The Microtek V6USL USB/SCSI Scanner
is far from a new
player in the imaging market, their presence in standard retail chains is
still growing. At least in the midwestern USA arena, Microtek's products are
too few and far between. Enter the bang-for-the-buck V6USL legal size scanner.
Will this feature packed model be enough to open the sales floodgates? Considering
the recently lowered to $149 list price, SCSI and USB capability and the LightLid
(for various negatives), this scanner screams, "Buy me and you'll get
a boatload of stuff!" While that may be true, I decided to compare the
V6USL to my aging but still current favorite Visioneer
- Scans up
to 8.5" x 14"
- USB or SCSI
- 600dpi x
1200dpi Hardware Resolution
- 9600dpi x
9600dpi Software Interpolated Resolution
- 42-Bit Color
- All Accessories
for Slides/Film Strips
- One Year
- Web Price:
A few years
ago, scanners were either SCSI, parallel or USB. This is the first model tested
at TargetPC in which comparisons can be made across two interfaces.
card included was a bit confusing. One sticker claims, "Adaptec AVA-2902"
while Win98SE found an "Adaptec AIC-7850." After browsing Adaptec's
site, I came to the conclusion that either model number was at least rated
as fast SCSI or 20MB/s transfer rate. Remember that USB revision 1.0 is rated
at 12Mb/s or 1.5MB/s.
actually caught my attention first as I made a beeline to grab some negatives.
Easily fitting slides and old-style filmstrips, a 35mm still camera negative
required a bit of "futzing" before well aligned scanning could be
software and accessories list is so extensive that I'll just point you to
site for those interested in all the details. Suffice it
to say that I was surprised when a limited version of Adobe PhotoShop 5.0
caught my eye during installation. Considering the low list and web prices,
the bevy of accessories is simply staggering and may prove to be irresistible
irregardless of the actual quality of the unit itself. Kudos to the marketing
people at Microtek for throwing all that stuff in the box and not forcing
the wary buyer to search all over town to locate badly needed "extra"
color depth needs some verbiage however. I'm willing to concede that there
is quite a difference between 16-bit and 32-bit color as it is particularly
noticeable when playing Unreal Tournament. BUT, when viewing 16-bit scans
of human faces, there is not much improvement jumping to 24-bit "true"
color. After researching color depths, it appears that most human eyeballs
can distinguish 24-bit color, but only an excruciatingly small percentage
of those can see any appreciable difference between 24 and 32-bit color. I've
found no tests that confirm any detectable differences above 32-bit color.
What this means to the consumer is that you shouldn't be taken in by such
ideas that a 36 or 42-bit scanner will make any difference whatsoever. Here's
a table denoting the various color depths and exact number of colors.
B&W means black and
white (no color), the M denotes Million, and the B denotes Billion.