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No doubt about it, you can see right through Hewlett-Packard's new vertical flatbed scanner, the Scanjet 4670, but in this case, that's not bad news. The Scanjet 4670 needs a little improvement in the area of image reproduction, but if you're looking for the ultimate in desktop style or you're trying to reduce clutter, this scanner hits the mark. If you want high-quality photo scans, check out Epson's Perfection 1670 Photo instead.
The Scanjet 4670 is unique and, hands-down, the most cool-looking scanner we've ever seen. It stands vertically on your desk--two metal legs flip out to prop it up--but you can also fold the legs away in order to store the scanner or use it horizontally. When set up, the scanner looks like a large picture frame; both the front and back pieces of the scanner have document-size transparent windows. With a brushed-silver frame on top of it all, the Scanjet 4670 is a sleek and elegant desktop addition. The clean, clearly labeled, one-touch buttons lining the right edge of the scanner are convenient, and they don't detract from the streamlined design. The scanner also comes with a separate Transparent Materials Adapter that attaches for easy film and slide scanning.
The step-by-step video instructions included on the installation disc make setting up this scanner a cinch. Like most HP scanners, the Scanjet 4670 comes with HP Photo & Imaging software, a no-frills photo- and image-editing app, and Hemera's Greeting Card Creator software, a fun little addition for creating and printing cards. You also get IRIS's software for optical character recognition (OCR), called Readiris Pro, and an app for making panoramic photos, ArcSoft Panorama Maker. A one-year warranty tops off the package.
While we were scanning a document to test the Scanjet 4670, we couldn't help but notice that this scanner goes about its business in absolute silence, something no other scanner we've reviewed recently could boast. Unfortunately, when we viewed the reproduced image on our 19-inch Samsung SyncMaster 957MB flat-screen CRT, the results were only so-so. Though the Scanjet 4670 produced crisp text scans and picked up color and text detail, color graphics turned out grainy and very slightly overexposed, and photographic images looked a bit overpixelated and showed some yellow coloration that was absent from the original.
Editor's note: We have updated the ratings of this product to reflect changes in this category.