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By Mike Joubert 4 June 2009

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A scanner is a scanner is a scanner. Well not quite. You’ll soon realise that trying to scan a lot of documents with your plain old flatbed scanner is a bit like watching paint dry-  painfully slow, boring, and extremely frustrating. The Plustek SmartOffice PS281 is a sheetfed scanner that incorporates a 50 page automatic document feeder. Meaning you’re no longer stuck with page per page scanning. Instead the PS281 scans at about 20 pages per minute. It can also handle full colour documents, albeit at a slower speed, as well as documents from legal size down to business card size.

The PS281 has a decent amount of useful software bundled with, including Abbyy FineReader Sprint Plus to help with optical character recognition (OCR) and DICapture to help with document management.

Although the PS281 is not as fast as its older brother, the PS286 that we reviewed last month, it is still a very competent contender. Available from imageTEK on 011-608-1964 for R2399 including VAT.

PROS
50 page automatic document feeder, plug and play, colour scanning
CONS
Not as fast as the PS286, but almost a 1/3 cheaper.
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