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Brother ADS-3600W review: The perfect choice for SMBs

Small businesses dreaming of a paperless office could find Brother’s ADS-3600W desktop scanner the ideal solution. Its fast 50ppm scan speed for colour and mono documents means it can digitize your filing cabinets in double-quick time and at £455, it’s priced right for those on tight budgets.

It has a connection for every occasion, with integral USB 3, Gigabit and wireless along with NFC support for tap-to-scan operations from iOS and Android mobiles. Its 9.3cm colour touchscreen makes light work of accessing all features including firing off fast scans directly to a wide range of network locations or the cloud.

The scanner is built to handle a high demand with a claimed 5,000-sheet daily duty cycle. It looks up to the job as its paper trays are very solid and we found the friction mounts on the input paper guides held firm when scanning large bank statement bundles.

The ADS-3600W delivers on its performance promises with 200dpi and 300dpi colour and greyscale duplex scans of 50 bank statements taking 60 seconds. Greyscale and colour speeds at 600dpi tumbled to 17ppm and 7.5ppm respectively but there’s no need to use such a high resolution as scan quality at 200dpi is perfectly adequate for creating document archives and accurate searchable PDFs.

The ADS-3600W is great for bulk scanning bundles of different document sizes, as its paper handling is near perfect. It had no problems with our mix of statements, till receipts and waybills while its fast reactions to paper jams on the rare occasion they did occur, meant nothing was damaged.

The scanner comes with a solid software bundle, which includes Brother’s ControlCenter4 (CC4) scan management utility and the iPrint&Scan Windows app. You also get Nuance’s Paperport 14.5 SE plus the ABBYY FineReader Pro 11 and PDF Transformer+ OCR tools.

With the ADS-3600W connected over Gigabit, we installed the entire software package on our Windows 10 desktops where it discovered the scanner and set them all up ready for action, The process did take 40 minutes, but only because the Nuance and ABBYY products are downloaded on demand by the install app.

The scanner’s web management console can be used to create up to 25 profiles for scans to email servers, FTP sites and network shares with each new destination appearing in the LCD panel. Once we’d provided details of our SMTP server, we could use the scanner’s local address book to create email entries for up to 300 users.

Cloud support doesn’t get any better, as the scanner can send documents to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, OneNote, Evernote, Box, Facebook and Flickr accounts. They’re a cinch to set up: we visited Brother’s Web Connect portal, registered our Dropbox account, entered the unique 11-digit code at the scanner’s touchscreen and PIN-protected local access.

The new iPrint&Scan Windows app can pull in scans over the network and includes a workflow feature for setting up fast one-click scans to the desktop, a cloud account or a chosen app. The iOS version doesn’t offer workflows but we used it on our iPad to grab scans, save them locally or email them.

Security is tight, and access and usage can be controlled with Brother’s Secure Function Lock. We used it to limit public access, create lists of local users and assign privileges to block or allow scanning to destinations such as PCs, FTP servers and the web.

The ADS-3600W is highly recommended for SMBs that want fast, top quality desktop scanning services at a low price. Connection options are extensive, Brother’s software bundle makes it highly versatile and cloud support is second to none.

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