Graphtec CSX300-09HDplus Wide-Format Scanner (First Look Review)2 Feb, 2009 By: Brian Benton
36" color model is an excellent choice for a great price.
The Graphtec CSX300-09HDplus wide-format scanner is well suited for firms that don't scan often but want the ability to do so in house. Engineers, architects, GIS users, reprographers, graphic artists, and CAD users all can take advantage of the CSX300-09HDplus. Paradigm Imaging Group offers the scanner with stand, scanning software, and a one-year warranty for $9,995.
With its ease of use, good price, and one-year warranty, the Graphtec CSX300-09HDplus wide-format scanner is a great choice for small and mid-sized firms.
The CSX300 is a 24-bit color scanner with a standard optical resolution of 600 dpi that can max out at 9,600 dpi. The scanner accommodates sheets as wide as 38", but it will scan surfaces only as wide as 36". It can handle drawings, images, or pictures as small as 8.5" x 11".
The CSX300 can scan a typical black-and-white line drawing at its normal settings at approximately 6–7 inches per second (ips). That means that a typical 24" x 36" D-size sheet will scan in roughly 4 seconds. In 24-bit color mode, the CSX300 will scan at an approximate rate of 2 ips, meaning that a color D-size image will take approximately 12 seconds to scan at its normal settings. Set at a higher scanning resolution or higher scanning quality, this speed is greatly reduced. Testing showed little difference in quality between scans of black-and-white line drawings of different levels when both resolution and scan quality were increased, but there was a difference in quality on the color scans. I also observed a difference in file size and scan time when the settings were increased, but this result is to be expected. For more technical information about the scanner and its features, see the accompanying online feature table at www.cadalyst.com/0109scan-table.
Setting up the scanner is extremely easy: Open the box, take off the packing materials, and plug it in. The included scanning software — Scanning Master 21+ — is straightforward and easy to install. The system requirements for both the scanner and the software are a Pentium III PC with 1-GHz, 256-MG memory (or preferably more), and at least 10 GB of hard drive space, a 1,024 x 768 pixel True Color (or higher) monitor, mouse, a USB 2.0 interface, and Windows 2000 Professional or higher. The scanner has no network interface; it must be connected directly to a workstation.
The Scanning Master 21+ software is the heart of the package, as it handles the final scanned output. With it, users can clean up the scan, rotate, resize, crop, edit, despeckle, deskew, mirror, invert, and save files in many formats, including TIFF, RAW, JPEG, PDF, CALS, and PCX.
The Graphtec CSX300-09HDplus wide-format color scanner is a great find for users who need in-house color and monochrome scanning abilities. It doesn't perform as quickly as Graphtec's high-end models, but those are designed for higher-volume scanning. Its quality, however, is nearly as high as those models' and more than adequate for this type of need. Highly Recommended.
Brian Benton is a services provider for CAD, GIS, 3D modeling, rendering, and animation. Read his blog at http://cad-a-blog.com.
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