Over the previous few years, e-book or overhead scanners have made large strides in output high quality and options. Today’s CZUR (pronounced “Caesar”) ET24 Pro ($629), a direct competitor to the Editors’ Choice award-profitable IRIScan Desk 6 Business Scanner, raises the bar for the performance and capability of those area of interest units. It has greater decision than its predecessor, assist for A3 and bigger enter or supply paperwork, an HDMI port for recording and presenting, and extra. The ET24 Pro’s record worth is $180 greater than the Desk 6’s, however as with most tech merchandise, that ought to come down after a month or two. Even as is, the CZUR replaces the IRIScan as our present Editors’ Choice favourite amongst skilled-grade overhead scanners for small and midsize places of work, presenters, academics, and others in want of its very particular abilities.
Digitize It All: Books, Magazines, and More
Technically, you possibly can argue that the ET24 Pro and different such overhead units aren’t actually scanners, in that they do not seize arduous-copy content material by passing a sensor over a web page (or, within the case of most doc scanners, a web page over a sensor). Instead, they use excessive-res cameras that snap photos of e-book or journal pages laid beneath them, with no transferring elements besides the digital camera shutter.
Over the previous few years, IRIScan and CZUR have engaged in kind of a options-and-performance battle, with every firm making an attempt to at least one-up the opposite. The CZUR ET16 Plus was a response to the IRIScan Desk 5 Pro, and the ET24 Pro looks like a solution to the Desk 6 Business (and to a lesser diploma the Desk 6 Pro).
While there are quite a few objects within the field (I’ll get to them), the CZUR overhead scanner consists of three main elements: the scanner base with controls and ports; a aspect mild for elevated illumination; and the top, which holds further illumination LEDs, a microphone, audio system, and the 24-megapixel digital camera.
The head, proven within the picture above, is the place the motion is. Not solely does it include all of the multimedia elements such because the digital camera, audio system, and mic, however on the highest entrance you will see a small preview display screen that shows your most up-to-date scan.
Below is a doc pad, roughly 19 by 14 inches, on which you place content material for scanning. As I stated, the machine helps web page sizes as much as A3 or tabloid (11 by 17 inches), as do the ET16 and CZUR Shine Ultra Pro, in addition to the IRIScan Desk 6 Pro and Business fashions.
The ultimate essential part is the bundled software program, one thing CZUR calls an “all-in-one” app, which we’ll focus on momentarily. Specifications-wise, the ET24 Pro helps pixel dimensions as much as 5,696 by 4,272; 24-bit coloration depth; and file export codecs together with Microsoft Word and Excel and picture and searchable PDF, JPG, and TIFF.
One characteristic distinctive to this overhead scanner is HDMI assist in Visual Presenter Mode, with output decision as much as 1,920 by 1,028 pixels at 20 frames per second. Most of the e-book scanners I’ve talked about have options for recording and enjoying again video, however up to now that is the primary I’ve seen with an HDMI port for taking part in video on to displays or HDTVs or livestreaming.
Besides HDMI, the ET24 Pro additionally helps USB connectivity, although not Wi-Fi or Ethernet networking. Power comes from the included AC adapter or by way of a USB cable, with a second USB port for connecting both the bundled desktop button or foot pedal for making scans. Alas, you possibly can’t plug each of these controls in on the identical time. IRIScan’s Desk 6 Business additionally comes with each a button and foot pedal, as does the CZUR ET16, however the Desk 6 Pro has solely a button.
Using the ET24 Pro
Nearly all scan processing features happen within the CZUR software program after you set off a scan or snapshot. Some of the extra outstanding options embrace automated curve flattening, automated web page-flip detection, automated finger removing (for those who put on the supplied finger cots), automated tilt correction, ABBYY Technology optical character recognition (OCR), automated web page splitting, and picture crop, trim, rotation, and standardization.
Most of those options are self-explanatory. But to be clear, automated curve flattening is an algorithm that straightens pages on the binding so you do not miss textual content close to a e-book’s backbone (proven beneath). Automatic web page flip initiates the following scan and the following as you flip the pages of a e-book or journal.
Optical character recognition is the acquainted scanner process of changing scanned pages to searchable or editable PDF paperwork, or to Word or Excel information. Features for video and presentation or on-line instructing jobs embrace restricted photograph and video correction or enhancement.
Testing the ET24 Pro: Outstanding Speed and Output Quality
CZUR says this and most of its different scanners can carry out a scan in 1.5 seconds, which, when you think about the time it takes the scanner handy off every picture to the PC software program for conversion and saving, sounds about proper. Actually measuring the pace of a tool that depends on you to show a web page or place new content material on the pad is an unscientific process at finest, although processing 40 pages per minute is superb for a guide-feed scanner.
I examined the ET24 Pro over a USB connection to our Intel Core i5 testbed operating Windows 10 Pro and the CZUR interface software program. Its throughput was predictably depending on my capability to remain alert and feed the scanner swiftly and easily; I by no means reached 40ppm when saving to picture or searchable PDF format, although I did hit 30ppm to 32ppm greater than as soon as. (That’s the quickest rating I’ve managed from an overhead scanner; I suppose it is attainable that I’ve grow to be extra expert at serving up flipped pages after reviewing a number of.)
It’s essential to notice that that is clearly a simplex machine, which means you possibly can scan just one web page (or a two-web page e-book or journal unfold) at a time. Single-pass duplex scanners which have automated doc feeders and might seize either side of two-sided pages in a single go are, in fact, a lot faster. (Of course, these pages must be free, not certain.)
As I’ve stated many instances, the quickest scanner on the planet is nugatory if it makes you spend quite a lot of time correcting OCR errors. Happily, that is not an issue I’ve encountered lately. The ET24 Pro and its software program transformed our sans-serif (Arial) and serif (Times New Roman) check pages to searchable PDF format with no errors at textual content sizes down to six factors, matching the IRIScan Desk 6 Business.
That’s greater than satisfactory for many enterprise and different paperwork (you are not prone to typically encounter smaller fonts), and these days about common for many sorts and worth ranges of scanners. In different phrases, the ABBYY OCR software program is extremely correct. The CZUR Shine Ultra Pro additionally scored 6 factors error-free for each fonts, although the corporate’s ET16 Plus managed it down to six factors for Arial however solely 10 factors for Times New Roman in its February 2018 assessment. Even that is high quality, frankly, for many workplace scan jobs. You’ll must strive arduous to seek out an inaccurate scanner nowadays.
Given this machine’s variety, I additionally scanned a number of images of assorted sizes, plus brochures, pamphlets, and different colourful paperwork, to guage not pace however scan high quality together with element, coloration brilliance and accuracy, and the way properly the CZUR dealt with halftones. With few exceptions, I used to be utterly happy, although I discovered myself often adjusting the 2 overhead LED mild bars and attachable aspect mild to get colours and dithering good.
The Verdict: Overhead-Scan Excellence That’s Not Just for Books
In some ways, the CZUR ET24 Pro and its ilk resemble outdated-normal overhead projectors. Capturing e-book and journal pages, nonetheless, is only one of many attainable makes use of, starting from capturing objects for shows to classroom or on-line instructing, excessive-res video playback over HDMI, and making use of a wealth of doc and different correction instruments. While its 24-megapixel digital camera is not as sharp because the IRIScan Desk 6 Business’ 32 megapixels, the CZUR scans at 320dpi versus 300dpi decision and boasts HDMI connectivity. That elevates it to our Editors’ Choice throne amongst skilled-class overhead or e-book scanners.
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