With scanning components built into essentially every MFD, why would anyone ever wish to buy a separate scanner? Some times you might need one for film scanning, or a page scanner that can rip through a bundle of documents in seconds.
Others, like Plustek’s OpticBook series, have special features that make them particularly adept at scanning thick material like books. Other times, the reason is simply faster higher quality scanning for a limited asking price. And that’s where the Xerox 7600i raises its lid.
Retailing for around a modest £65, the Xerox 7600i is, to all intents and purposes, a very standard flatbed scanner.
Its understated styling lacks the immaculate curves of Canon’s most alluring CanoScan models, but it’s still a very pleasant addition to any desk.
The Xerox 7600i weighs 1.62kg, which makes it one of the lighter A4 flatbeds we’ve seen, and the fact that it draws its power from the USB connection makes it even more portable. It obviously lacks the sheer compactness of a sheet-fed scanner, but for those needing A4 flatbed scanning on the move, the 7600i is one of the more portable options out there.
The Xerox 7600i is shorn of fancy features. The only buttons are the three front-mounted controls, the first two of which are preprogrammed to work with emails and to produce a simple copy. All three buttons can be assigned to other tasks, so you can have quick one-touch access to your favourite third-party titles.
Unlike Plustek’s OpticBook range, the Xerox 7600i doesn’t have any special features for specifically working with books or brochures. Indeed, the lid hinges don’t have a great deal of extension to them, although you can easily remove the lid from the back of the scanner in order to accommodate thicker material.
Xerox 7600i: Performance
The Xerox 7600i, essentially, is about fast scanning. It required just 14 seconds to turn out a 300dpi A4 image, stretching to 83 seconds at the highest resolution of 1200dpi. This makes it a faster model than the scanning components found on many MFDs, where 20 seconds or more is often required for 300dpi resolution scans.
When using a standard photo, the times fell to just 7 seconds for 300dpi, stretching up to a mere 31 seconds for 1200dpi. Again, these times are really very good for a low-priced model.
The quality isn’t amazing, and the scanner does only offer 24-bit colour. Whatever the reason, there was a slight lack of fizz in some of the pictures, and the scanner wasn’t the best at bringing out the requisite depth at the extremes of the spectrum.
In general, though, the results were quite pleasing, and certainly superior in quality to the scans we’ve seen from previous sub-£100 models.
Xerox 7600i: Software
The software bundle is quite eye-catching. Nuance OmniPage remains one of the better OCR packages available. You can now get this software in its 18th incarnation, but, to be honest, version 17 supplied (around three years old) is a very accomplished edition.
Its interface may be a little quirky, but it’s a very powerful package that leads to accurate OCR. Combined with the 7600i, we were able to scan and convert a number of test documents with almost 100% accuracy.
PaperPort takes care of organizing and arranging your collection of scans (plus any documents or photos you should wish to add to the mix). This version is even more dated than OmniPage, and the latest edition of PaperPort goes up to 14. However, not much has really changed since the version 12 included, and PaperPort has good PDF support, and some nice features for working with forms. It can be a little temperamental though.