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ScanJet 8200 Series, Hewlett-Packard.

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9-08.  HP SCANJET 8250-8290 UPDATE.  Just to let you know that with the advent of Vista, HP has revamped all the HP Imaging Software to include Vista and "update" XP. By reinstalling the HP Imaging for your Scanjets 5590, 7650, 8200,8250-8290, 8270, 8350-8390 your installed software will be "reformatted" to the newer program style. Previous to the update HP Imaging would operate by opening either the HP Imaging, or HP Gallery. The reformatted program now opens in the HP Solutions Center Format.  It begins with your ability to choose the device you want to use with the program. When you install the newer version and as the installed software is reformatting the program it will detect all your installed HP scanners, cameras and printers and give you this initial "choice" of device as your first step. THIS DOES HAVE ITS' DRAWBACKS as HP has told me, "if you have more than one imaging device installed-camera, or scanner Windows may not operate the imagaing program correctly. This certainly applies to me as I have the software for almost every HP scanner installed on my PC for testing purposes. I recently began the test function on a Scanjet 7650 from the HP Solution Center choices.  After opeing the Imaging for that model, the scanner worked fine except for "bands of colors" on the Preview Scan.  Thinking the scanner was defective I did call HP Support to speak with a technician.  He informed me of the aforementioned possible conflicts with Windows and having multiple scanners installed on my system. The resolve for this program was to keep the program open, but then to open the TWAIN functions for the 7650.  I scanned a page using the TWAIN function and WHALA it was perfect.  I then went back and again attempted to scan with the HP Solutions Center and the scanner again worked exactly as it should have; no colored bars.  Evidently by operating in the TWAIN function, Windows was able to assign a "track" from the software to the scanner and corrected this error. This issue has only occured with a  Scanjet 7650, none other. Since my last post to this review, I have switched up to the Scanjet 8250 and am very pleased with the operation.  I find the ADF more functional as far as having less paper feed issue than my previous 7450.  With the current unbelivable low cost of the 8250, I definately recommend this scanner. Caution advised with buying an "off leased" scanner only because of the low cost.  Remember that lamp hours are the determining factor in scanner operation; if the lamp is shot - so is the scanner. Used scanners may have hundrends of hours on them and there is no gurantee of how long your scanner will last.  If possible, BUY NEW!! Currently even the cost of a new scanner is unbeliveable when you consider that this scanner origionally retailed for over $1000 and is VISTA "fully" capable.  Also, the ADF on an 8250-8290 is still dependent on a "roller system."  These rollers can be compared to the tred on an automobile and use does wear the rollers down which will eventually lead to paper feed problems.  We can asssume that some used Scanjet 8250's - 8290's have much "tread wear" on them. Just be cautious with buying a used scanner and if you do be sure you have only "reasonable" expectations on its' longevity. 

7-07.  Since this guide was written over one year ago Hewlett-Packard must have read "my guide" (Right!). The software has been updated with performance changes in the drivers and some changes with improvements in the scanning program itself.  I have now "upgraded" my own scanning capabilities again with the imporved Scanjet 8250 software/drivers and am VERY pleased.  With those changes and once familiar to the new HP Imaging Program and format, the scanning capability is much improved; easier to operate and understand.  HP Imaging vs Precision Scan Pro is a very different format and you will need to use the HP Imaging awhile to get used to those differences. The HP Copy Utility is "hard to find" within the 8200 software.  On Precision Scan it is a seperate button and Program Icon.  Once you become familar with its' location on Image Director, it's a "snap" to operate.  Since this software update has been completed, the entire performance of the 8200, especially those including an ADF are much improved and less complicated, or confusing. Possibly my previous comments regarding jams with the ADF had something to do with the origional drivers and slower operation, possibly even "freeze ups" with the program itself running. Now, I have had very smooth operation of the ADF without paper jams unless the paper in the stack you are scanning is crumpled, or wrinkled.  This issue would be true with any ADF, including a far more expensive Fujitsu.  Before I upgraded my own scanning ability with this 8250, I did run comparison scans with the 8290.  I found that considering the price difference which is often close to $100, there is not that much of a difference between the claimed 15ppm 8250 ADF and the 25ppm 8290 ADF.  I would assume if you are an attorney, or a doctor with many client/patient files to scan that difference may be relative.  For the "everyday" user I find it an insignificant difference. Yes, you can finally "upgrade" to the 8200 series and it is Vista Ready with full drivers, including Iris OCR and the Internet Explorer 7 "fix" included in the download at hp.com.  If Vista is not an issue right now, you certainly will still be pleased with the performance of the Scanjet 7400-7450-7490.  As I list, "It is still the best bang for your buck" when cosidering cost and if you don't necessarily need a duplexing scanner.

INITIAL GUIDE: Hewlett-Packard scanners are by far the most reasonably priced scanners when comparing all options available.  However, in my opinion and from my experience the HP 8200 series does not go without their problems. For a "basic" business scanner, without any "bells and whistles" the ScanJet 8200 basic scanner does a very adequate job for scanning documents and photos.  All 8200 series scanners have a resolution capability of up to 4800 dpi.  What does this mean?  Let's compare this to the mexapixils available on a digital camera.  When the digital camera first appeared it ususally consisted of up to 2 megapixils which was considered a "great" quality camera allowing the user an excellent photo.  Now, current digital cameras can have up to 9-11 megapixils allowing for tremendous detail on photos, but also accounts for tremendous sized files needing and using a lot of memory.  Usually, the average person would never need more than a 2-3 megapixil camera considering an average size photo print.  The same holds true with scanner resolution.  The average person, who wants to scan an average document to save only needs a resolution of 1200x1200 dots per inch (dpi).  Scanning with a higher resolution than this is "overkill" and the large files only use up more space on your hard drive and taking much longer to download, transfer, or send via email.  Most documents and pictures can be scanned at 200 dpi allowing for easy sharing and storing without using an extraordinary amount of memory.  It also allows for printing out a "very good" 5x7 photo, or very readable document presentations. The 8200 scanner is not without problems in the area of the software and drivers.  Users, as well as my own personal use report that the software is slow, not user friendly and very complicated.  I personally found the software and drivers for the 7400 series much easier to operate and much more "user friendly."  Another big disadvantage with the 8250 and 8290 is the "duplex" feature built in to the scanner.  I found this to jam frequently as well as sometimes having poor feeding capability.  For professionals needing to scan multiple files while unattended, this can be almost impossible as upon return the user will usually find a paper jam, or the duplexor has jammed as well.  In looking at the cost of the 8200 series vs the overall performance,  I have found that the "best bang for your buck" still lies within the previous 7400c-7450c-7490 if you are looking for a legal sized scanning bed and a "good" ADF.  If you are just looking for a "great" little scanner at a great price, I suggest the 5550c-5590c, or the aforemetioned 7400 series scanners.

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