I bought an Epson 1200U scanner from Outpost.com. I then bought the Canon
N1220U at Best Buy locally as Outpost had none. I proceeded to have a shoot
out between the two. Both scanners are ~ $200.
The Epson is faster (1.5-3 times, depending on rez, etc.) and produces
sharper scans, with better color saturation, contrast and fewer artifacts.
The Canon is very sexy and is the perfect choice for scanning on the run, as
it were, with its miserly 2.5 watts power consumption and single cable
connection and its light weight. Its scans are about 90% (quality) of those
from the Epson. The N1220U, though, was much less persnickety about which
USB jack it was plugged into, whether directly into the computer, a stand
alone, self powered hub, or the powered hub in my monitor (Mr. Bishi Diamond
Pro 900u). The Epson will only function when plugged directly into the
I have OmniPage Pro 8.0.1 and the Epson consistently produced better OCR
results, hands down. Much more accurate.
Though I'm no graphic artist, I do some work for local, non profit folks,
and as such, every so often I like to scan 3D or organic objects. The 1200U
excels here. A scanned watch face, for instance, will be very sharp, down to
the minute demarcations, etc., inside the face. The Canon, though, has
_no_depth of field.
Objects with more than 1-2mm of relief were *way*out of
focus and completely unusable. The N1220U seems to only function with paper
and the like.
The Canon will supposedly scan _on its side_. There is a plastic stand that
the scanner sits in to hold it vertically. I did not try this configuration.
So, the long and short of it. If you need to scan on location and/or have
little desktop space, and/or prefer form over function, the Canon is the
scanner for you. If you scan at your desktop only and don't mind another
beige box, the Epson is the top in its class. I've seen scanners costing 2-3
times as much with output hardly distinguishable from the Epson 1200U.
The technology in the Canon is relatively new (CIS) and will surely get
better. The Epson is a tried and true design (CCD) and shows it in its
I returned the Canon.
All the Best-
P.S. I have a PTP with a 400Mhz G3 upgrade and USB PCI card. This is an
unsupported system for the Canon. It nonetheless functioned flawlessly."
I noticed the same lack of focus on 3d objects also with an older (LIDE design) Canon USB (PC version) scanner model last year. I've not scanned any 3D objects with the N656U but it's sure to have the same issues since it's based on the same design. I suspect this would be true of all 'thin' scanners.