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Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 Review

Price:   $336 List
Pros:  Great character recognition, quite fast
Cons:  Relatively poor scan quality for the price, particularly for color documents
Bottom line:  Great character recognition, but only average scan quality for the price
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Canon

Our Verdict

While the Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 is a good overall scanner, it sits in an odd spot in terms of its performance and price. For example, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 often sells for a bit less at most retail sites, and offers slightly better scan quality with few other downsides. Also, the top performing Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap sells for about $100 more, which doesn't feel like much when you're already considering spending over $300 on a scanner. The Canon's one big advantage is its very accurate character recognition, although it's competitors aren't far behind. Therefore, unless getting the most accurate character recognition is your top priority, we don't feel that the Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 is the best choice for most people.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 31, 2017

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The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 performs quite well all around, but other stronger contenders in the same price range make it a hard sell for most people.

The Canon ImageFormula has the best text recognition capabilities of any of the models we tested.
The Canon ImageFormula has the best text recognition capabilities of any of the models we tested.

Performance Comparison


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 was one of the top overall performers in our testing, as you can see in the table above. However, other models in the same price range outdo it in terms of overall value.

Scan Quality


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 was somewhat average in our scan quality testing, picking up a score of 6 out of 10. In terms of printed text and handwritten text it was quite good, with the resulting PDFs looking nearly as good as the originals. It tended to make receipts look a bit smudged and washed out, but it never made any part of any receipt look illegible. It mostly lost points due to its color scans, which came out looking overly saturated and dark, often making graphs and figures looks a bit blacked out.

The ImageFormula handled written and typed text quite well.
The ImageFormula handled written and typed text quite well.

The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225's main competitor, the Epson WorkForce ES-400, scored an 8 out of 10 in this metric. It was significantly better in scan quality with near perfect digitization of handwritten text, printed text, and receipts. It also did a significantly better job handling full color documents, with all the shades looking much more natural and true.

Color documents came out looking overly dark.
Color documents came out looking overly dark.

Speed


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 was one of the fastest scanners we tested, tying for the penultimate score of 8 out of 10. It pumped through our 10-page, double-sided test document in just 24 seconds, resulting in a speed of 25 pages per minute. Its automatic document feed has a capacity of 30 pages, so for longer documents you'll have to reload the feeder every minute or so. The Epson WorkForce ES-400 was a bit behind with a speed of 14 pages per minute, and it only has a 10-page automatic document feeder. This makes the Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 the clear winner in its price range in terms of speed.

The ImageFormula is very fast
The ImageFormula is very fast

Software


In terms of software the Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 takes the cake, earning the top score of 9 out of 10 in this metric. It has an intuitive interface, easy file management, and is both Mac and PC compatible. Where it really impresses, however, is in its optical character recognition. It was the closest to 100% accuracy of any of the models we tested, with just occasional missed words here and there. If you're specifically looking for documents that can be searched by keyword, this is the scanner for you. However, that isn't to say the Canon ImageFormula DR-C225's software bows the Epson WorkForce ES-400's out of the water. It scored a 7 out of 10 in this metric, and while its menus are a little harder to navigate, the character recognition is very close behind, with only a few extra words missed when compared to the Canon.

User Friendliness


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in this metric with a number of other model, including the Epson WorkForce ES-400. The Canon's software was easy to install and we had it talking to our computer and scanning within 15 minutes. Both the automatic document feeder and output paper tray worked perfectly with no jams and kept our testing desk clutter free.

The ImageFormula's simple interface.
The ImageFormula's simple interface.

Value


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 lists and generally sells for $336. This feels like a fair price given its performance. However, the Epson WorkForce ES-400 generally sells for a bit less (around $280) and offers better scan quality, but its character recognition is just slightly less accurate. Also, the top performing Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap sells for about $100 more. Therefore, unless your biggest concern is the most accurate character recognition, we think the Epson and Fujitsu offer better values.

Conclusion


The Canon ImageFormula DR-C225 offers the best optical character recognition we tested, but otherwise it is outdone by other models in the same price range.
Max Mutter and Steven Tata

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