Canon Canoscan LiDE 700F scanner

Standalone scanners have dropped in popularity since the all-conquering multi-function device came along, but there’s still a market for scanners. The LiDE 700F, the latest flatbed scanner from Canon, is a compact device with loads of features.

The 700F boasts Canon’s CIS technology, which allows the scanner to be more compact and it’s very slimline. With an impressive optical resolution of 9600dpi for negatives and slides and 4800dpi for other materials the 700F is capable of output for a variety of purposes.

The 700F has an ingenious stand arrangement, which allows you to have the scanner almost vertical and still scan. Obviously, you can use the scanner in the standard flat to the desk arrangement. The space saving element of the vertical stand is a bit gimmicky but it does mean the scanner takes up less space so if you’re really stuck for room it’s a worthy additional feature.

Powered over the USB cable, the 700F doesn’t have an external power brick, which keeps the size down considerably; perhaps, a more useful feature than a vertical stand. The 700F also has a separate 35mm film scanning attachment which is not permanently attached to the device. It handles six frames at a time, but you have to move the backlight attachment manually. Not a hardship but if you’ve got plenty of negatives to archive it’ll take you some of time to get through them.
The Canon scanning suite is impressively easy to use and if you’re after a simple click and scan unit the LiDE 700F won’t disappoint. It’s clear and easy to use without hiding the most useful features.

Scanning was pretty fast too with a full colour A4 300dpi document ready to edit after just 40 seconds. A 35mm frame at 1200dpi scan was ready in 39 seconds. Text was speedy too at 25 seconds. The Canon driver software has OCR built-in and it was fairly reliable but not quite as accurate as we’d have liked. The 700F can scan multiple images from the glass and produce separate files, which speeds things up too.

The advanced driver options are impressively complete so if you want a bit more control there’s plenty to go around. The driver has dust and scratch removal but in auto mode we found results a bit underwhelming. We didn’t expect miracles but for better results it’s best to use the manual control.

Verdict

The output of the Canon is really quite impressive, especially for such a small device. The colour accuracy and level of detail captured is of a very high standard. We were particularly impressed with the way the 700F picked out subtle colour differences. We’d have liked the dust and scratch removal tools to be a bit more effective but it’s not a major complaint. The OCR tool should also have been a bit more accurate but again it’s not a massive flaw.

If you’re in the market for a desktop scanner that’ll give you great results quickly and easily then the Canon LiDE 700F would be a great buy. It’s compact, well built and most importantly produces great quality scans.