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Mustek BearPaw Scanner 2448TA Plus review: Mustek BearPaw Scanner 2448TA Plus

Disappointing quality and lacklustre software made our experience with the Mustek BearPaw scanner an incredibly forgettable one.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables | Smartwatches | Mobile phones | Photography | Health tech | Assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides
3 min read

Design
There is little to get excited about with most flatbed scanners, enclosed in boring grey and black plastic with little decoration apart from some strategic brand placement. Fortunately, the Mustek provides a little novelty alongside the bland exterior expectations, with five buttons (copy, fax, email, panel, and the all-important scan) positioned like a paw print at the front of the device.

6.5

Mustek BearPaw Scanner 2448TA Plus

The Good

Negative adapters. Reasonable resolution on paper.

The Bad

Lacklustre quality scans. Hilariously ancient software interface. Buttons didn't work.

The Bottom Line

Disappointing quality and lacklustre software made our experience with the Mustek BearPaw scanner an incredibly forgettable one.

At the back, it's more of a mess of cords, with the power cable, USB connector and scanner interface cable cluttering up the real estate. The casing is fairly petite at 8x26.1x43.6cm, lightweight at 240 grams, and as a result takes up little space on a desk.

Features
The Mustek comes supplied with a built-in transparency adapter, which is capable of scanning 35mm and 120mm/medium format film. The scanner drivers are compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS, though, from our experiences below, we'd argue that "compatible" is a very loose term.

As mentioned, the one click operating buttons at the front are designed so you can instantly set up and go with the scanner. Its maximum optical resolution is 1,200dpi and it supports 48-bit colour.

Performance
Installing the Mustek was a tiresome process — included is a CD with drivers (for Windows XP and Mac OS apparently), but we encountered problems where the drivers weren't digitally signed or verified for Windows XP. Mustek also provided a disc which contained antiquated versions of Ulead Photo Express software and PictureShow.

Due to the incompatibility issues that these programs may have with newer operating systems like Windows Vista, we suggest downloading the drivers separately from the Mustek website and using your photo editing software of choice to obtain scans.

Naturally, our experience with the somewhat antiquated software reflected poorly on our overall impressions of the package — particularly when it came to scanning negatives where you need to have your own third-party imaging software (such as Photoshop) or use the provided Ulead Photo Express 5 program.

The buttons on the front of the scanner intrigued us the most, and we thought that pressing them would elicit some sort of response. Again, another disappointment, as the buttons did nothing. Instead, we resorted to using the scanner interface which mirrored the configuration on the front of the unit.

A plain flatbed scan of an A4 page took approximately 12 seconds from start to finish, after a 40-second warm up time. When we inspected the final result, we were very disappointed. Colours, which on the source page appeared bright, were just muddy in the scan with a layer of noise. We also found that the Mustek struggled with areas of detail, smudging and producing graininess instead.

Next, copying and printing a plain page of A4 black and white text took 24 seconds for the scanner to send the job to the printer, longer than a dedicated copier. The result, while clear, was incredibly faint (not an issue with the printer, but rather the scan quality).

Conclusion
We find it hard to recommend the Mustek in light of our difficulties with the software and the average scan quality. It's a disappointment, considering Mustek used to be a reputable name in scanners. For AU$199.95, we recommend you invest your money elsewhere.