By Andrew Liszewski
Converting a CD to MP3 files is pretty much a one-step process these days. (Unless you’re really anal about how the tracks are ripped and compressed.) But converting a printed book into an eBook to enjoy on your eReader is far more involved. And while Plustek’s new OpticBook 3800 scanner doesn’t make it as easy as inserting a book and hitting go, it does provide some key advantages if scanning printed pages is a priority for you.
The leading edge of the scanning bed has an extremely thin bezel which facilitates scanning the pages of a book as close to the inner spine as possible. While the company’s ‘SEE’ or ‘Shadow Elimination Element’ technology removes the shadow and distorted text that usually appear close to the spine. The scanner’s lid also features a very generous layer of foam padding which helps flatten books or pages against the scanner bed, further reducing curved distortions on the scanned page. Unfortunately turning pages and processing each scanned image with the included collection of OCR software is left to you. Of course a machine that will do all of that for you does exist, for a mere $250,000. While Plustek’s alternative is just $300.