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Multiple Page Scanner--know any good ones?

Hello.  I would like to know if anyone could recommend a good high-end, relatively high-speed, multiple page scanner.  Ideally, it would nice if it could scan items like questionnaires or surveys, and have some sort of handwriting recognition software package take the scanned data and either populate it into a database or convert it to some specified font.  It doesn't matter if hardware like what I'm describing also can print, fax, etc.   I'm really concerned more with scanning multiple documents and doing so automatically.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
1 Solution
It really depends on what you are doing and how much of it you plan to do. What do you consider "high end"? For example, a good office scanner with automatic document feeder, etc, may run you $2,500-3,000, but a production-quality scanner suitable for scanning all day, every day would start in the $15,000+ range and go up from there.

If you're looking in the latter range, and you aren't a service bureau, it may be more economical to get a service bureau to do the scanning for you. For example, I ran a study once where we had hand-written responses on the questionnaires, and we looked at using our own scanner, but after pricing out buying a scanner and software, setup (you have to set the software to read specific locations of the questionniare page), etc, we went with http://www.saidinc.com.

If you are looking for a heavy-duty office machine, I would look at Fujitsu (http://www.fcpa.com/products/scanners/), or Kodak (http://www.kodak.com/US/en/dpq/site/TKX/name/DocumentScanners_product). I've also heard good things about Canon (http://www.usa.canon.com/html/ibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10042&t=10001&m=10039), sopposedly especially for their paper handling of delicate documents, but I have no personal experience with them.

One that you might want to consider is the now-discontinued 5470C and 5490C (they are the same printer except that the 5490C comes with the automatic document feeder.  You can add the document feeder to the 5470C at any time, however.  The document feeder is HP C9866A).  This was a $500 scanner at one time, it's was HP's "top of the line", and it was PC Magazine's "Editor's Choice" in 2002.  It's relatively high-end and relatively fast.  Hardware optical resolution is 2,400 dpi (both directions).  It works under all Windows OS' (including XP), and on a Mac as well, it has multiple hardware interfaces (including USB) and it's just generally a good overall scanner.  And the best part, you can find them on E-Bay for under $50, sometimes even under $20, sometimes even "new in box".  Although the scanner doesn't duplex (the later 5550 and 5590 do, but you will pay hundreds more for them), if you use Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat has the intelligence to scan all the even pages, then flip the stack and scan all the odd pages, and Acrobat correctly "sorts out" the pages and puts the final document in correct page sequence.

Your requirements in terms of OCR (page recognition) go beyond what I think you are likely to find in a stock product for any scanner, however.

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