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Brother ADS-1700W duplex portable scanner
4.1Overall Score
Name: Brother ADS-1700W duplex portable scanner
Price (RRP): $$499
Manufacturer: Brother

The Brother ADS-1700W is a portable, duplex (double-sided) sheetfed scanner that is rated for high volume up to 1000 scans a day.

Although portable is a misnomer – the Brother ADS-1700W duplex portable scanner is more of a very compact scanner without a battery at 300(W) x 103(D) x 83(H)mm x 1.4kg.

The key to this scanner’s portability is the use of dual CIS (Contact Imaging Sensor) that eliminates the need for bulky optic lenses, mirrors, RGB filters, separate light sources and CCD (Charged Coupled Device) or CMOS sensors.

CCD is the same technology used in high-end cameras. Coupled with the right lenses and light source it gives a superior image/scan including a wider colour gamut (colour space). It can also scan items placed on a platen including items of varying thickness.

CIS is perfect for a sheet-fed scanner where hundreds of LEDs and fibre optic lenses to transfer the original image information. CIS can give a higher optical resolution, no lens distortion and higher reliability at the expense of a wider colour gamut.

Brother ADS-1700W

And before you say it is not for photos the hugely successful Epson FastFoto, FF-680W uses CIS and scored 4.7 in GadgetGuy’s comprehensive review here. CIS with good software is hard to beat for most sheetfed scanning needs – just keep the scanning windows and rollers clean.

Review: Brother ADS-1700W duplex scanner RRP $499

Website here

In the box

  • The diminutive scanner – the ADF folds over as a cover
  • 5V/3A power supply with round pin socket. Power can also come via the Micro-B cable, but scan speeds may be lower depending on the current supplied
  • USB-A 3.0 to micro-B cable (as used in some external hard disks for faster data transfer up to 4.8Gbps)
  • CD software, otherwise it is a 200MB driver/firmware plus close to 400MB of software inc Paper Port and Brother iPrint and Scan.
  • Quick set up guide (online 208-page manual here)

Scan Speed

It rated at 25 A4 pages per minute regardless of colour or mono source originals. So, we put 20 printed A4 sheets (maximum) in the auto document feeder (ADF) and hit the start button. The result was the equivalent of 28 sheets per minute at the default 300 DPI resolution – nice to see conservative figures quoted. Full duplex means the two CIS bars (one each side) scan both sides of the paper at once.

I am not a fan of 300 DPI scans resolution – it is fine for paperwork, and you can swap to 600 x 600 DPI native (or 1200 DPI interpolated). This reduces scan speeds by about 50% and increases file size up to 6MB

Paper handling

The ADSF handles from 51 to 215.9mm wide and up to 863mm long (banner). Acceptable paper weight is from 51.8 up to 200gsm.

Brother ADS-1700W

Business/credit cards up to 86.5 x 54mm and 1.24mm thickness use a Plastic card setting and separate feed slot on the front panel. You can only scan one card at a time and as a precaution remove oily fingerprints from then cards with glasses lens cleaner.

Brother state that it is not a photo scanner. After our great experience with the Epson FastFoto we did try photos, and they were fine. Brother is concerned that the scanner could damage the surface of glossy photos as the feed and separation rollers are quite aggressive.

Then there are all the usual warnings about not scanning things with staples, paper clips and to fan the paper before scanning to reduce misfeeds etc.

We tested with 80, 135 and 200gsm paper and all fed successfully. Although we can make that comment about any new scanner. And, being portable, it has smaller rollers so do not push it too far with heavy stock.

The paper loaded in the ADF needs to be the same size (it can be different weights) and make sure the document feeder guides are correct – otherwise, it is too easy for a single centre pick-up roller to skew documents.