Product Focus: Kodak S3100

Kodak Alaris announced its new S3000 series A3 scanners as a more or less 'like-for-like' replacement for the company's much-admired i3000 devices, but in truth these are far more than an upgrade, offering enhanced features, faster scans, better connectivity, and much more besides.

One of the key features of the S3100 device we reviewed is that image processing is now performed on-board the the scanner itself, as opposed to requiring a separate PC - this frees up PC CPU cycles for batch-related processing, OCR and the like, and makes the new devices especially appealing for integrators and BPOs as much as for horizontal use cases such as mailroom, HR, or records management. The image processing software, Perfect Page, has numerous enhancements including a new 'snap to size' option, as well as improved 'digital stamping'.

Described as a low-volume device (though the definitions of what counts as low, medium or high volume are evolving continually) the S3100 is capable of an impressive 100 pages per minute (200 image per minute duplex); the other models in the series are equally quick (S3060 offers 60ppm/120ipm, S3120 offers 120ppm/240ipm) - all in grayscale, black-and-white or colour, at up to 300 dpi resolution. The range also includes the A4 S2085f - the 'f' denotes a flatbed, an option also available on the S3060 and S3100 devices.

The S3100 boasts a very user-friendly colour touchscreen interface alongside the usual buttons which, combined with Smart Touch, offer simple 'one-touch' scanning to a host of standard destinations. There is a larger input hopper than the old i3000, now holding 300 rather than 250 sheets, and numerous improvements have been made to the output tray mechanisms and multifeed handling, to reduce operator intervention.

There is the option of a straight through feed path for non-standard documents - the usual example we quote here is long medical record documents which can be a meter or more in length, but Kodak Alaris also described the use case of oil well logs, again long continuous stationery documents that would otherwise be almost impossible to capture efficiently.

Network connectivity is a large selling feature for the S3000 range, with wired Gigabit ethernet as standard (avoiding the potential security issues of wifi connection). As well as TLS and end-to-end encryption the S3100 can use self-signed certificates and even offers a 'secure boot' option to protect against potential hacks. As a secure, robust, high quality networked scanner, it is easy to see the S3000 series having an impact in areas that might previously have relied on MFP scanning, for instance.

Security of access is of course key for any networked device, so it makes sense that Kodak Alaris has made it such a focus for these scanners. They describe the S3000 range as offering 'true network scanning', and the Smart Touch interface defaults to multi-user mode as well as offering PIN controlled access if required. For smaller operations it is of course possible to set the scanner up in 'single user mode' with a direct connection to a PC.

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Kodak Alaris describe the S3000 range as 'built for today, ready for tomorrow', and it's fair to say that this robust, speedy and surprisingly user-friendly scanner is fit for anything its target market will want to throw at it - it is a more than worthy successor to the highly successful i3000 scanners it replaces.