Wide-Format Scanners

Contex XD2490 24" Scanner

30 Sep, 2010 By: Ron LaFon

First Look Review: Wide-format scanner is a high-quality choice for technical users who work with D-size documents.

The new Contex XD2490 wide-format, sheet-fed scanner is available in two configurations. You can buy the scanner alone (which is what Cadalyst Labs tested), or add a high stand and Nextimage software so you can pair it with any 24" printer for an integrated, compact, single-footprint multifunction device.

The Contex XD2490 scanner has a maximum scan width of 24" (610 mm), with a maximum media width of 26.6" (676 mm), and it has an optical resolution of 1,200 dpi and a maximum interpolated resolution of 9,600 dpi. The XD2490 accepts only flexible documents with a maximum media thickness of 0.08" (2 mm). It can scan with an accuracy of 0.1% ±1 pixel. Data is captured in either 48-bit color or 16-bit monochrome; the device uses the standard RGB (sRGB) color space.

Weighing just 35.5 lbs (16.1 kg), the Contex XD2490 measures 42.4" x 18.9" x 6.3" (W x D x H). Power requirements are flexible: 110, 220, or 240 v at 60 or 50 Hz. The device uses a maximum of 22.7 W when in active operation, 7.2 W in power-up mode, and a miserly 1.2 W in sleep mode. Connectivity is via a high-speed USB 2.0 port with extended data transfer rate (xDTR). Certifications include ENERGY STAR, RoHS, UL, CE, GOST-R, CCC, VCCI, and FCC-Class B.

Nextimage SCAN software (standard or SCAN+COPY version) comes standard with the XD2490. The TOUCH edition of Nextimage, for use with a touch-screen monitor, can be purchased separately; it comes standard with the MFP version.

Fast prescanning aids users to get their scans just the way they want them. A TWAIN driver also is included for use with EDM and other imaging software. Device drivers are provided for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

When everything is installed and configured — a simple and painless process — the Contex XD2490 is rated at 3.0" per second in 400-dpi Turbo RGB color mode. With the scanner in grayscale/monochrome mode, the XD2490 is rated at 10.0" per second in a 400-dpi Turbo configuration.

In a period of 60 minutes, including paper loading and ejecting time, the Contex XD2490 is rated as being able to complete 234 D-size scans in RGB color mode at 200 dpi, 501 D-size scans in 200-dpi monochrome mode, 240 A1-size scans in 200-dpi RGB color mode, and 514 A1-size scans in 200-dpi monochrome mode.

I set up the XD2490 and tested it with two different sets of originals: two standard 22" x 27" topographic maps and two 13" x 18" color AutoCAD plots. The tests with the topographic maps averaged 22.29 seconds to complete, including paper loading and ejecting, and the scans of the AutoCAD plots averaged 17 seconds, also including paper loading and ejecting. All scanning operations went smoothly, and the speed was quite good.

The 24" Contex XD2490 scanner is designed for CAD, construction, government, GIS, and other technical applications.

The stand-alone Contex XD2490 is priced at $3,970. Scanners purchased in the United States and Canada are covered by a 24-month warranty. Parts affected by normal wear and tear, such as glass plates and calibration sheets, are not covered by any warranty. Optional on-site warranty coverage can be extended for five years. Help Desk support is included.

The Contex XD2490 is decidedly small for many CAD and engineering applications, but for those whose needs do not extend beyond D-size sheets and whose budgets and space are limited, it's worth a look. This scanner is well designed and engineered, speedy, and loaded with good software — one element that can make or break a scanner. The XD2490 is of the same high quality as other Contex wide-format scanners previously reviewed by Cadalyst Labs. Highly Recommended.

About the Author: Ron LaFon

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