The 4370 can struggle with the halftones, but otherwise it's good, fast and great value.
Cheap and versatile
Good overall performance
Basic film scanning
Bulkier than the LIDE 60
Rather basic interface
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The HP 4370 sells for about a fiver more than the Canon LIDE 60, but it can scan 35mm film. As a reflective scanner, it's very good. Like the LIDE 60, it has push-button controls on the front (scan, film, copy, email), and while it is substantially bulkier, thanks to its CCD design and separate power supply, it's a little faster.
The scanning interface is a bit spartan, though, and you have to go looking for options that are on plain view with the others. The descreening option, for example, is hidden in the menus. There's precious little hand-holding here, so novices will face a short but steep learning curve. Our machine also tried to crop our A4 documents to 6x4 inches. No doubt this was a scanning preference that could be changed, but we never did find out where.
Scanning speeds were good, especially given the price. Indeed, the 4370 gave the more expensive ScanJet 4890 a run for its money here. Our scan tests revealed top-rate saturation, contrast and colour fidelity. All the scanners performed so well, and so similarly, in this respect that it's hard to split them.
Close examination of the colour magazine page scan revealed some interesting differences, though. The HP's descreening filter slows down the scan times, but it didn't have much effect, if any, on the printer dots in our colour magazine scan. The unscreened 150dpi scan came out with excellent text sharpness, as did all the others, but with strong interference effects in photos.
The 6x4-inch photo scan was very good, however, and demonstrated that a £65 scanner can be as good as any at this job.
The 4370 is a little more versatile and more effective than the LIDE 60, but only if you don't mind the extra size and cabling.
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