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Fujitsu fi-7480 review

Fujitsu's fi-7480 is a versatile scanner. It can handle double-sided documents in sizes from A8 to A3 - plus folded A2 sheets - and take heavyweight paper up to 413gsm. It won't keep you waiting long either, with a top A4 speed of 80ppm at 300dpi colour.

Scan operations are sped up with Fujitsu's slick PaperStream software. Designed to streamline the scanning workflow, this builds clean-up and image-processing features into the TWAIN and ISIS drivers.

Tipping the scales at a meaty 7.6kg, the fi-7480 feels reassuringly solid, and has a capacious 100-sheet ADF, which clips securely at the rear. It has an equally large A3 output tray, and an LCD panel and control pad that can be used to quickly select scan profiles.

Installation on a Windows 10 PC took around 20 minutes. The routine automatically loaded the PaperStream components and asked us to connect the scanner via its USB 3 port to set up the driver - it isn't a network scanner.

The latest version of the Fujitsu PaperStream Capture software sees some big improvements over previous releases. Profiles let you combine scan settings such as colour, greyscale or mono output, resolutions, paper sizes and duplex or simplex. The software also allows you to scan directly to a local folder, a network location, or to an FTP or SharePoint server. The free Capture Connect app adds the ability to upload scans directly to various cloud services, including Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

Capture profiles also link up with the PaperStream IP driver, where you can enable a heap of extra features. These include hole filling, blank-page removal, page rotation and front/back merging, where images from duplex scans are combined onto a single page. You can use blank pages, barcodes or patch codes to apply document separation for big batch scans.

The metadata option adds even more versatility, allowing you to use OCR to extract information from specific areas in each page. This is straightforward to use: after previewing a sample scan, you draw a box around the area from which you want to capture the information, then choose whether you want it stored as a text, CSV or XML file.

Once you're set up, you can use the integral Administrator Tool Usability tab to store it as a scan profile. In this area, the fi-7480 goes way beyond your average desktop scanner. You can specify up to 50 profiles, and the scanner's three-line LCD panel supports 48-character names, so you can find the right one and launch a scan directly from the scanner itself. Alternatively, you can double-click it in the PaperStream Capture interface.

Your scan won't take long: this scanner delivers on its speed claims. We timed mono and colour duplex scans of our 50 pages of well-thumbed bank statements at an impressive 83ppm at both 200dpi and 300dpi. A4 pages scan slightly more slowly in portrait than landscape, but our four scan tests still came out at 68ppm across the board.

Fujitsu's intelligent sonic paper protection (iSOP) feature delivers impeccable paper handling. On the rare occasion we had a paper jam or double-feed, the scanner stopped instantly before any paper damage occurred. The ADF's independently movable, lockable paper guides also help when it comes to ensuring that big batch scans go off smoothly.

Quality, meanwhile, is crisp and clean in both greyscale and colour. 200dpi PDFs came out more than clear enough for archival - so you won't need to waste storage on higher resolutions. OCR capabilities are also exceptional, with fonts as small as 6pt recognised correctly.

With a price close to £2,000, this scanner is overkill for businesses that need to scan only the occasional document. But it delivers on its performance promises, and Fujitsu's superb PaperStream package adds even more value, making this the perfect choice for those seeking uncompromising speed and scan quality.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 267

Specifications 

A3 desktop scanner
600dpi colour optical resolution
80ppm @ 300dpi colour/A4/landscape
Simplex/duplex scanning
100/50 A4/A3-page ADF
USB 3
External PSU
ScanSnap Manager, PaperStream IP TWAIN/ISIS driver
PaperStream Capture, Scan to SharePoint, ABBYY Fine Reader for ScanSnap software
380 x 209 x 168mm WDH (closed)
1yr advanced exchange warranty

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