Commercial Scanner Recommendation

I am a Navision Developer (Pacal-like integrated development environment owned by Microsoft).  I am going to implement a low-volume document imaging project that integrates with our business information system.  We will be scanning 50 documents a day and 30% of those will be updates to existing documents that are over-writing existing scans.  I am shopping for a commercial scanner with an ISIS interface.  I've looked at the HP 8290 and the Fujitsu fi 4220C and Fujitsu i80.  I know that I may have to purchase middle-ware if I can't get one of these to work directly from my application, but right now I am interested in the best choice in hardware.  Does anyone have experience with this level of scanner, ie:( $1,500 - $3,000)?

Who is Participating?

I am biased owing to the fact I only really use 3 makes of scanner, Fujitsu, Kodak and Canon.  I have written utilities for all 3 makes using Twain via a third party development library called ImagXpress Professional v7 (They also produce an ISIS add-on) from Pegasus Imaging Corporation (

My recommendations below are purely based upon your requirement of a desktop/mid range scanner.

During the course of my occupation (electronic document management) I provide various solutions: -

Automated Forms Processing (BW);
This involves scanning forms usually in BW (1 bit images) and using a third party application to extract information (hand written responses, tick marks, multi-choice selections etc)
I find the easiest installations of this type are always made possible when I specify FUJITSU scanners, the optics seem to me to be very good at providing a 1 pass image that is usable (by 1 pass I mean a BW image direct from the scanner to the processing application with nothing in between that fiddles with the image; NOT a full colour image from the scanner into an application such as VRS (Virtual ReScan -

Old document scanning in BW;
I have observed very good results using Canon in this situation (Specifically the Canon DR-9080c), this one proved particularly good at handling very fine paper (I integrated it into a care trust, most of the items being scanning were pre-1950 medical records - a lot of the paper was virtually see through!), the document feeder was very quick off the mark and was particularly kind to the older docs - the model I mention also had a staple detector and sensitive double feed detector, it was quickly and efficiently opened to unblock jams.  The technology within the scanner also helped to provide good quality BW conversions from poorly contrasted material (doctors notes written faintly in pencil on off-white paper)

For everyone else (and also for the two purposes listed above, if the client isn't shy of spending a little bit more);
I love Kodak scanners!
You mention the i80 which is a good scanner, as long as having a flatbed scanner suits your purpose, it has a large foot print however.
Another option is the i250 which isn't a flatbed scanner and only scans single sided (smaller footprint than the i80)
The i260 looks almost identical but handles double sided scanning - both the i250 and i260 can be upgraded with a flatbed accessory (its rather large).  The best thing I like about the i200 range is the document width, I have medical customers that deal with forms which are A3, unfortunately most of the forms they say are A3 are actually 15mm wider so don't actually fit in A3 scanners (without burring the edges), because of the design of the i200 range, documents of this size easily pass through the scanning transport, the same cannot be said of the Fujitsu and Canon above.
Kodak handles BW, Greyscale and Full Colour scanning amazingly, jack of all trades without any compromise, the transfer speed of the data from the scanner to the PC is also quicker than the other two makes above (in my humble opinion, technical specs aside)

Hope this gives you something else to think about!



Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
I keep hearing good things about the Fujitsu fi-4120C so I guess the 4220C is probably good as well. The difference is that the 4220 also has the flatbed, the 4120 has only the ADF option (you need to feed your documents via the ADF), but is quite a bit cheaper (about $800):

When you say you need to scan 50 documents per day, what average size are we talking about?
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
BTW: You get Adobe Acrobat 6 Standard with these Fujitsu scanners. This is a $250 to $300 value.
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
Split the points.
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Accept nickaskew 's comment as answer.

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