HP ScanJet 5470c Flatbed Scanner

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ScanJet 5470C - higher up the HP ScanJet ladder

Jan 29, 2002 (Updated Jan 30, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:

Pros:excellent quality, fast, ease of use/user friendliness

Cons:cost, transparency adapter weak, large footprint, only letter sized scan area

The Bottom Line: A good unit overall but rather pricey. Obtains the quality and color fidelity of the ScanJet 7400 but for a lower pricey and several compromises.


The ScanJet 5470C is the next generation of HP ScanJet 5000 series scanners. Replacing the slightly more than a year old 5370C scanner and being quite a bit different than the 5400C scanner is the revamped and extremely powerful 5470C. Note that the ScanJet 5470C model is not sold at this time anymore but was relabeled as the 5470Cse (for home/home office) and the 5470Cxi (for businesses). The Cse and Cxi unit have slightly different software packages. If you're wondering why the 5470C package isn't seen anymore, usually HP labels their ScanJets and DeskJets with the C designation when the product is first released to the public. Several months later, the C package is replaced with the Cse and Cxi packages.

The basics of the unit are based on the 7400C scanning engine to some degree. Quality wise, scans from these two units seemed to be completely on par with each other. If you have experience with the ScanJet 7400 line then you know what kind of scan quality to expect. The 5470 (5490 has the automatic document feeder) is the top of the line for HP's home and home office scanners although the 7400 series ScanJets are HP true top of the line scanners. Note that the 5470 also shares the same weaknesses as the 7400 line!

Just the Facts, maam...

The 5470 maintains the a sleeker design than most of the ScanJet models, which was true for the 5000 series line in general over the past few years. The scanner's dimensions are 13W x 22.5D x 4.1H in inches making this a large and bulky scanner although not nearly as bulky as the 7400 series ScanJets. The actual scan area is limited to 8.5 x 11 inches (i.e. letter sized paper). The scanner is a whopping 8.8 lbs! There are a ton of buttons on the front panel with a 16 character LCD which can give you many bits of useful information. Overall, the unit is more pleasant to look at than other current ScanJet scanners although definitely not as nice looking as Canon's CanoScan line.

Like the ScanJet 7400 series scanners, the 5470C ability to scan at 2400dpi results from the use of a CCD with 2 1200dpi sensors spaced half a pixel from each other... resulting in what the industry considers 2400dpi. Note that many companies use this trick, including the high quality Epson scanners! HP still has a 600dpi CCD to the dual 1200dpi CCD just like the 7400. This allows the 5470C to make quick and easy preview scans as well as excellent and quick low end scans. There have been improvements however... the 5470 seems to be faster than the 7400 by a little bit. Now you have a scanner that can easily switch between quality and speed and everything inbetween.

Like the 7400C, the 5470 is capable of 48-bit color scans with excellent color reproduction overall. However, the 5470 suffers from the same problems as the 7400 series scanner. Some colors (reds and flesh tones) are a little muddled although the sharpness of the scan were excellent. The 4400 and 4470 had better color reproduction than the 5470 and 7400 scanners despite the 4400 and 4470 being only 1200 dpi scanners. Images on the 4400 and 4470 were not as sharp or detailed as the 5470 and 7400 scanners however. The 5470 is capable of up to 2400 dpi optical resolution and 2400 dpi hardware resolution through the method described above.

Scan speed is documented by HP as being under 35 sec for a 4 x 6-inch color photo into MS Word, under 45 sec for OCRing a full page of text into MS Word, and under 25 sec for black & white drawing into MS Word. Preview scan take up to 8 secs long. Again, this really depends on the connection (USB being faster by a bit than parallel... also assuming nothing else is occupying the USB bus as well!) and the power of the computer it is attached to! The 5470 performed better than these reported times and a bit better in scan times to my computer... although the transfer of information seemed to be slower since I use the 7450 with a SCSI connection (if you don't know what this means, don't worry about it... it's not really important. SCSI is much faster than USB and parallel port connection but for a price).

Too many buttons? Or is it just enough?

There are a total of 8 buttons with the informative 16 character LCD. There contain the standard quick scan buttons for scan to computer, copy mode, photo album, email, and the such as well as an increase/decrease rocker for number of copies and size adjustments. HP also placed a "powersave" button to reduce the power consumption of the unit when not in use... urm... kinda useless since the scanner decreases its power use when not active. There is a share-to-web button that shortcut to a program where images of manageable size can be placed for web viewing. The 16 character display tells you various steps you're in while scanning and display menu choices as you can access an on-board scanner menu. There is also an options and cancel button as well. The front panel is overall designed very nicely.

Not all roses...

Several issues do come up with this scanner... the scan area only accepts up to letter sized images/documents. Legal sized images are too large for the plate whereas the 7400 accepted up to legal size material (8 x 14 inches). Color reproduction seemed to be better on the 4400 and 4470 ScanJet than the 7400 and 5470 ScanJets. That is bothersome for the price difference between the scanners.

Another major problem that exists with all the current ScanJets is that the transparency adapter is near useless. 35mm negatives and slides just do not scan well even with the 2400 dpi resolution. Details on the scans for negatives and slides were excellent... however, color reproduction was downright horrible for a scanner in this price range. Even the 7400 ScanJet was horrible at this... (I didn't test this feature out when I reviewed the 7400 series ScanJet). The other problem is that the transparency adapter allows for scanning of a 4 picture 35mm negative, slide, or very small transparency.

Software bundle

The ScanJet 5470 comes with HP Precisionscan Pro 3.0 scanning software for business with fully integrated optical character recognition (OCR) capability for PCs (Mac OCR software provided via Readiris), HP Scanjet Copy Utility, HP Share-to-Web software and ACDSee

For PCs you get ReadIris OCR, Corel PrintOffice 2000, Arcsoft PhotoFantasy, NetObjects Fusion, Arcsoft PhotoPrinter Pro, ScanSoft PaperPort, eFax.com, Iris Cardiris, HP Print Creator, ACD Systems ACDsee

For Macs you get Iris Readiris OCR, Corel PrintOffice 2000, Arcsoft PhotoFantasy, NetObjects Matrix, Arcsoft PhotoPrinter Pro, ScanSoft PaperPort, SmithMicro FaxSFT, Iris Cardiris, Arcsoft PhotoPrinter Pro 2000, ACD Systems ACDsee

Now you can see I cut and paste all that good info from HP web site... but there is a noteworthy addition to this bundle. I'm a longtime user of the NetObject Fusion web page/site editor and was happy to see the Fusion 5.0 program included in the bundle. It's definitely showing its age but it's a personal favorite of mine. The overall software bundle is actually rather impressive and good for intermediate to low level advanced users. Not bad at all.

Overall

This is an excellent scanner overall as long as you can live with the few shortcomings of the scanner. As long as you don't need slide/negatives/transparency scans and have nothing bigger than letter sized material to scan, you'll be satisfied. The color reproduction errors are not severe and will be hard to notice overall unless scanning small items that need severe enlargement as well as the slides/negatives/transparencies problem. The software bundle is overall impressive. Picture quality is very high with excellent detail preservation.

I've also played around with several other scanners (longtime readers of my reviews know I was primarily a HP user when I started on epinions) and noted that some scanners had a little better color reproduction and color depth (like the Canon CanoScans and the middle to high budget Epsons). The Epson scanners are excellent performing scanners although the styling of the scanner may leave much to be desired. The Canon CanoScans are good performers for quality but usually are slow performers but they have the best stylings of the HP and Epson lines. Overall I'd still highly recommend this scanner especially for the $299 and under price point!

If you like to see my other scanner reviews, please look at my profile page.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 280
Interface: USB

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