This months MacWorld (Nov) has a feature article which reviews color flatbed
scanners under $2000. It explains the technology and compares the scanners
based on a number of objective and subjective criteria. The editors choices
were the La Cie Silverscanner II and the HP ScanJet IIc (and the Mirror
800 Plus for the budget conscious).
Note that the ScanJet IIc has been superceded Nov. 1st by the IIcx, which
can be had for around $900 street price. CompUSA has them for $999, with a
Here's the PR for the ScanJet IIcx:
From: r...@gr.hp.com (Bob Gann)
Subject: New HP ScanJet IIcx Scanner.
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1993 23:14:23 GMT
Organization: Hewlett-Packard Co., Greeley, CO, USA
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL0.11]
The Hewlett Packard ScanJet IIcx Color Desktop Scanner.
Great news for those interested in color desktop scanners, Hewlett
Packard, Greeley HardCopy Division announces a new desktop color
scanner, the IIcx.
The ScanJet IIcx is an enhancement to the award winning HP ScanJet IIc,
the best color desktop scanner out there (in my humble opinion).
The ScanJet IIcx advances on the performance of the HP ScanJet IIc in
several areas, including:
- Improved performance for OCR including up to 2x scan speed
improvement for OCR scanning using HP Accupage 2.0 (Also
a new release).
- Improved image quality (via improvements in on board
image processing chips).
- Improved versatility with an available Transparency Adapter
option for scanning transparent originals up to 8.5x11.7".
(available January 1, 1994)
- Improved ease of installation for PC users with a new,
higher performance, switchless, CAM based SCSI Host adapter
for EISA/ISA and MCA PC's.
- Support of industry standard ASPI/CAM based SCSI Host
- Improved scaling and interpolation range with interpolated
scan resolution up to 1600ppi.
- Improved usability with DeskScan II, version 2.0.
- Bundled with Photostyler SE (PC) or Photoshop LE (Mac).
All for the incredible low price of
(suggested list, street price will vary, Transparency adapter
optional), this is a big price decrease from the IIc.
The HP ScanJet IIcx has all the qualities the award winning HP ScanJet IIc
has been known for:
- HP's patented tri-chromatic beam splitter, giving the
ONLY _SINGLE PASS, SINGLE EXPOSURE_
color desktop scanner in this prices range
(or any I know of.. more below).
- HP's patented ability to scan at any y resolution,
for optimal scaling and image quality.
- Sophisticated on board image processing, including
3x3 matrix multiplier, scaling and interpolation
tone map control, image transform, analog compensation.
- 400 ppi optical sampling rate.
- Adaptive and fast scan speed.
- DeskScan II with live preview, closed loop calibration,
and all the tools you need to capture the right image,
the first time. (a real productivity tool).
- Rugged 50 page ADF (optional).
- Legal size scan area
- Rugged and reliable product with one year warranty and
HP Express Exchange for 24hour replacement of a defective
unit (U.S. only).
- And more...
The IIcx should be available at dealers November 1, 1993.
And now, for you techy types....
I've made a lot of claims above, here is some more detail as to
what all the above is, and means.
OCR and performance improvements.
- The IIcx has new scan modes for 1 bit and 4 bit greyscale
scanning (used in OCR), which allows the IIcx to scan
in twice as fast as the IIc for OCR use. (7.5 sec
for 300dpi, 8.5x11"). Of course, this speed assumes
that the host can accept the data that fast. Higher
end systems should be able to do this. Note also,
this does _not_ include OCR processing time.
- Speed enhancements for batch OCR processing with the ADF,
including ability to change pages in the background,
and minimized lamp warmup and scanner calibration time.
- Accupage 2.0, which enables OCR packages using the IIcx
to recognize very small text (4 point), optimize the
image for OCR quality (removing background colors and
optimizing exposure), preserve text structure (tables,
columns and such) and provides packages capable of handling
graphics with quality images versus the typical _ugly_
images captured in OCR scanning.
NOTE: some of the above improvements depend on OCR package vendor's
support of the IIcx and Accupage 2.0. Most major OCR
vendors are or will soon support Accupage 2.0.
Improved image quality
The HP ScanJet IIcx, like the IIc, has sophisticated image processing
capability in hardware. In the IIcx HP has enhanced the capability
of the onboard, HP designed, image processing chips for improved image
quality. The changes are subtle, but demonstrated HP's commitment to
optimal image quality at high speed. _Some_ of the things that go on
inside the IIc that have been enhanced in the IIcx are:
- 3x3 matrixing. Those familiar with color science will
immediately understand what 3x3 matrixing of color signals
is all about. This capability allows the input
Red, Green and Blue, signals to be mixed to create new
RGB output signals. It can be very useful in color correction,
calibration of systems, and color manipulation. Now, 3x3 matrixing
is a very compute intensive process requiring 9 multiplies per
pixel, so hardware acceleration is required to make this
timely. It also requires that all three colors for
each pixel be available at the same time, (which is not
possible in most scanners.) The matrix used by the IIcx
is automatically downloaded by DeskScan II
to optimize images for your system.
- On board tone map and brightness control. This allows the scanning
software to download tone maps to optimize the image before
capture. Combined with live preview in DeskScan II this
allows you to capture the optimal image in the scanner, rather
than capture a 'default' image and try to 'fix it up' in
the image editor. Capturing the optimal image up front is
not only faster, it results in a better image.
[Unfortunately, most scanners (other than HP) are so difficult
to use they make capturing the optimal exposure up front
very difficult, so people make the mistake of making default
exposures and fixing them in an editor.]
- Sophisticated scaling and filtering. The IIcx image processing
engine handles hardware scaling and interpolation. Combined
with HP's patented variable y scan rate (made possible by HP's
patented color separation technology), image scaling is handled
rapidly and with minimal scaling artifacts. In addition, the
image processor applies appropriate filtering, based upon
scan resolution, image type, scaling, etc., to give you the
best image possible for your application.
- Analog gain compensation and CCD correction. Recently some scanner
manufactures have 'touted' analog calibration of the CCD. The
ScanJet IIcx (and IIc) have always had analog compensation for
CCD Photoresponse Nonuniformity (PRNU). This is accomplished
using the custom image processing and data conversion chips in
the IIcx, again, an HP plus for image quality and speed.
The list goes on....but enough for now.
Available January 1, 1994, the the HP ScanJet IIcx/T Transparency
adapter option. This will allow users to scan transparent originals
as well as reflective art. The maximum scan area for Transparency
scans is 8.5x11.7 inches. The /T is fully supported by DeskScan II
version 2.0, and all IIcx's.
Improved ease of installation (PC).
The IIcx is supplied with a new, CAM based, switchless SCSI host adapter
to replace the IIc proprietary SCSI host adapter. The switchless
design means that the new card is much easier to install, simplifying
the IIcx installation procedure. In addition, the new card is I/O
mapped instead of memory mapped, eliminating potential problems with
memory conflicts. The new IIcx card is also higher performance
and support CAM SCSI drivers.
For those who have an existing ASPI or CAM SCSI host adapter, the IIc
is now supported on those standard SCSI cards with drivers supplied
Improved scaling and interpolation range with interpolated scan
resolution up to 1600ppi.
The HP ScanJet IIcx has an optical sampling rate of 400 ppi
Through hardware and software interpolating, the IIcx will support
interpolated sampling rates of 1600 ppi allowing enhanced scaling
NOTE: the HP ScanJet IIcx uses a patented variable y scanning rate
to provide optimal scaling in the y direction, and improved
scanning speed. This capability is dependent on HP's patented
color separation technology.
What is means to you: faster scans and better scaling of images.
HP's Patented Color separation Technology.
Throughout the above I have referred to HP's patented color separation
technology and how it makes things possible that other color scanners
cannot do. HP's color separation technique was introduced in the HP
ScanJet IIc and is unlike any other color scanner out there.
At this time it seems appropriate to have a little tutorial on common
color separation technologys as used in color scanners today (desktop),
including HP's method, and why (I believe) HP's is superior.
Disclaimer: for details of how any particular scanner achieves color
separation, contact the manufacturer of that scanner. While I beleive
I have accurately described each technique and included
all the common techniques (that is my job after all), the
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