Reviews

Brother ADS-2600We review

A small but smart network scanner with a heap of useful features and good support for cloud services

Price
£378
  • Excellent cloud storage support; Simple setup; Quick performance
  • Some functions require upgrading bundled PaperPort software

Brother's new ADS-2600We has all the scanningbases covered. This compact desktop scanner supports USB, wired and wireless operation, and combines this versatilitywith a 24ppm duplex scanspeed. Priced at less than 400, it represents excellent value, too.

Installation doesn't get any easier: after we'd cabled the ADS-2600We to our network, the supplied discovery tool located the scanner, loaded Brother's software bundle onto our host PC, and preconfigured everything for network operations.

Along with a handy System Tray status monitor, the software package includes Brother Control Center 4, which provides quick access for scanning documents to OCR, email, local files and printers.

Nuance PaperPort handles OCR functions and provides document- management tools so users can keep their scans neatly filed. However, the bundled version is the older v12 SE release if you want the PaperPort Anywhere cloud sync service, plus Nuance's Cloud Connectors, you'll need to upgrade to v14, which costs around 65.

That said, the ADS-2600We is far from devoid of cloud features, with direct scanning support to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, OneNote, Evernote and Box. Brother's Web Connect portal got us set up with Dropbox scanning in less than a minute.

After we'd set up account details in the software, we were given a unique user code, whichwe were then prompted to enter at the scanner using its 9.3cm colour touchscreen. After adding a shortcut and protecting access with a PIN, we could walk up and scan directly to Dropbox at will.

Scanning direct to a PC is equally pain-free. Once the software is loaded, it registers with the scanner and appears as a destination in its Scan To PC menu. You can also use the scanner's web-management interface to set up scan-to-email servers, FTP sites and network shares; address books with up to 300 entries can be created from the web console or the local Control Center software.

For access security, you can PIN-protect the scanner's settings; with the secure function lock enabled, you can create up to 50 local users and decide who can scan to USB devices and the web. Active Directory authentication also forces users to enter their domain credentials to access the scanner's LCD menus.

From here, you can also set up WPS-assisted wireless connections, but you can't have wired and wireless networks active at the same time. Network performance is good: the ADS-2600We scanned both sides of a 30-page sheaf of bank statements at 300dpi, and generated a PDF of the output in 85 seconds an average rate of 21ppm for the whole job.

At 600dpi, speed plummeted to 4.6ppm, with PDF conversion taking a further seven minutes but there's no need to scan at such a high resolution, as quality at 200dpi is easily good enough for a document-archival system. OCR performance is great as well: we had no problems searching for specific payees in the PDFs of our bank statements.

Brother handled our mixed document test well, too, with small receipts, flimsy courier tear-offs, airline bills and registration cards all being scanned. The anti-skew feature straightened them up and, when a multi-feed jam did occur, the scanner stopped before any documentswere damaged by the rollers.

The scanner also handled ID cards and embossed credit cards with ease, although these need to be inserted short side down in the document feeder or they'll jam. The Presto BizCard 6 software also made a fair stab at digitising our stack of business cards, but you can't put in more than ten at a time, and coloured backgrounds tend to flummox it.

The Brother ADS- 2600We packs some impressive scanning functions and good cloud support. Walk-up operations are a cinch, and you get both wired and wireless network support at a very low price. 

This review first appeared in PC Pro magazine issue 252

Verdict

The Brother ADS- 2600We packs some impressive scanning functions and good cloud support. Walk-up operations are a cinch, and you get both wired and wireless network support at a very low price.

600dpi optical resolution

24ppm at 300dpi colour/mono

Simplex/duplex

50-page ADF

9.3cm colour touchscreen

2 x USB2

10/100 Ethernet

802.11bgn Wi-Fi

Max daily duty cycle, 1,500 pages

Internal PSU

Brother Control Center 4, Presto BizCard 6, Nuance PaperPort 12 SE and PDF Pro 7 software

TWAIN/ISIS/WIA drivers

299 x 220 x 179mm (closed, WDH)

1yr RTB warranty 

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