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Canon imageFORMULA P-150M review

Can this portable sheet-feed scanner put in a premium performance away from home?

Our Verdict

For

  • Speedy
  • Excellent portability

Against

  • Too unreliable
  • Doesn't like multiple pages

Sheet-feed scanners come in very useful when scanning multi-page documents, and portable models are useful when working away from home.

Canon's ImageFORMULA P-150M is small and light enough to fit in your bag; it's powered by USB and is plug and play, with no driver installation required.

You just run the CaptureOnTouch Lite application from the virtual disk that mounts when you connect the scanner to your Mac. The P-150M can scan anything from A4-sized documents to business cards. It can be powered from a single USB port, but if you connect the supplied USB power cable to either a second USB port or the mains via an adapter (sold separately), it runs faster.

It can scan in black and white, greyscale or colour, to JPEG, TIFF or PDF, and if you need to scan double-sided documents, its Duplex feature allows you to do so in a single pass.

When powered by two USB ports, at the default 200dpi setting the P-150M scanned a single A4 text page in black and white in just 10.7 seconds. Although the characters were a little pixellated, the results were readable.

Ramping up the resolution to 600dpi, we got a smoother, clearer document, but it took 28.6 seconds. With only one USB port used, it was only a little slower. But for all its speed, ease of use and scan quality, the P-150M lacks reliability.

We tested two separate units, and when scanning documents printed on ordinary, 80gsm photocopier paper, both proved prone to misfeeds, paper jams and pages in the sheet feeder not being recognised. Canon claims it has a 20-page ADF, but it seldom got through this quantity without pulling a page in sideways and jamming at least once.

It performed better with photographs and thinner paper, and also with pages that had been flat for a while and therefore lacked the slight curl found when fresh out of the printer or photocopier. Yet it's difficult to recommend a document scanner that struggles with freshly printed documents.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSheetfed Scanner
Optical Resolution600 dpi
USBYes
Product FamilyimageFORMULA
Brand NameCanon
Media SizeA4, 50.80 mm x 70 mm, 216 mm x 256 mm
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, ENERGY STAR
Scan ColorColour
Grayscale Depth8-bit
Hardware Resolution600 x 600 dpi
Maximum Mono Scan Speed (ppm)15
Maximum Color Scan Speed (ppm)10
Maximum Mono Scan Speed (ipm)30
Maximum Color Scan Speed (ipm)20
Height40 mm
Width280 mm
Depth95 mm
Media TypePlain Paper
Colour Depth24-bit
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelP-150M
Product NameimageFORMULA P-150M Sheetfed Scanner
Product LineimageFORMULA
Image SensorCIS
Manufacturer Part Number4632B003
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing Information

Ultra-compact, it is the fastest, most portable A4 duplex scanner for Mac users. With unique built-in software and USB power-up, this multi-platform mobile scanner, scans up to 15ppm/30ipm and can be used on both Mac and PC systems. Its sophisticated black piano finish and compact design is ideal for Mac users on the road, in the office or at home.

Platform SupportedMac
Package Contents
  • imageFORMULA P-150M Sheetfed Scanner
  • Software CD
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)970 g