How to pick a flatbed scanner?

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How to pick a flatbed scanner?

Postby JohanM » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:35 pm

Linux (and Mac OS X for that matter) have been a wonderful experience since I made the switch from Windows, except when it comes to peripherals. It is difficult to make the right choice. I had little need of a scanner the past couple of years, that is until now.

I want to scan important personal documents (to have backups), 35 mm slides and photo negatives. This means I do not want the software to just support some basic features (like it sometimes does on Linux), but everything the scanner has to offer, just like it would on Windows. How to pick the right flatbed scanner? As an example for what I want to do with it and the price I am willing the pay for it, the HP Scanjet G3110 looks okay. Price is little over €100 (up to 140$).

Can you give me some advice? I use Ubuntu.
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Postby nelz » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:52 pm

The place to look is http://www.sane-project.org - the home of the Linux scanner drivers. Support for the HP model you mention is described as "Basic", look for something with the specs you need that has complete support.
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Postby johnhudson » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:23 pm

The current versions of hplip come with all the software you need; the only thing I am missing from my (very cheap) HP printer/scanner/copier is a slide holder.

So select an HP scanner with the hardware features you need and you will find the software waiting for you.

N.B When I bought the device seven years ago, these features were not available in hplip; they have been added since and greatly extended what I can do with the device.
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Postby JohanM » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:46 pm

Will have to expand my search. The scanners on sale at 2 webshops I previously used don't go beyond basic support by SANE.
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Postby Rhakios » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:54 pm

If you don't mind coughing up some money, then using Hamrick's Vuescan expands the range of scanners that are supported, together with a very feature rich interface. I quite like the fact that the license allows you to install the software on up to four computers, so it's a bit less like being in a straight-jacket.
I seem to recall that it also got a decent write-up in the magazine.
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Postby ajgreeny » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:35 pm

johnhudson wrote:The current versions of hplip come with all the software you need; the only thing I am missing from my (very cheap) HP printer/scanner/copier is a slide holder.

So select an HP scanner with the hardware features you need and you will find the software waiting for you.

N.B When I bought the device seven years ago, these features were not available in hplip; they have been added since and greatly extended what I can do with the device.

I totally agree with this comment.

I have a very cheap HP Deskjet 2180 all-in-one, about 3 yrs old or more, which works brilliantly with the standard repository version of hplip in my ubuntu 10.04.

In fact I find xsane along with the hplip printer driver software much better than anything I remember from my days in WinXP, though it was a long time ago, and things have probably moved on in the MS world.
Xubuntu 12.04 user, and loving it!
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Postby johnhudson » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:13 am

JohanM wrote:Will have to expand my search. The scanners on sale at 2 webshops I previously used don't go beyond basic support by SANE.


hplip uses the SANE backends; you cannot use the scanner software without SANE installed.
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