OneTouch 9020 Scanner - PC Primer Review | Visioneer

These reviews by R.L. Creighton originally appeared in PC Primer Magazine August 2002 and October 2002

By R.L. Creighton
Copyright 2002

Not to long ago, my only recommendation for a scanner for your PC would have been an HP. Not any longer. I have just finished a couple of weeks testing of the new “Visioneer OneTouch 9020 USB”. This unit has really changed my mind. Check out and look at the flatbed scanners.

Speed is one important feature, I have USB 2.0 capability and the Visioneer 9020 is USB 2.0 compliant. What is also handy is that the unit is also backward compatible so it works well with the old USB 1.0 standard. For those that are unaware USB 2.0 is 40 times faster than the original USB with version transferring 480 Mbps compared to 12 Mbps. If speed is a key motivator for you always make sure that all your new purchases are USB 2.0 compliant.

Another very important aspect is the quality of the scanner, and here I was blown out of the water. I was always proud of how clear my scans were, but I am now amazed at the improvement in clarity when making a color copy of a photo. In scanning several hundred photos, from an album of very old Sepia toned, Black & White, and old color images, my best results by far came from scanning in color format. And none of them were less than excellent

Not only is the Visioneer One touch 9020 USB a superior surface scanner, it is capable of scanning Slides and negatives. I have not yet had the time to test the efficiency and effectiveness of that function, but that deserves a full column anyway.

The scanner has an optical resolution of 1200 X 4800 DPI (Dots Per Inch) and an optical bit depth of 48 bits per pixel. For the non-technical like my self, that means it has very high resolution and the scan will be very sharp and clear (Assuming that you are using a sharp clear original). I hate to have to say that but some could interpret that to mean that you can make good pictures out of bad. This scanner is great, but none that I am aware of can do that.

Setup of the scanner is really easy, Install the CD software, connect the USB connection and plug the unit in. You have finished the install. Easy as that! System requirements are moderate, an IBM (or compatible) computer using Microsoft (* Windows 2000, Windows ME or Windows XP. One available USB port (Either USB 1.1 or USB 2.0), 64 MB (or more) of RAM 70 MB of free hard drive space a VGA or SVGA Monitor and a CD ROM drive. If you have at least this configuration you can use this superb scanner.

I have only just begun my testing, and I am already sure that this is the way to go. The software could be stronger, but so many other products already on my computer do a better job. This unit appears to be a great buy for $129.00 (recommended retail but you can find it for less). I have no problem recommending this as a Super deal that is just to good to miss. Try it, I promise you won’t be sorry.

PC PRIMER # 561 
By R.L. Creighton
Copyright 2002

I have received many calls and e-mails from all over the country about the review I did six weeks ago reporting on the quality of the Visioneer 9020 scanner. Most of the requests were for additional information on the quality of the scans in general and how well the 9020 did on slides and negatives.
Well let me say it again. This is one superior scanner. I do not retract even one syllable of the glowing comments I made, as a matter of fact I am even more enamored now that I was six weeks ago.
The Visioneer 9020 uses proprietary software to control the scanning. When attaching the 9020 to a second computer via its USB 2.0 connection, I did experience some difficulty with the Twain identification. A little investigation showed that the two scanners and the five cameras attached to the computer were more than a bit confusing. When I removed the conflicting Twain device drivers, everything was Picture Perfect.

The quality of the scans of negatives and slides has been overwhelmingly positive. I was a bit surprised when I did the scan of a 35 millimeter color negative. I retrieved a 40 year old sleeve of negatives, scanned in one frame and was shocked when I saw the very small image on the Paperport desktop. (I mean we are talking Very Very small). But, once I clicked on it, and used the magnifying glass to enlarge the image I was totally amazed. Not only was the image exceptionally clear, the image had also been converted to a color (positive) image that only required printing. When the image was printed on a medium quality color printer on high quality photo paper, the image reproduction was every bit as good as a professional color print.

The same is said for Color slides. The images are transferred to the desktop after scanning and then can be saved to any file that you choose. I have been playing with black and white negatives and amazingly they come up as positive images that can be sent to the printer, ready to go. I personally like to send them through JASC Software's Paint Shop Pro and do any editing that I might need. I must add however that the editing capabilities are excellent and can really enhance any shortcomings in the photographic process.

So my answer to any of you that saw my review either on the Visioneer web site or wherever it is published, the answer is YES the Visioneer 9020 is that good. The slide and negative scanning using the included masks is better than excellent. Buy this one, I promise you won't regret it.