Umax Unveils High-Res Scanner

SAN FRANCISCO (08/28/2000) - Scanner and digital-camera maker Umax Technologies Inc. is taking advantage of this week's Seybold digital-media show here to announce two midprice high-resolution scanners, which are expected to ship in mid-September.

The AstraNet e5420 and AstraNet e5470 both scan at 1200 by 2400 dpi and include a one-year account with the ImageOnline photo-sharing site. That account provides 50MB of online storage, an e-mail address, and software for creating and sharing online photo albums.

The models have two principal differences: The e5470, which should carry an estimated retail price of $199, includes a transparency adapter that can handle slides and film up to 4 by 5. The e5420 should sell for $50 less and lacks the transparency capability, but unlike the more expensive model it has some other functions. For example, it can automatically de-skew images placed crooked on the glass; determine whether to scan in color, gray-scale, or black and white; and crop.

Input and Editing Options

Both scanners have buttons that send scans directly to software you specify, such as an e-mail or photo-editing program. They can also send images directly to the ImageOnline site without first saving the files on your hard disk. Both models connect to a PC (or a Macintosh) over Universal Serial Bus, and both capture color at a super-high 14 bits per color. Graphics professionals with the right software can download those massive files to the PC, and for most other users the image will be reduced to a more manageable 8 bits or 12 bits per channel.

The AstraNet e5420 and e5470 come with a variety of software tools. The scanners are bundled with Caere's OmniPage LE optical character recognition software, which converts scanned documents into editable text, and NewSoft's Presto PageManager document database and Presto PageType forms-management tool.

The bundle does not include a photo editor.

Umax has added to its family of low-end scanners with a number of releases this summer. Units released earlier are part of the AstraNet 3400 line.

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