by Jen McPherson on May 24, 2006 in Peripherals
There are many scanners out there today that boast a great deal of features that would be appealing to the casual user and the professional alike. Today we are looking at the HP Scanjet 4890. It has many great features, one that most impresses me, film scanning. Want to know more? Read on!
Document scanning is as simple as it claims, by placing your document in and aligned correctly you can scan an paper in roughly ten seconds. I’ve scanned several pieces of my pencil drawings as gray scale and they scanned in exactly ten seconds. The quality is excellent, at least from my perspective, even at the default resolution of 300 ppi.
To test out their 3D object scan feature I decided to scan in one of my art board print carvings. This carving is relatively old, at least seven or eight years, but it was a piece I was rather fond of and couldn’t save any other way than to sit it up on a shelf. Setting it inside the scanner, the board is a bit thick, at least an inch, but the lid of the scanner can be lifted so that the lid can lie flat on the board no problem. Neato. Scanning the board took as long as a document on gray scale, ten seconds. In HP Image Zone I edited the color slightly to make it lighter, for it was a bit dark, but the details show up great. I’m quite pleased. This would work great for scanning small 3D objects like jewelry, books, even flowers.
Resolution wise I had nothing to compare to, so forgive me in this regard. From what I can see the scans are nice and the quality is good. If your a casual user this is more your speed. For the professional, I’m not sure. Scan times for large ppi files takes a while, so if your looking for speed in this area it may not suit you. I do have one problem with the HP Image Zone, and that’s the color correction. Sometimes it turns out great, but if you get bright or very vibrant objects in the image the photo goes pixilated on those areas, or very splotchy. So the image will look good in some areas but poor in others, mainly those with bright or vibrantly colored areas. Example below.
Overall I liked the HP Scanjet 4890. It works great, and with the TMA capabilities it makes it even better than your average scanner. There are still so many things it does that hadn’t been gone over, like the many different things you can do in HP Image Zone (such as making calendars, brochures, etc, emailing photos). Of course there are other scanners on the market with similar specs, and with no other scanner to run comparison tests to, I have to be careful in how I grade it. I use Windows XP, so I’m also unsure as to how well this scanner will work with a Mac. Using it has been simple and easy, and aside from the color correction issues I’ve had with the HP Image Zone, it has been really great working with it.
Researching other reviews has turned up some questions about the HP Scanjet 4890, however, mainly with their ppi not being as it claims and some Mac OS issues. These questions have been directed to the Product Manager at HP and they are working on some helpful answers to our questions. When we receive them they will be posted at the end of the review and in our forums.
Price wise it is a little expensive, running on average between $160-$200, yet it does quite a bit for the money. For the casual to intermediate users, like myself, this is a great scanner and so I give it an 8 out of 10.
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