Agfa says it's time for the "e" generation. The company's Desktop Products group is introducing the SnapScan e40 and e50 scanners this May, adding to its lineup of consumer-grade scanners featuring ScanWise software.
"Scanners today are generally easy to use, but consumers do not want to fuss with setting the software for specific applications," said John Phillips, product manager for desktop scanners and digital cameras. ScanWise automatically formats images or text for email, word processing, optical character recognition, Web pages or imaging applications. "You scan your child's drawing and get a beautiful image, but if you do not scan it in the right color mode and resolution for email, it could take a recipient 40 minutes to download it. We are living in the "e" generation. Our strategy is to design devices that do more than scan pictures, this is a scanner that lets you communicate in pictures."
Both the e40 and e50 feature 42-bit color depth and an optical resolution of 1200x2400 dpi. The maximum scanning areas are 8.5 x 11.7 inches. The difference between the two is the e50's built-in transparency module and four programmable buttons for specific scanning tasks. The transparency module is a lightplate built right into the e50's cover, which uses a light-diffusion process for scanning 35mm transparencies. Included with the device are slide holders for 35mm strip and framed holders for easy handling and positioning.
"Sending text via email was the first step," Phillips said. "Now it's time to give consumers the tools to add images and bring electronic communications to the next level"
The "e" series of scanners feature interchangeable colored handles, which should appeal to iMac enthusiasts. They come in translucent orange, blue and graphite.
Both scanners have a USB interface, which make them "hot" plug-ins. (USB makes adding computer peripherals easy to add to systems.)
The e40 is slated to have a suggested price of $169 and the e50 will debut with a $199 price tag.