Review: Canon Imageformula P-150 mobile scanner

Canon Imageformula P-150 Mobile Scanner - Photo: Mobile Magazine

The Canon Imageformula P-150 is the latest mobile scanner from Canon.  It sells for under $300 online, and can scan at duplex up to 20 sheets per sitting.  A perfect portable scanning companion for your mobile office.   Definitely compact in size, light-weight and measuring only 11 x 3.7 x 1.6-inches, the P-150 is thin enough to slip in your laptop bag or rucksack.  The shiny piano black finish gives off a “high-end” expensive look, but marks up and requires the white glove treatment.   The expandable paper tray alignment hopper folds out like a Transformer and can be adjusted to the exact size you need it to be.   Document feeding alignment was excellent, it stayed on course all throughout the process.

Power and connectivity are supplied by dual usb-ports.  It can run off a single port – just slower – two ports are ideal.  An AC adapter can also remove your dependence on the dual port situation, but the adapter costs extra.   The P-150 will scan documents in width from as little as 2-inches (business cards) to 8.5-inches, and 2.7-inches up to 14-inches in length.  This means legal paper size is supported.

Maximum scanning resolutions are 24-bit color at 600dpi.  The following scan times were achieved in the test:

8.5×11 double sided 15 seconds 300dpi 24bit
8.5×11 single sided 73 seconds 600dpi 24bit
8.5×11 single sided 11 seconds 150dpi greyscale
10 page stack single side 150dpi greyscale 34 seconds
100% Crop Magazine Ad Scan (3.09MB)

At only 2.1 pounds and measuring 11-inches wide, the compactness of Canon’s P-150 is what will appeal to many users.  Scan times are quick, resolution is sharp and the ADF (automatic document feeder) had very little trouble in alignment with various paper stocks.  This is important, especially in a professional environment, when speed is critical and you don’t want the signatory page of your contract feeding on an angle and getting mangled by the rollers.

Canon P-150 mobile scanner

I found software was its major downfall. Canon has recently added Mac OS X drivers to the product family, however Windows was only available at the time of the test.  The CaptureOnTouch  software lacked the ability to customize multiple scanning presets for later use.  Canon could have invested a little more time in this department.  Twain and Isis drivers however do let you use other supported scanning applications, but it’s nice to have a more versatile package straight out of the box.

Bottom Line
Windows, Mac and Linux support is a bonus.  The size and design are very appealing and matches the traditional IBM Thinkpad look that many mobile business users have grown accustomed to.  Software, if not using third-party applications could be a deal breaker for many.  No wall power adapter included, USB or nothing – which is fine for most mobile users.


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2 Comments

  1. Tom Ross says:

    Linux support is a facade- the linux drivers do not work, they are only 32 bit in any case and the are out of date.

    Canon know this but are determined not to do anything about it.

    http://lowerstrata.blogspot.com/2010/07/canon-p-150-and-linux.html

  2. Curt Foster says:

    I am specifically looking for a scanner that will read business cards and organize them in a file transferable to Outlook. Will the Canon P-150 do so?

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