Brother ADS-3000N review

It lacks wireless and cloud support, but this speedy network desktop scanner has impeccable paper handling and a low price

Price
£390
  • Fast scan speeds; Good value; Great paper-handling
  • No cloud or wireless support; Scan speed drops at higher DPI

Targeting mid-sized and large workgroups, Brother's ADS-3000N combines USB and Gigabit network connections with a good combination of speed, quality and value. For less than 400, you get a fast 50ppm scan speed, a robust 5,000-page daily duty cycle and a generous software package.

Along with Brother's ControlCenter4 (CC4) scan management tool, the package includes Nuance's Paperport 14 SE digital file cabinet plus ABBYY FineReader Pro 11 and PDF Transformer+ OCR tools. A remote network setup utility and system tray monitor are also provided and the scanner has an embedded web management console.

Build quality is impressive and the paper input and output trays are reassuringly solid. The input paper guides are firmly held in friction mounts and we found they won't move even when scanning a big bundle of 50 well-thumbed bank statements.

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Using the scanner's Gigabit network connection, we watched the installation routine on our Windows 10 desktop discover the scanner and load everything for us. It did take 40 minutes, but only because the Nuance and ABBYY products are downloaded on demand by the install utility.

The monitoring tool ran a quick check on the scanner and offered an immediate firmware upgrade. This loaded a separate utility to handle the update which also refreshed the CC4 software with a new version.

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The ADS-3000N is great for bulk scanning as its paper handling is beyond reproach. It had no problems with our mix of statements, waybill flimsies and till receipts while its lightning-quick reactions to paper jams meant nothing was damaged.

Scanning a 25-page sheaf of bank statements using the CC4 app revealed the claimed 50ppm speed is only achievable at 200dpi for mono and colour. Upping the resolution to 300dpi saw colour and mono speeds drop to 35ppm and tumble to 9ppm at 600dpi.

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No matter, as scan quality at 200dpi will keep your document archivists happy with text sharp and clear. Brother's OCR capabilities are equally good with fonts as small as 6pts correctly converted for searchable PDF output.

CC4 provides plenty of scanning controls including anti-skew, blank page skipping and image auto-rotation. Punch-hole filling isn't available and scanning embossed credit cards requires this mode to be set first from the CC4 option panel.

The three programmable buttons on the front panel can have profiles assigned for direct scans to network shares or FTP, SFTP and SharePoint servers. We created a 'Scan To FTP' profile from the web interface and assigned it to the first button which duly illuminated to show it was active.

Profiles can be assigned for one-button scans to networked desktops, as those with CC4 installed and registered appear in a drop-down list for selection in the web interface. The two other front panel buttons are for quick scans to local USB sticks (which can't be disabled) and a USB-connected PC.

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Cloud support is absent so if you want to use services such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Evernote, consider Brother's ADS-2600W or ADS-3600W models. There are some workarounds though, as we used CC4 to send scans to a local shared Dropbox folder after which they were synced to the cloud.

Mobile users have a say in the scan process as Brother's iPrint&Scan iOS app worked fine on our iPad. It spotted the scanner on the network and allowed us to remotely initiate scans, pull down documents to our iPad, edit and email them.

Wireless connectivity and cloud support are conspicuous by their absence but the ADS-3000N makes up for this with decent scan speeds and classy output quality. Scan-hungry SMBs that want a networked desktop scanner with a super software bundle should put Brother on their shortlist.

Verdict

Wireless connectivity and cloud support are conspicuous by their absence but the ADS-3000N makes up for this with decent scan speeds and classy output quality. Scan-hungry SMBs that want a networked desktop scanner with a super software bundle should put Brother on their shortlist.

600dpi A4 colour ADF scanner 50ppm @ 200dpi colour/mono Simplex/duplex 50-page ADF USB 3 USB 2 host Gigabit Max. daily duty cycle – 5,000 pages External PSU ControlCentre4, Nuance Paperport 14 SE, ABBYY FineReader Pro 11 and PDF Transformer+ software TWAIN/ISIS/WIA drivers 306 x 258 x 250mm (WDH, closed) 4.45kgs 1yr RTB warranty

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