Weighing just 1.3kg and costing £203, the Plustek MobileOffice AD450 is a 600dpi portable scanner that can handle up to 20 pages in its automatic document feeder, performs double-sided page scanning and provides good image quality in scanning a variety of documents.
But its scanning speed is sluggish in comparison with other models we've reviewed recently.
Plustek MobileOffice AD450: Scanning speed
In performance tests, the Plustek MobileOffice AD450 was the slowest of the five scanners we looked at in our roundup. That didn't surprise us, however, considering that Plustek rates the AD450 as only a 6ppm (pages per minute) scanner (when processing single-sided colour pages at 200dpi), compared with the 15ppm specification (same parameters) of the three fastest models.
The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 took 193 seconds to scan a double-sided, 15-page, monochrome text-only document at 200dpi, far behind the group average of 86 seconds for the same test. In scanning colour documents it was equally slow: It required 46 seconds to scan a double-sided, 6-page, colour text-and-graphics document at 150dpi, versus the group average of 24 seconds for the same test.
Running on USB power, the Plustek MobileOffice AD450 needed a total of 97 seconds to scan two colour and two monochrome (both single- and double-sided) pages, as opposed to 67.5 seconds for the next-fastest model (the Visioneer Strobe 500).
Plustek MobileOffice AD450: Image quality
The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 scored much better in image-quality tests, for which it received a Very Good rating (using its default settings).
In colour-document scans the Plustek MobileOffice AD450 rendered accurate colour tones and solid, readable text, although some areas containing graphics were slightly darker and had less detail than the original did. Its scans of monochrome and greyscale documents exhibited easily readable text and good details in line art and other graphics.
The Plustek MobileOffice AD450 measures 289x98x75mm (width by depth by height). The scanner is easy to install and use: it has three quick-start buttons (Scan, PDF, BCR), and it requires no assembly since its extendable output tray and paper guides are permanently attached.
When not in use, the collapsible Plustek MobileOffice AD450 folds up nicely. For added convenience, Plustek tosses in a carrying bag for taking the scanner on the road; also included are a power cord and power supply, a USB cable, and a USB power cord.
Plustek MobileOffice AD450: Software bundle
Plustek covers all the bases with the large software bundle it provides for the AD450. It includes NewSoft Presto PageManager 7 for document management, ABBYY FineReader 6.0 Sprint Plus for optical character recognition, Hotcard BizCard Finder 3 for business-card recognition, and NewSoft Presto ImageFolio 4 for image editing.
In our tests of the OCR software, it did a satisfactory job of converting assorted documents into editable text - but while it was proficient at accurately reproducing simple, text-only pages (such as a list of book titles), it wasn't as adept at replicating complex text-and-graphics layouts (such as a three-column magazine page).
The Plustek MobileOffice AD450's BCR software was reasonably useful in converting business cards into an editable database, but accuracy was an issue; we found it necessary to fix more typos here than we did with most of the BCR software for other scanners in our test batch.
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