The latest addition to the Canon’s scanner range, the LiDE 70 is unusually stylish for such a functional item. At just 4cm high, it can be mounted on its side to allow you to simply drop in single photos or sheets.
Looks aren’t everything, though, and compared to the excellent Epson V350 Photo (see below) the LiDE 70 has a few shortcomings. Image quality, for instance, is merely average: scans were prone to over-exposure, which meant clipping of highlights. And our images had less impact than those of the Epson — colours were muted and too light, while detail also took a knock. There was less noise on the Canon’s images compared to the Epson’s, but the poor exposures meant an equal amount of detail was lost in lighter areas of images.
Speed is another concern. We had a preview ready in just 18 seconds — equivalent to the Epson — but final scanning times were nothing short of yawn-inducing. A 10 x 7in scan at 600dpi — the highest resolution most people will need — took a little over two-and-a-half minutes, while an A4 300dpi scan that took the Epson 24 seconds took over a minute on the Canon. A 6 x 4in print at 300dpi was more reasonable at 22 seconds.
On the plus side, the compact CIS (contact image sensor) imaging system uses very little power, so both data and power are supplied over a single USB cable. The TWAIN driver is also excellent and easily as good as Epson’s. Setting up your image pre-scan is simple, and there are plenty of adjustable options to ensure the best results. A histogram preview is available, although unlike Epson’s it isn’t adjustable. The accompanying software is also good, with ScanSoft OmniPage SE standing out particularly for those who regularly need to archive text documents — an A4 text document scanned at 150dpi took 22 seconds.
The LiDE 70 is a decent scanner with particular attraction for those with limited desk space, given that you can mount it sideways. If you only want to archive documents or 6 x 4in prints and don’t mind making post-scan changes to bring out top quality, it’s so significantly cheaper than options such as the Epson V350. But, for the maximum in flexibility and default quality, we’d recommend spending the extra on the Epson.
This Review appeared in the March, 2007 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing