Although Kodak's numbering system suggests that the Kodak i2800 must be similar to the Kodak i2900 that I recently reviewed, it actually has a lot more in common with the Kodak i2600. The i2800 is basically the same design as the i2600, but it offers a faster rated speed, a higher capacity automatic document feeder (ADF), and a higher maximum recommended daily volume, all of which should make it of interest to any office that needs such heavy duty capability.
Kodak rates the i2800 at up to 70 pages per minute (ppm) and 140 images per minute (ipm), with one image on each side of the page. This top speed is for both black and white and greyscale scans at either 200 or 300 pixels per inch (ppi). For colour scans, the rating drops to 60 ppm at 200 ppi and 40 ppm at 300 ppi.
Just as important, the 100-sheet capacity for the ADF and the recommended maximum of 6,000 pages per day are both enough to let you take full advantage of the speed. It's this trio of features that makes the i2800 a good fit for a small office or workgroup with seriously heavy duty scan needs. If all you need is light to moderate duty scanning by small office standards, the same combination puts the i2800 in the category of overkill.
Setup is standard for a document scanner. The one noteworthy touch is that, as with the Kodak i2600, the i2800 offers a compact storage position. When you're not using it, you can close the trays and rotate the scanner itself so it's vertical relative to its base, giving it a 330mm x 160mm footprint. To use it, you open the trays and rotate the scanner itself on the base, so the bottom of the scanner comes forward and the top tilts back. If you need a flatbed as well as the ADF, you can add one as a separate companion scanner.
Like Kodak's other scanners, the i2800 comes with capable software, including Nuance PaperPort 12 for document management and Nuance OmniPage 17.1 for optical character recognition (OCR). In addition, its Twain, ISIS, and WIA drivers will, between the three of them, let you can scan directly from virtually any Windows program that includes a scan command. Linux users can download SANE and Twain drivers from Kodak's website.
Also included with the scanner are two scan utilities, with Kodak recommending each one for different kinds of scan applications. For my tests, I used the one that installs along with the drivers. The second utility is on its own disc and has to be installed separately.
One particularly welcome feature is a three row by fifteen character LCD that shows scan profile names. Simply give the profiles descriptive names in the utility, and you can scan by scrolling through the list, picking the right profile, and hitting the scan button.
In theory, you can do the same thing with the numbers one through nine that most document scanners use to identify profiles, but that means having to memorise which numbers go with which profiles. In those cases, it's usually easier to skip the one-button scan feature and start the scan from your computer instead, where you can see the profile names. The only complaint I have about this feature with the Kodak utility is that it's limited to the traditional maximum of nine profiles. That's a reasonable limit when you're using arbitrary numbers to identify the profiles, but with descriptive names, you should have the option to define more.
The i2800 fell short of its 70 ppi and 140 ipm ratings in my tests, but still qualified as one of the fastest scanners we've reviewed. Using our standard 25-sheet test document and the default 200 ppi resolution in black and white mode, the i2800 managed to scan in simplex (one-side only) to image PDF format at 55.6 ppm. For duplex scans, it slowed down to 46 ppm and 93.8 ipm.
In both cases the i2800 is notably faster than the Kodak i2400, which came in at 28.3 ppm for simplex and 53.6 ipm for duplex. More significantly, it's faster than the Best Buy award-winning Xerox DocuMate 5460, a closer competitor that's rated at 60 ppm and 120 ipm. The Xerox 5460 managed 46.9 ppm for simplex scanning on our tests and 92.3 ipm for duplex.
As with most scanners, if you scan to searchable PDF format, which is usually more useful than image format for document management applications, adding the text recognition step also adds a lot of time. It took only 32.0 seconds for the i2800 to scan the 25-sheet document in duplex, for example, but it took a total of 1 minute and 10 seconds to finish saving it as a searchable PDF file. That makes it a hair faster than the Xerox 5460, which took 32.5 seconds to scan, and 1 minute and 16 seconds in total to add the recognition step and save the file.
In addition to achieving top-tier results for raw scan speed, the i2800 also performed reasonably well for text recognition accuracy. On our OCR tests, it read our Times New Roman test page at sizes as small as 12 points, and our Arial test page at sizes as small as 8 points, without a mistake. It also did a better job than most scanners on two other fonts that aren't part of our official tests, reading them without a mistake at sizes as small as 6 points.
The i2800 has a lot of strengths and not many weaknesses. The most serious complaint I have about it is the same one I had with the Kodak i2900 and i2600, which is that many of the options in the driver are unnecessarily obscure. The option for skipping blank pages, for example, which will let you scan both simplex and duplex documents without having to change settings, is called Blank Image. Changing that to a self-explanatory name, like Skip Blank Pages, would make it a lot easier to make best use of the scanner.
The good news is that almost any reasonable scan option you can think of is available in the driver. And that – along with the fast speed, level of OCR accuracy, and included applications – helps make the Kodak i2800 a highly attractive package.
If you're considering getting this Kodak, you'll also want to take a look at the cheaper Xerox DocuMate 5460. However, if your office or workgroup does the kind of heavy duty scanning that can truly take advantage of the 100-sheet ADF, fast speed, and high maximum daily volume, the Kodak i2800 may well be the scanner you want.
Manufacturer and Model
Automatic Document Feeder
USB or FireWire Interface
Maximum Optical Resolution