FUJIFILM CS-1 SCANNER
By John Henshall
Is it a document binder? Is it a hole punching machine? No, it's the new Compact Color Scanner CS-1 from Fuji.
The footprint is so small that two Fuji CS-1 scanners would just about fit on a sheet of A4 - much smaller than a flatbed scanner. It weighs 900g - just under two pounds - and stands only 2.5 inches high. In concept, it's nearer to the Visioneer PaperPort than a flatbed - whatever you are scanning has to pass through the scanner, rather than just sitting on a platen with the CCDs moving beneath.
Connecting to a PC is easy, though connecting it to a Mac is impossible. You need at least a 486 PC with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, at least 40MB hard disc space, a parallel (printer) port and a CD-ROM drive.
There is only one connector on the scanner, a 9-pin 'D' socket. Low-voltage power from a mains adapter is supplied down this cable from the computer end. This end is a 25-pin parallel 'pass through' connector, enabling a printer or other parallel device to remain connected. Software is on a CD-ROM.
Material to be scanned goes into the scanner face up and head first, after using a special calibration sheet which sets white balance. There's a protective sleeve to protect fragile and valuable originals as it passes through. To begin scanning, just press the start button.
The CS-1 scans a very generous 21.6x35.6cm (8.5x14 inches) at an optical resolution of 300 pixels per inch and with a colour bit-depth of 10 bits (1024 discrete levels) per pixel. Colour scan quality, as you would expect from such a high specification, is excellent.
This scanner would be very useful in a small studio where photographic prints need to be scanned occasionally. But it also offers broader functionality, doubling as a fax scanner, or a means whereby documents may be digitised for storage or OCR (Optical Character Recognition). Together with a colour printer the scanner effectively becomes a colour photocopier. Any application which supports TWAIN - such as Adobe Photoshop - can access and use the device.
As Christmas approaches, the CS-1 will undoubtedly be high on the list of desirable stocking fillers at around £169 including VAT (£144.68 before tax). Its main competition will be flatbed scanners in the same price range. Flatbeds will also accept three dimensional originals but need a larger footprint.
The CS-1 is another beautiful digital product from Fuji, with an appealing air of originality. It deserves to be successful.