I’ve been hunting for a cheap scanner to replace my old HP ScanJet 3200C flatbed scanner. Since I don’t use the scanner that much, I wanted to keep things on a budget. My requirements were simple:
It had to be a flatbed scanner (since document scanners don’t work for bulky items).
It had to give me a good quality scan.
It had to be dependable.
It had to be cheap!
While scouring the deal sites, I came across a number of scanners in the $50-60 range, but that was still more than I wanted to spend. Then I saw a post about the Canon PIXMA MP250 Photo All-In-One Inkjet Printer, available from Walmart for $32!
I could care less about the printer features, I just wanted something that would scan. The reviews were pretty favorable, so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot.
When I opened the box, I had to laugh. Canon uses a whole roll of tape to keep everything in place during shipment. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. Since I didn’t have the foresight to take pictures ahead of time, I found a video to illustrate my point. Skip to the 5:00 minute mark to see what I’m talking about.
Better safe than sorry, I guess.. In any event, I removed all of the tape, plugged in the power and USB cables, installed the software, and I was off and running. Canon’s scanning software is pretty intuitive, and has some nice features like multipage scanning support, exporting your scanned document to a PDF file, etc. I installed it on my XP machine, but it also has support for Windows 7, Vista, and Mac.
I wanted to scan something bulky, so I grabbed the first thing near me. South Park Season 1 on DVD. As you can see from the scan below, the quality is pretty much spot on:
So there you have it. For $32 + tax, I couldn’t be happier.