meaty construction should be up to the rigours of everyday life.

One of two new scanners from HP, the 4850 Photo aims to produce high-resolution scanning at an affordable price. Despite its moderate cost, the 4850 has got some heavyweight features and in contrast with the Scanjet 3800, it looks incredibly robust; its meaty construction should be up to the rigours of everyday life.

The Scanjet is kitted out with a transparency adapter - or, as HP terms it, a transparent materials adapter. You can scan up to four 3.5mm slides or 10x15cm photos or as many as six negatives at any one time, making this an incredibly powerful scanner.

We'd expect nothing less than top-notch specs and the 4850 doesn't disappoint. Its optical resolution is extremely impressive - right up there with the high-end Epson Perfection 4180 Photo. We'd always recommend sticking to the optical resolution when possible, but for those who're interested, the software-enhanced resolution apparently goes up to a ridiculous 999,999dpi.

With HP products, the software bundle is generally too much of a good thing. In the case of the 4850, the Image Zone software demands an eyepopping 450MB of hard drive space - these days, luckily, a PC that packs 120GB is considered rather poor.

The titles are many and varied, from red-eye removal to optical character recognition. You even get facilities for removing dust and scratches from loved but ageing photos, or for restoring faded colours.

Most importantly, the quality of the scans is impressive. Colour is accurately translated and the 4850's attention to detail more than reflects the impressive specifications. It's incredibly fast, too, especially at 300dpi, producing A4 scans in just 11 seconds. It manages 600dpi images in just over half a minute, which is incredibly impressive.

HP Scanjet 4850 Photo Expert Verdict »
Optical resolution 4,800x9,600dpi
software-interpolated resolution 999,999dpi
48bit true colour depth
transparency adapter
USB 1.1/2.0
HP Image Zone, Instant Share, Image Editor and Iris Readiris software
1-year warranty
505x300x100mm
4.7kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

We've been talking about the 4850 as a high-end scanner, but the truth is that its price tag really isn't that high. For a model with this many features and this level of construction, £92 is something of a steal.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • HP Scanjet 3800 Photo

    HP Scanjet 3800 Photo

    The 3800 Photo from HP, a stablemate of the 4850 Photo, is designed for users who want to digitally store their photos and negatives, but don't want to pay a high price. It's a good effort, although we weren't completely convinced by the construction.

  • HP Scanjet G3110 review

    HP Scanjet G3110

    The HP Scanjet G3110 is a flatbed scanner with a built-in transparency adaptor suitable for small slide and film scanning projects.

  • HP ScanJet G4050 photo scanner

    HP ScanJet G4050 photo scanner

    HP's ScanJet G4050 photo scanner offers a six-colour scanning process, with stylish looks and solid performance.

  • HP ScanJet N6310 review

    HP ScanJet N6310

    The HP ScanJet N6310 is a flatbed document scanner.

  • HP ScanJet G4050

    HP ScanJet G4050

    Hot on the heels of the Epson Perfection V700 and V750 (which lured customers with the promise of not one but two lenses) comes this ambitious six-colour scanner from HP.


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