REVIEW: Plustek OptiBook 3800 Professional Book Scanner

Optibook 3800 scanner

Specially-designed to scan books, without the dreaded ‘shady-spine-bending’ of traditional scanners

By PAUL QUIGLEY

ECM Plus +++ Many people these days are throwing out their old flatbed scanners for more ‘upright’ pert multifunction devices, which makes the debut of new flatbed machines that much more challenging.

Except where said flatbed is, in fact, what many had been hoping and dreaming of for many a long year – a scanner that is dedicated to scanning books.

Yes, scanning books. Without those ugly, bent and distorted centre areas which scoop up, up and away into a vortex of illegible gibberish at the spinal area of valued tomes. No more said vorices of chaos. Gone are the days when you had to ‘guess’ what the author wrote as their valued, edited text vanishes in the murky darkness.

Say hello to a proper job. Yes folks, book scans done the way mother meant them to be done. Not half-arsed excuses, a second thought, a Heath-Robinson pathetic effort, nay, no more, never. Long gone. Plustek’s OptiBook 3800 is a veritable joy to use. Installs lile a dream, standard TWAIN compliant, works with all your existing software apps, and comes with a raft of newby versions of OCR and others in case you’re short on those. No problem.

In operation, scans are quick and good, standard 300dpi is the default, though clicking up to 600dpi for those especially valued digital assets is just as snappy these days.

The secret with scanners is, then, transparency. Not transparencies, but the transparency of being as effortless to use and just flinging open a book at a given page, scanning it in and reading a digital rendition of it on screen and stored as a PDF, TIF or JPG – and that’s exactly what the 3800 can do, with ease, little fanfare, and that, at the end of the day, is all people want.

No more faffing around with setup configuration time, choosing areas to scan (thought all these aspects can be tweaked to suit if one really wants to go in deep), so that the user ends up focusing on what they want to do and doesn’t get trapped in a tech time warp battling against driver installs and hourglass downtime.

So, in summastion, the OptiBook 3800 is as good as it gets for those of us who still own paper books and want to preserve key pages on our computers. For standard A4 work, the 3800 works flawlessly too, as one might expect, and the device itself is lightweight and easy to move about with its USB connection.

Conclusion

In a world where everyone and their dog seem to be dipping a toe into the murky waters of e-readers, Kindles and the like, the transmogrification of technology has well and truly arrived in the publishing – and self-publishing worlds. The arrival of solid, feature-rich book scanners will only accelerate the move from paper-based bookery to e-books in all their proprietary formats. For academia, lawyers and the like, a scanner such as the Optibook 3800 is a god send to get the job done.

Verdict: 4/5 – RECOMMENDED


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Filed under Document Management, Document scanning & imaging, Electronic Document Management & Delivery, Hardware Reviews, ICR - Intelligent Character Recognition, OCR - Optical Character Recognition, OMR - Optical Mark Recognition, Output management, Reviews, Scanning, Search

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