Canon imageFormula ScanFront 400 Assessment

The Canon imageFormula ScanFront 400 ($1,995) is comparable in pace and obligation cycle to a number of a lot inexpensive doc scanners, together with the Editors’ Selection Epson WorkForce DS-860 ($999.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) . Not like most, nevertheless, it’s a “networked” scanner that has no USB port for connecting on to a single PC, although it does have three USB 2.0 ports for connecting peripherals, corresponding to a mouse, keyboard, and thumb drive. It resembles different fashions within the ScanFront household, with a management panel consisting of a contact display that acts as an interface to a full-blown tablet-like working system. And, like another Canon doc scanners we have reviewed, it saves to picture PDF and searchable PDF codecs quicker than most rivals.

Design and Options

Weighing just below 10 kilos and measuring 9.1 by 12 by 11.1 inches (HWD) with its trays closed, the ScanFront 400 ($1,496.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) is slightly larger and heavier than a number of competing fashions, together with the HP ScanJet Enterprise Stream 5000 s4 ($757.89 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) (7.5 by 12.2 by 7.8 inches, 8.4 kilos) and Canon’s personal imageFormula DR-M160II ($860.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) (9.1 by 11 by 9.8 inches, 7.1 kilos). Like a number of different Canon doc scanners, this one comes with the automated doc feeder (ADF) indifferent (you connect it throughout setup), and the duvet over the face of the machine folds down and extends into an output tray.

With each the enter and the output trays totally prolonged, the ScanFront 400 doubles in top and triples in depth, however continues to be sufficiently small to suit comfortably on most desktops. Just like the HP ScanJet 5000 and the Epson DS-860, the ScanFront 400’s every day obligation cycle is 6,000 scans per day; the Canon DR-M160II’s is 7,000 scans. As well as, the ScanFront 400’s ADF holds solely 60 sheets (just like the DR-M160II’s), whereas the ScanJet 5000 and DS-860 each have 80-sheet ADFs. Connectivity consists of a sole Gigabit Ethernet port and, as talked about, there are three USB ports for connecting peripherals. With a keyboard and mouse connected, working the ScanFront 400 is very similar to utilizing a Home windows PC or Mac.

The phrase ScanFront on this scanner’s identify refers back to the tablet-like person interface talked about earlier, which is accessed by way of the ten.1-inch contact display on the unit’s entrance. The house display consists of six vacation spot icons (E-mail, FTP, Fax, Shared folder, USB reminiscence, and Printer) that take up a lot of the proper aspect of the display. A listing of administrative duties and navigation choices, corresponding to Administrator Settings, Person Settings, and House, resides on the left. The choices obtainable from this management are intensive sufficient to be considerably sophisticated. You’ll be able to create job (or profile) buttons for every person that make utilizing the ScanFront 400 pretty easy. The ScanFront 400 helps each administrative (public) and person (non-public) handle books for preconfigured one-touch scans with simultaneous a number of locations, and you may outline every person’s privileges individually—all from the management panel. Different safety features embrace PDF encryption, SSL (HTTPS) communications over the community and the Web, and audit path logging for monitoring exercise.

Canon ImageFormula ScanFront 400Canon ImageFormula ScanFront 400

Setup and Software program

Setup is sophisticated sufficient to require some data of laptop naming and path conventions, in addition to some networking savvy normally. The ScanFront 400 comes with a thick hard-copy handbook, however sadly it covers an older model of the OS than the one put in on the overview unit I acquired. That left me looking the interface for the community settings till I discovered an up to date model of the handbook on the bundled CD. As soon as I obtained to the best place, getting into the host identify, path, username, and password was easy sufficient. However after a number of makes an attempt, the ScanFront administrative program I put in on the testbed PC nonetheless could not connect with the scanner, which left just one alternative—to name tech assist.

A technician answered instantly, however he did not appear accustomed to the ScanFront 400’s OS. He left me on maintain whereas he checked with coworkers. After a while, the technician got here again and confirmed me activate an important setting—Permit distant operation—embedded a number of layers deep within the person interface (UI). Once I requested why this feature was switched off by default, he commented that it was for safety. That is superb, however the step of turning on distant entry was not talked about within the setup process outlined in both the previous or new handbook. In any case, the testbed PC may finally connect with the scanner, permitting me to entry it over the Ethernet community with Canon’s ScanFront Administrative Device for the SF400, the one program that comes with this scanner.

Canon ImageFormula ScanFront 400Canon ImageFormula ScanFront 400

The instrument merely shows a listing of obtainable ScanFront 400 scanners and their standing, in addition to an Open Net Menu possibility. This opens a webpage (served up from the scanner’s built-in HTTP server) that shows a UI similar to the interface on the scanner itself. A Safe Socket Layer (SSL) error informing me that the webpage was not safe displayed every time I attempted to entry the ScanFront 400’s Net interface, however I ignored it. As soon as I realized use this UI, I had no bother configuring profiles, customers, locations, and scans, or with scanning. Actually, apart from the mismatched handbook and lacking directions on permitting distant entry, I discovered the UI intuitive and complex.

As for the SSL error, to get safe HTTPS you’ll need to obtain an SSL encryption key. As well as, you possibly can handle as much as 1,000 ScanFront 400 scanners from the executive software program.

Scanning Efficiency

Once more, whether or not you utilize the management panel with the ScanFront 400 sitting in your desk beside you, otherwise you scan from the Net interface a number of rooms (or cities) away, the interface is identical. After configuring the scanner to save lots of to a shared folder on our Core i5 testbed PC working Home windows 10, I ran my exams from the ScanFront’s UI, with spectacular outcomes. Not like most competing scanners we have reviewed (however like a number of Canon scanners, together with the DR-M160II), the ScanFront 400 didn’t require a lot lag time (the time between scanning and subsequently changing and saving the scans to PDF format) to transform and save scanned pages to both picture or searchable PDF format.

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For instance, the ScanFront 400 scanned our 25-sheet, 50-page check doc at 46 pages per minute (ppm) single-sided (or simplex) and 95 photographs per minute (ipm) double-sided (duplex). Each outcomes are increased than its ranking of 45ppm and 90ipm. It transformed and saved the identical pages to picture PDF at 45ppm and 91ipm. However much more spectacular was how shortly it saved to the extra versatile searchable PDF format. It scanned, transformed, and saved the complete check doc in 34 seconds. By comparability, the Epson DS-860 took 1 minute, 12 seconds, or greater than twice as lengthy, to carry out the identical process, the HP ScanJet 5000 took 45 seconds, and the Canon DR-M160II tied the dearer ScanFront 400 at solely 34 seconds.

OCR and Different Checks

To check how properly the ScanFront 400 converts scans to editable textual content, I first used the scanner’s default decision of 200ppi, with less-than-competitive outcomes. Our Arial font check web page transformed down to eight factors, and the Instances New Roman font web page all the way down to 10 factors, in each circumstances with out errors. On the similar decision, the HP ScanJet 5000 and the Canon DR-M160II had been error-free down to six factors and 5 factors, respectively. However once I raised the decision to 300ppi, conversion on the ScanFront 400 improved to six factors for the Arial web page and eight factors for the Instances New Roman web page. That is acceptable, however nonetheless not so good as some competing fashions’ outcomes at decrease resolutions. Rising the decision to 400ppi improved the Instances New Roman to six factors with out errors (Arial remained at 6 factors), however scan instances practically doubled. For a lot of functions, 8 factors for Arial and 10 factors for Instances New Roman are acceptable, however for those who scan contracts and different paperwork with superb print, you will want to extend the ScanFront 400’s decision setting.

I additionally scanned a number of stacks of enterprise playing cards, in addition to a number of off-size pages, corresponding to an 8.5-by-20-inch auto mortgage contract, with good outcomes, and the scanner did not balk at processing stacks of different-size paperwork. Most enterprise playing cards scanned with out errors, however the ScanFront 400 would not include enterprise card archiving software program, or any doc administration utility in any respect, for that matter.


The Canon ImageFormula ScanFront 400 is completely different from different equally rated doc scanners outdoors the ScanFront line in a number of methods, beginning with the elegant and environment friendly touch-screen management panel and Net UI. At practically $2,000, it is far more costly than different doc scanners with related capability, however the built-in community performance and contact UI are in all probability price it. Its scanning speeds are gradual for a scanner at this worth, however it saves to PDF at a really respectable clip, thereby maintaining with even some higher-rated rivals. Setup just isn’t for the faint of coronary heart, and an outdated and inaccurate handbook would not assist, however after getting it up and working, its assist for a number of customers and talent to ship scans to a number of areas directly render it fairly helpful in a number of enterprise eventualities. All this and extra makes the Canon imageFormula ScanFront 400 our latest Editors’ Selection for midrange-to-heavy-duty community scanning in small and medium-size workplaces and workgroups.

Canon imageFormula ScanFront 400


  • Elegant tablet-like interface and matching Net UI.

  • Very quick textual content recognition when scanning to searchable PDF information.

  • Helps a number of customers and profiles, in addition to scanning to a number of locations directly.

  • Configurable from practically any Web connection.

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The Backside Line

The Canon imageFormula ScanFront 400 community doc scanner could also be costly, however it offers elegant and environment friendly scanning, in addition to speedy conversion to searchable PDF, from a ten.1-inch tablet-like show and OS.

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