Contex IQ 449020 Jun, 2013 By: Curt Moreno
First Look Review: High-quality 44" wide-format scanner makes it fast and easy to digitize documents.
The Contex IQ 4490 is a sturdy and versatile wide-format scanner
designed for producing high-volume, high-quality scans.
Contex IQ 4400 series scanners use the company's proprietary Nextimage software to manage image quality. This software has a very straightforward interface offering several scan functions, including saving to multiple file formats such as PDF, TIFF, and more. The scanners offer ICC/ICM color management and can embed ICC profiles in scanned files. Closed Loop Calibration (CLC) helps you manage colors when making copies. The software also features a nice real-time, full-image scan preview, making it easy to adjust resolution, sharpness, and color settings on the fly. The smoothing filter helps you clean up and sharpen blurry edges. Out of the box, Nextimage comes ready for use with more than 100 different plotters from Contex and other manufacturers — a welcome feature for anyone who has ever made a scan for copy only to run into driver issues in the midst of a production rush!
The Contex IQ 4490 was very straightforward to assemble as well as to operate. The main drawback I experienced with this unit was during product registration. Operating the hardware required first obtaining an activation code online, then submitting that code for approval before proceeding. This may be a necessary precaution on the part of Contex, but could create problems in some IT network situations. Once activated, the scanner hummed along quietly, producing scans quite effortlessly and occupying a small footprint among other, larger units.
I would be remiss not to mention the scanner stand. In a world dominated by cheaply made, disposable device supports, Contex ships a milled aluminum stand that exhibits a level of craftsmanship equaling that of its scanners. Other scanner and printer manufacturers should note the quality of this stand and follow suit.
Pricing and Support
The Contex IQ 4490 retails for $8,995 and includes the Nextimage software and stand. Parts affected by normal wear and tear, such as glass plates and calibration sheets, are not covered under warranty. Contex also offers a Spare Parts Support guarantee, ensuring that replacement parts will be available for purchase for five years from the date of product discontinuation. Contex's standard warranty covers parts for two years. Contact the company for any special promotional warranties.
Most resellers of large-format printers, CAD software, and document-management software also offer Contex scanners. Find your nearest reseller using the form on the Contex web site.
The Contex IQ 4490 is a versatile and agile wide-format scanner that could be at home in any engineering or architectural office. With its sleek industrial design, high-level performance, and sturdy stand, this is a scanner worth investigating. Highly Recommended.
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