Canon imageFORMULA DR-M260 review: The ideal workhorse
This speedy scanner is ideal for scan-hungry SMBs, and comes with a high-quality software package
You’d be forgiven for balking at the price of Canon’s DR-M260. However, while it may be expensive for a USB-only desktop scanner, it will appeal to businesses with big document scanning demands. It offers a fast 60ppm scan speed, an 80-page ADF and a heavyweight duty cycle of up to 7,500 pages per day – supported by an extensive range of document management utilities.
Since there’s no need to connect to a network, installation could hardly be simpler. Just pick a host PC, run the supplied utility to load Canon’s TWAIN drivers and scanning software, then plug the scanner in.
It’s impressively quiet in use, and we found Canon’s speed claims were actually a touch on the conservative side: we scanned in a 30-page sheaf of bank statements at 200dpi and found the job completed at 62ppm, in both greyscale and colour. Going up to 300dpi had no effect on greyscale speed, although colour performance fell to 53ppm.
As usual, the big drop-off comes at 600dpi. Here greyscale scans completed at 33ppm, while colour jobs averaged 13.4ppm. We’re not bothered about that, though, as 200dpi scans were clear and sharp, with text as small as six points accurately recognised and embedded in searchable PDFs.
Paper handling was a non-issue: the scanner dealt with all our dog-eared documents, till receipts and waybills without any problems. Single embossed ID and credit cards can also be scanned with the ultrasonic jam detection turned off, and optional carrier sheets can be used to safely scan passports.
The CaptureOnTouch software makes light work of common scan operations. Document profiles define resolution and colour settings, and tell the software whether or not to skip blanks, rotate skewed pages and separate document batches using page count, barcode or zonal OCR.
These are partnered with profile plugins, which determine whether your output will be saved to a local or network folder, uploaded to an FTP or SharePoint server, imported into an application, forwarded directly to a printer or attached to a message in your email client. Canon’s support site offers extra plugins for sending scans to the Nuance PaperPort app and saving to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or SugarSync folders.
For ad-hoc scanning, you can simply select your desired document and output profiles in the app and click the Scan button. Alternatively, you can use the right-hand pane to create preset shortcuts, and make them available from the scanner’s control panel. This isn’t a touchscreen – just a five-line monochrome LCD panel – but it’s still convenient for quick walk-up access.
For a more hands-on scanning experience you can use Canon’s CapturePerfect app, which lets you apply image enhancements such as colour and exposure correction, and save your scans in TIFF, JPEG, PDF or PPT formats.
If that’s not sophisticated enough for you, Canon also throws in a copy of the Kofax VRS (Virtual ReScan) image-enhancement software – although you’ll need to download the DR-M260 component from the Kofax support site, as this isn’t included on the bundled disc. This installs a new VRS TWAIN driver, which then can be accessed from either of the Canon apps, and indeed any other TWAIN-compliant application. With this tool you can tweak your scans to your heart’s content, with auto-cropping, edge-cleanup, de-speckling, contrast and brightness settings – and when you’ve finished, it will pass the spruced-up document back to the host app to be saved.
If you need a fast desktop scanner, the DR-M260 is good value, with very creditable scan quality and a great software bundle. Needless to say, if you require network support then you’ll have to look elsewhere, but for those who don’t, this scanner could be the ideal workhorse.
Canon imageFORMULA DR-M260 specifications
600dpi A4 colour scanner
60ppm at 300dpi colour
5-line LCD panel
Recommended duty cycle
Canon CaptureOnTouch 4 Pro, CapturePerfect 3.1, Kofax VRS software
285 x 180 x 178mm (WDH, closed)
1yr standard hardware warranty
Options (exc VAT)
A5 passport carrier, £18 exc VAT
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