Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hands-On with Canon imageFORMULA P-215 and DR-C125 Document Scanners

As an ECM professional and Capture expert, I get the opportunity to play with a variety of document scanners.  Canon is a brand that I have not had the pleasure of working with too much.  So I was excited to be able to play around with 2 new scanner from Canon this week, the imageFORMULA P-215 "Scan-tini" mobile scanner and the space-saving DR-C125 desktop scanner.  The one that peeked my interest most is the P-215 mobile scanner.

Canon imageFORMULA P-215 "Scan-tini" Mobile Scanner
One trend in business today that you can't ignore is mobility.  The rise of the mobile workforce is huge and manufactures are working fast to outfit the this mobile workforce with the tools they need to conduct business from just about anywhere.  The P-215 is a great example of this trend.  
Detailed specifications on the P-215
Mobility is not just about size.  As you can see the P-215 is small enough to stuff in a laptop bag or gadget backpack.  What is really cool is this little scanner is powered by 1 single USB connection.  It does not need an actual power cable.  For many of us that have multiple devices in our bag, not having to carry (yet another) power brick is great news.  The second thing that makes the mobile-friendly is the fact that the base scanner software is loaded on the device.  Meaning you don't have to actually install any software if you don't want.  The imageFORMUAL scanning app will auto-launch when you click the scan button on the scanner.  Allow me to demonstrate the simplicity of this scanner with the video embedded below.

The Canon imageFORMULA P-215 is a great little mobile scanner but it will run you around $300 (Retail) to have this type of performance in a mobile package.  The price is competitive with with other scanners in this segment.  The scanner can do 15 pages per minute, 30 images per minute, with a 20 page auto-document feeder is good for a device of this size.  There are also a number of advanced features like:  Auto Color Detection, Auto Page Size Detection, Deskew, Pre-Scan, Prevent Bleed-Through/Remove Background, Skip Blank Page, and Text Orientation Recognition that help make this device attractive to enterprise use cases. This is a powerful little scanner that won't be a problem taking with you on the road. 

Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 Desktop Scanner

If you need desktop scanner with a little more speed and capability and don't need it to be so mobile, then take a look at the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125.  This scanner fits more into the low-end distributed capture category or the home office.  The scan speeds are rated at 25 pages-per-minute with 50 images-per-minute with duplex scanning.  The ADF has 30 page capacity.  For all the detailed specs on this scanner head over to:

Detailed Specifications for imageFORMULA DR-C125
The one thing that stands out with scanner is the "U-Turn" paper path, as Canon calls it.  The design of this scanner keeps the device mostly vertical which allows it to have a relative small foot print.  That means that it won't take up a lot of extra space on your desk.  This design can be very important in a distributed capture scenario where space is limited.  Say, like behind the counter at a bank teller for example.  I can also see this design well suited for the home office.  Check out the video below of this little scanner in action.  It will give you a better idea of this "U-Turn" design and operation.

The Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 is priced just below the $500 price point. If you do a lot of paper intensive processing then having a dedicated scanner like this can be very beneficial.  Keep in mind, at that price you will get some high-end functions like:  Long Document Mode to handle documents up to 118" in length, Folio Scanning Mode, and Ultrasonic Double-Feed Detection to ensure nothing is lost if a double-feed occurs.  

Canon has done a good job providing solid desktop scanners for the modern office trends.  Mobile is a huge growth market in many ways, and it is nice to see major scanner manufactures moving into that segment.  The mobile and distributed capture markets are going to get even more important so having solid product offerings now is key.  Based on my time with these 2 scanners , Canon is taking some very good steps in the right direction.  

If you are interested in buying one of these imageFORMULA devices for you business, I would recommend seeking out your local VAR, since they can help find the exact match for your specific business case.  But, if you are looking to pick one up for a home office you usually can find them on Amazon:  Canon imageFORMULA on Amazon.  If you send me an email or leave a comment below, I will be happy to help you find the right people to talk to as well.