Color scanner for notebook computers
by Rick Smith (January 12, 2000)
Antec Attaché box cover
I usually don't carry a scanner with me when I go on a trip. Even on our recent road trip to Comdex, we didn't bring a scanner. Even the smallest flatbed scanners are much larger than laptops. Handheld scanners have accuracy problems and most don't even interface to laptops. Antec has solved these problems by creating the Attaché, which doesn't have any of these limitations and has caused me to think about carrying a mobile scanner on the road.
The Antec Attaché is a small, portable, lightweight, personal imaging device (PID) that connects directly to a PCMCIA/PC card Type II connector. It weighs only 12 ounces and has only 3 moving parts. It allows you to scan documents in either blank and white or full color for faxing, OCR document conversion or digital photo conversion. The best feature is that this unit doesn't need any battery or power adapter. It uses only 1 watt (1.5 watt maximum - 0.1 watt in stand-by) of power in scanning mode that is obtained directly from the laptop computer - no power adapter required !
Included with the Attaché is the following software
Presto! PageManager - document management software that runs under Windows 95 and 98
ABBYY Fineprint OCR - reads scanned documents into your word processor
Presto! PageImage Folio LE - edits and enhances scanned images
Twain compliant driver - allows scanner to be used by other Twain compliant software
Attaché has an optical resolution of 300 dpi horizontal and 600 dpi vertical and can scan items from the size of a business card (2" x 3.5") to a legal document (8.5" x 14"). Paper thickness can range from 0.08mm to 1.0 mm.
My initial testing of the Attaché has been very good and I have found that the OCR software included is quite accurate. It appears to be as good as Caere's latest Version 10 software. The most interesting feature about ABBYY Fineprint OCR is the vast number of languages that it can support.
Color scanning is also quite good and I have used it to scan color photographs using Adobe Photoshop 5.5. (See our First Look at Photoshop 5.5)
The Antec Attaché is a very handy device that lets you scan anywhere even without electricity. No longer does scanning mean having to be chained to a desk in an office. About the only change I would make is to add an extra pouch to the leatherette bag that protects the scanner. This way the PCMCIA interface card wouldn't have to be carried separately or become misplaced. Other than that, it's a great mobile scanner.
© 2000 Rick Smith All rights reserved.