Panasonic KV-S1046C review

Pros

  • Fast at scanning to image PDF
  • 75-sheet ADF
  • Three year warranty

Cons

  • Slow in scanning to searchable PDF
  • Lacks document management software

As you might guess from its 75-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) and high rated speeds, the Panasonic KV-S1046C is a colour duplexing document scanner designed for busy workgroups with a need for speed. It proved its mettle, at least in scanning to image PDF format, though it was a bit sluggish when I switched to saving in searchable PDF.

The off-white and grey Panasonic KV-S1046C measures 320 x 210 x 235mm (WxDxH) and weighs 4kg. Paper is loaded through a 75-sheet ADF, and the paper path is straight-through. The ADF can also hold up to 3 embossed plastic cards (ID or similar), and has an extendable output tray. Connectivity is via USB 2.0 cable.

As is typical of document scanners, it scans at up to 600 ppi. It offers automatic double-feed detection, prevention, and skip. It supports the scanning of longer documents (up to 8.5in x 100in).

Software includes the Panasonic Image Capture Plus utility, which lets you scan and save documents to different formats, as well as Twain and ISIS drivers, which enable you to initiate scans from nearly any Windows program with a scan command. Note that the scanner does not support Mac OS X. Also, the device has a three year warranty, which is good to see.

Scanning speed

I tested the KV-S1046C, which is rated at 45 ppm for simplex scanning and 90 ipm for duplex, with Image Capture Plus. In scanning our 25-page test documents to image PDF using the program's 300 ppi black-and-white default setting, it posted average speeds of 20.8 ppm for simplex and 57.8 ipm in duplex

But when I switched to scanning to image PDF at 200 ppi, the KV-S1046C turned in a zippy 41.7 ppm average speed for simplex scanning and 82 ipm for duplex, very close to its rated speeds.

Scanning with Image Capture Plus is a two-step process; when the scan is complete, you initiate the output, in which it converts the scan into the desired format. It scanned and saved 200 ppi searchable PDFs in an average of 2 minutes and 3 seconds, and 300 ppi searchable PDFs in an average of 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Kodak i2600 has an even faster rated speed at 50 ppm for simplex and 100 ipm for duplex scanning, and tested at the same 41.7 for simplex scanning and a slightly slower 76.9 for duplex. Yet when we switched to searchable PDF, generally considered the preferred format for document management, the Kodak scanned our test file in just 1 minute and 16 seconds.

Although Canon imageFormula DR-C125, rated at a much lower 25 ppm simplex/50 ipm duplex, met its rated speeds in scanning to image PDF (25.4 ppm/49.1 ipm), it took only a minute to scan to searchable PDF. The Panasonic KV-S1026C took 2 minutes and 44 seconds to scan to searchable PDF at 200 ppi.

The software's on you

The absence of any software for the KV-S1046C – other than Image Capture Plus and the Twain and ISIS drivers – is unsurprising, as the scanner is aimed at businesses that presumably already have a document management suite and are looking to upgrade to a faster, more capable scanner. The same was true of the KV-S1026C. Nonetheless, if you have a need for such software, you'll have to buy it separately with the KV-S1046C.

Also note that the Kodak i2600’s daily duty cycle is twice that of the KV-S1046C at 4,000 pages. The Kodak also adds some very capable software: Nuance PaperPort 12 for document management and Nuance OmniPage 18 for optical character recognition (OCR).

Verdict

The Panasonic KV-S1046 is a capable workgroup scanner, and nearly as fast as its high rated speed – at least when scanning to image PDF. However, it lagged a bit when scanning to searchable PDF. This model is best for offices or workgroups that already have document management software in place (or are willing to invest in it separately).

Specifications

Model and Manufacturer

Panasonic KV-S1046C

Scanning Options

Reflective

Automatic Document Feeder

Yes

USB or FireWire Interface

USB 2.0

Maximum Optical Resolution

600 pixels

Ethernet Interface

No

Flatbed

No