Good software and great scans make Kodak's i1150 a good document scanner
Scanner type: Document scanner, Maximum optical scan resolution: 600x600dpi, Dimensions (HxWxD): 246x330x162mm, Weight: 3.2kg
Kodak’s ScanMate i1150 is a desktop document scanner, designed to capture up to 3,000 pages per day. It’s a chunky device about the size of a standard desk phone, connecting to a single PC via USB only. With a top speed of 25 pages per minute and duplex (double-sided) capturing, it’s a competitor for Canon’s ImageFormula DR-C125 and DR-C130 scanners, and Epson’s newer WorkForce DS-510.
While the i1150 isn’t unattractive, there’s a certain matter-of-factness to its design. It’s blocky, save for a couple of rounded corners, and while most competitors use their paper output as a dust cover when not in use, here the input and output are just simple extending trays. Both are sturdy, however, and provide ample support for A4 paper, although the top section of the input tray felt reluctant to extend on the sample we reviewed.
The scanner lid is released via a big lever, rotating forward by a little more than 45 degrees to give ample room to clear any paper jams and clean the mechanism when needed. The paper path is plastic lined, as we’d expect on a scanner at this price, but the transport uses an unusually high number of rollers, which, in theory, should maximise reliability and reduce paper noise. There are twin contact image sensors (CIS) to capture both sides of a page in a single pass, and an LED light source for each to eliminate warm-up times.
The i1150 has an unusually sophisticated control panel, with a colour screen and touch-sensitive navigation keys rather than the handful of buttons and LEDs we’d expect at this price. The screen shows which of up to nine scanning presets you’ve selected, and during scans it keeps a handy count of how many pages have been fed. This is a good way to measure progress or spot misfeeds. The i1150 employs ultrasonic multi-feed detection, however, so it’s likely to beat you to it.
A good document scanner can be ruined by poor software, so we’re happy that the i1150 comes with some good applications. The i1150 has WIA, TWAIN and ISIS drivers, so it should work with any standard imaging or document capture system. Kodak bundles its own Smart Touch control panel, and a limited version of its more comprehensive Capture Pro archiving software. The latter is a surprisingly sophisticated batch scanning application, suitable for automating larger or recurring jobs and even integrating them within a bigger workflow generated by several workstations.
Most users are likely to be satisfied with Smart Touch, which resides in the Windows notification area and manages scans and document processing. For any job it’s possible to select destinations, including email, print, file or cloud destinations. You can select Evernote as a destination, for example, but Google Drive is unfortunately absent. Scans can be saved in various image formats, as Word or Excel documents, or as PDF files with or without searchable text, recovered using optical character recognition (OCR).
The actual scan settings are stored in a separate set of shortcuts, which complicates things slightly, but it’s easy enough to create or edit these once you find them. Advanced options include hole and image edge fill, to disguise rough or holepunched documents, a streak filter and blank image deletion based either on image size or a content percentage. Available resolutions include 1,200 dots per inch (dpi), which is more than the scanner’s 600dpi optical maximum, and more than necessary for document capturing.
We put the ScanMate i1150 through our usual set of scan tests, where it was predictably quick. Scanning a single A4 page at either 150 or 300dpi took just six seconds, whereas scanning a single 6x4in photo at 600dpi took eight seconds. Kodak says that the i1150 has a ‘transaction mode’ where it can capture the first 10 pages of a job at up to 40ppm, and it’s certainly true that the scanner only begins to pause between pages after the 10th page. Even so, it took 25 seconds to scan 10 magazine pages, which equals the 24ppm result we saw on our 24-page mixed graphics test. It seems that while the scanner runs more quickly over 10 pages, its image processing doesn’t.
In fact, this image processing is a little on the slow side. The scanner easily dealt with our 10-page duplex test, which is a horrible combination of jumbled, tattered and thin pages from various sources. It scanned them in 24 seconds, but the software took a further minute and 13 seconds to straighten up and recognise text in the results. That’s a little slower than competing scanners, but you could speed it up with a fast PC; Kodak recommends you use an Intel Core i7-2600 or better.
The results were generally excellent. Scans were fairly crisp, with superb colour accuracy and well-judged exposure. Text recognition appeared to be accurate even from colour crossheadings and various fonts, and there was no sign of bleed-through, even from very thin double-sided originals. This scanner was one of few we’ve tested which successfully corrected the orientation of every page in our most difficult test.
This isn’t the prettiest or fastest document scanner, but it is effective and comes with very useful software. Overall, we prefer the shorter processing times and more user-friendly software of Canon’s ImageFormula DR-C130, but this is a good alternative, particularly if you need the batch scanning features of Capture Pro.
|Maximum optical scan resolution
|Output bit depth
|Operating system support
|Windows XP or later, Ubuntu 12.04 or later
|Three years (advanced replacement)