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Continuing improvements in scanners have made it cheaper and easier to turn photos into digital images that you can enhance, resize, and share.
More for the money. For about $80--what could get you only a basic scanner last year--you can buy a higher-resolution model with good image-editing software and the ability to handle prints, slides, and negatives.
Faster connections. USB 2.0 connections have become the norm, offering a speed boost above USB 1.0 when used with a USB 2.0-equipped computer. All the scanners tested have USB 2.0 ports.
Stand-up performance. The typical clamshell design isn't the only option. The HP ScanJet 4670 (pictured) stands upright, and it can be used in that position or placed flat to scan bulky materials. Other units, including some Canons, can be used and stored in an upright position.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Among the 14 flatbed scanners we tested, we found many fine choices and good values. We also looked at four specialized film scanners for negatives and slides. (See First Look, below.)
Settle on a resolution. The scanners in this report range in maximum resolution from 600 dots per inch to 3,200 dpi. Just because you can scan at high resolutions, though, doesn't mean you should. The higher the …