Some scanners almost revel in their level of complexity, offering you umpteen different ways to carry out a task, but few ways to easily and quickly process simple jobs. The Kodak Scanmate i1150, though, goes to war against byzantine scan processes. Aimed primarily at businesses that have to handle large numbers of customers, or locations in which employees need flawless scanning immediately, the Scanmate is a one-stop-shop for perfect results.
The sheetfed doesn't dazzle you with elaborate control panels. Much of the smooth exterior is completely blank, and there's even a generously-sized ledge for holding cards, photos and other items that can identify the owner of the documents - should you be processing information on individuals, for instance, you'll find this a quick means of keeping track of who you're currently working on. The main controls are situated to the right, and work in conjunction with a colour LCD.
Operation is extremely simple, and you run through a list of supported file formats - including colour or black & white PDF or RTG documents, and TIFF pictures - and select the number of prints. And that's really all there is to it. The Kodak Alaris can automatically send specific files to a particular location for the most effective one-button results. You can't plug in USB drives or memory cards, but otherwise it's very easy to access files. With its 162 x 330 mm footprint, the Kodak Alaris is large enough not to be easily knocked off a tabletop, yet compact enough to leave plenty of deskspace. See all printer reviews.
Kodak Scanmate i1150 review: quick and quiet
In operation, the i1150 is quick but reasonably quiet. Bundles can combine a wide variety of different document types, so you don't need to be too fussy about what you put through it. The Scanmate can even handle barcodes without too much difficulty, giving it the ability to run through sizeable workloads at once. We didn't find the paper output to be the most effective though. Even when the output tray was extended to its furthest point, A4 documents had a habit of trapping themselves rather too easily.
We had few problems with material not feeding properly, though. Kodak Alaris' ultrasonic detection is good at listening to what is happening, and when more than one item gets sucked into the feeder, it calls a sudden halt to proceedings, making it unlikely that your documents will be ruined by an errant feed. Overall, the i1150 was easy to deal with. A4 is handled as standard, although an optional upgrade can convert this to an A3 model.
Kodak Scanmate i1150 review: scan speeds
The Scanmate doesn't aim to be the fastest on the market, but it's still a pretty slick performer. The assumption is that operators will need to process lots of relatively short bundles of documents. To that end, the i1150 has a 'Transaction' mode which aims at turning out the first 10 sheets (either double or single-sided) in a fast time, while taking longer from the eleventh sheet onwards. So at 200dpi, the first 10 sheets were turned out at the speed of 37.5ppm - only marginally down on the quoted maximum of 40ppm. The remaining sheets were noticeably slower, though, achieving speeds of just 25.8ppm. This is still fast, but if you'll be using the i1150 for large bundles, you should expect a significant drop in performance.
At 300dpi, the Kodak Alaris achieves speeds of 31.6ppm over the first 10 pages, but drops to 20.6ppm for subsequent sheets. Bear in mind that the scanner works in duplex mode, so you can effectively double these figures if you want to consider Sides Per Minute rather than Pages. The scanner has a Recommended Daily Volume of 3000 pages per day, which is fairly standard for a mid-volume sheetfed at this price-point. See all printer reviews.
Kodak Scanmate i1150 review: quality
Quality is good, with characters beautifully converted, and lines and shades subtlely handled. There are better photo scanners, but for handling varied bundles of documents, the Kodak Alaris offers more than enough quality to produce excellent results. 600dpi is available for the very best results, although the still very capable 300dpi mode is likely to be the favoured option when high quality and performance need to be combined.
The main software package will be the Limited Edition of Kodak Capture Pro. This comprehensive package takes in excellent OCR facilities and spectacular barcode reading (working in conjunction with the i1150's highly effective integrated barcode reader), as well as the more standard (though still powerful) imaging capabilities. It's a reasonably intuitive and effective program that allowed us to produce Searchable PDFs, and to separate different jobs from one another with ease. It can even work directly with SharePoint 2013.
Kodak Scanmate i1150 review: Verdict
The i1150 is relatively powerful given the simplicity of its operation. Results are smooth and the quality is good. There are better options for those wishing to work with heavier workloads, but provided you're looking to regularly run off smaller bundles of documents many times a day, it's an extremely workable solution that combines barcode reading and versatile document support to highly intuitive effect.
The Kodak Scanmate i1150 is powerful and easy to use. Results are smooth and the quality is good. For many serious businesses, the price tag won't be much of an issue given the stunning performance. Whether you're feeding in 200+ page bundles, or scanning books, this is a fantastic option for the office with very high aspirations.