Plustek SmartPhoto P60

Blog Scott Colvey Feb 18, 2011

A compact scanner that makes easy work of scanning photos but the quality isn't great and the price is unacceptably high.

Pros and Cons

Product Pros: + Easy to use – just plug in and go
+ Doesn’t require a power supply
Product Cons: - Scan quality is unexceptional
- Price is very high

The fact that most people now use digital cameras doesn't mean we don't still have countless photo prints tucked away from a previous age. Turning these priceless memories into digital photos requires an image scanner. The Plustek SmartPhoto P60 is a compact gadget designed primarily for the purpose of scanning photo prints. It requires minimal set-up and draws all its power from a USB port. But is it any good?

The P60 is intended for scanning 6 x 4in photo prints. As such, it has a 4in scanning slot, a button marked Scan and an activity-indicator light - and that's it. However, it does include a 6 x 4in sleeve that can be used to hold and scan smaller photos. Sadly, despite the packaging suggesting an ability to upload to Facebook and Flickr, the supplied software does little more than store scans as JPEG images.

From start to finish, a maximum resolution (600dpi) scan of a 
6 x 4in photo takes 36 seconds. This is acceptable but could get irksome if you're scanning a large pile of snaps. Halving the resolution to 300dpi halves the time it takes the P60 to complete each scan. In either case, though, quality seems unremarkable. 
Also, the P60 occasionally complains of feed misalignment though, annoyingly, only after running through the entire scanning process.

Ease of use         
Press the Scan button and the P60 dutifully sucks in and subsequently spits out the inserted photo, automatically saving the result as a JPEG. It couldn't be much simpler. There are a few configurable settings but the novice user can safely ignore these. Set-up is also straightforward and quick - plug in the USB cable (the P60 doesn't require a power supply), insert the supplied CD-ROM and it's ready to work. Top marks.

Value for money     
If Plustek suggested £30 as a selling price for the P60, we'd probably think "not bad", but it's actually been set at a penny short of £90. In a world where a quality A4 flatbed scanner can be picked up for £50, this is baffling. The package doesn't even include a software bundle beyond the absolute essentials. There is simply no justification for this expense.