The Astra 5600 would ideally be ideally placed as a SOHO scanner if we go by its speed and performance results, but at a street price of around Rs. 4,900, it may as well be a great printer for home users with slightly extendable budgets.
The UMAX Astra 5600 supports an optical resolution of 1200x2400 dpi and a maximum digitally interpolated resolution of 19200x19200dpi at 48-bit color. The scanning area on the flat bed is of the standard A4 size (8.5”x11.5”).
The scanners give the user hotkeys for Scanning, OCR, Mailing and Printing (Photo Copying if you have a printer attached to the same machine). There's also an extra button, whose functionality can be defined by the user.
Our actual scanning tests showed some pretty good results when it come to image sharpness and detail capturing. The scanner proved excellent when it came to document and paper details, like identifying grooves that were placed a little above the scanner bed, giving the picture a sense of depth.
The only complaint I have with the scanner is that it tends to make the colors look a little too vivid than they actually are. This could be a great thing when you're using the scanner at home to digitally archive old photos but not for professional use where color accuracy is required. When scanning special colors, the problem becomes a lot more apparent. Since special colors tend to naturally be quite loud, the scanner goes a bit overboard and makes the color appear a bit too intense, losing out on the texture details of that area.
But what the scanner lacks in color accuracy, it more than makes up in detail and speed. A complex A4-sized page takes around a total of 2 minutes 35 seconds at the highest optical resolution, which is pretty good compared to some other scanners in the same price segment.
The UMAX Astra 5600 is definitely recommended to home users and SOHO users who wouldn't mind, or would even appreciate that extra flamboyant look to their scans. If you're planning to use the scanner for professional printing/imaging purposes, look elsewhere.
Updated 19 May, 2013, 11:16 am IST
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