Earlier this year, Bill and I reviewed several of the Panasonic KV-Series document scanners. We both agreed that they were very capable pieces of hardware. The only issue I had with it is that Panasonic had not developed OSX drivers for those of us who use Macs, a huge oversight in my opinion. My only viable option was to run Windows via BootCamp or Parallels – a tolerable but not very eloquent solution. Fortunately, Brother has released the ImageCenter ADS-2500W high speed document scanner that has more features, capabilities, and – best yet – Mac drivers.
The Brother ADS-2500W is a high speed, duplex (single-pass) scanner with a multitude of output and destination options. Similar to other desktop scanners, it’s designed with a straight-through paper path from the automatic document feeder (ADF) into the output tray. In addition to the standard (8.5 x 11/14) document, the scanner and software suite supports the scanning of images, business cards, and plastic cards; supported sizes range from 2″ to 8.5″ in width and from 2.76″ up to 34″ in length. It will handle paper thicknesses between 14 to 53 lbs for a single page and 14 to 29 lbs for multi-page scanning. It has connectivity to your computer via USB cable or WiFi network or the internet via wired Ethernet or WiFi network. In addtion to all this, the ADS-2500W has a color touchscreen for scanning without the need of a computer.
This desktop scanner weighs 7.9 pounds and measures 11.8 by 8.7 inches when closed and 18.75 inches long when flipped open. Its build quality, professional design and appearance are very nice and would look good on any workspace. Its ability to fold up enables it to be pushed/set into a corner of a desk, minimizing its physical footprint, while being easily accessible when needed.
- Network Connectivity – Wireless & Ethernet capabilities
- Color TouchScreen Display – Easy to use 3.7″ Color swipe TouchScreen Display
- Scan to Web (Cloud) – Direct scanning to various cloud applications including GOOGLE DOCS®, EVERNOTE®, DROPBOX, PICASA WEB ALBUMS®, FACEBOOK™ and FLICKR®.
- Scan Destinations – Scan to Web‡ (cloud), USB memory flash drive‡, Android™ phone/tablet‡, E-mail server, FTP, Network and PC (Image, OCR, e-mail and File)
- High Speed scanning – Scans up to 24ppm B&W and Color‡
- Duplex scanning – Two-sided scanning in a single pass
- High Volume Scanning – Up to 50-sheet auto document feed capacity (ADF)
- High Quality – Resolution up to 600 x 600 dpi(optical) 1200 x 1200 dpi (interpolated)
- Flexible Media – Including documents, business cards, plastic ID cards (insurance cards, drivers licenses and ID cards), receipts and photos
- Advanced Features – Multi-feed detection, background removal, blank page removal, deskew support, continuous scanning mode and 2-in-1 mode
- Operating System – Windows®, Mac® and Linux compatible
- Software Suite – Nuance™ PDF Converter Professional 7 (Windows®) (Not supporting XP 64bit), Nuance™ Paper Port™ 12SE including Microsoft® SharePoint connector (Windows®), Presto!® PageManager® 9 (Mac®), Presto!® BizCard® 5 (Mac®) / 6 (Windows®), Control Center 4 (Windows®), Control Center 2 (Mac®)
Single Sided / Two Sided: Up to 24ppm/48ipm
Two-sided (duplex) scanning
Standard Network Interface
Wireless 802.11 b/g/n and Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX
3.7″ Color TouchScreen Display
Maximum Paper Capacity
Up to 50 sheets (max. length 14″)‡
Maximum Paper Capacity (long)
Single sheet only (max. length 34″)
Minimum Media Sizes
Widths 2.0″ and lengths 2.76″
Maximum Media Sizes
Widths up to 8.5″ and lengths up to 34″ (single sheet only)
Single Page: 14 lb to 53 lb Multi-Page: 14 lb to 29 lb
Widths up to 8.5″ and lengths up to 34″
24-bit color, 8-bit (256 levels) gray scale, 1 bit monochrome
Up to 600 x 600 dpi
Daily Duty Cycle ‡
Up to 1,500 scans per day
6ft detachable cable (TYPE: USB 2.0)
Hi-Speed USB 2.0
11.8″ W x 8.7″ D x 7.1″ H
Approximately 7.9 lb
Ready = approximately 7W, Deep Sleep = 1.5W, Scanning = 18W
Windows®, Mac® and Linux; compatible
ADS-2500W, Power supply cord, USB cable, Document Carrier Sheet, Plastic Card Carrier Sheet, Quick Setup Guide, User’s Guide (DVD-ROM), Product Safety Guide, Driver software for Windows®/Mac® (DVD-ROM)
Installation and Setup
Installation of the software went well enough. However, all the applications and firmware needed to be updated before the device worked with my MacBook Pro. Once updated, everything communicated and operated as advertised. While you can setup all of the needed fields via the ADS-2500W’s 3.7″ color touchscreen interface, it is much easier to hardwire it to your computer via USB cable and input everything that way.
I have to admit, figuring out all the correct input information took time and a bit of research. Overall, if you are computer savvy at all, getting the ADS-2500W fully operational is not all that difficult, but if you have an IT person available, have them do it. The Control Center interface allows greater control over input options than the touchscreen and is definitely the way to go for inputting all the necessary user data and passwords to get the scan-to FTP, email server, cloud service (gDrive, DropBox, Facebook, etc), or network drive features working and emails entered.
I can see the ADS-2500W working well in a home office setting or shared business environment. Its internal memory can store and send to 300 email addresses and simultaneously support up to 10 network/internet-based profiles, such as file servers, gDrive or FTP locations. You can also insert a thumbdrive into the USB port located on the right side of the scanner and directly scan your documents and images to it (once again) without the need of a computer.
Along with being feature-rich, Brother bundles a robust software suite with the ADS-2500W. The suite includes Brother’s Control Center scan utility; Nuance Paper Port 12SE (for Windows) and Presto! PageManager 9 (for Mac) for document management and optical character recognition (OCR); Presto! BizCard 6; and Nuance PDF Converter Professional 7 (for Windows), which lets you create, edit, search, and collaborate on PDF files, and send them to Cloud-based services. It also has Twain, WIA, and ISIS drivers, which enable you scan from virtually any program that has a scan command.
You can control a majority of its functions, including scan type, format, resolution, and destinations, from its 3.7-inch color touchscreen. As stated previously, this capability enables you to scan to a large number of locations, individuals and/or groups without the need of a computer. You can do nearly anything from the touchscreen that you can from the computer interface, albeit much more slowly. Even though it’s not the highest resolution screen, I find it more than useable and one of the best abilities/features of the ADS-2500W.
According to the specs, the ADS-2500W can scan up to 24 pages per minute (ppm) for one-sided scanning and 24 ppm/48 images per minute (ipm) for duplex scanning, where each side of a two-sided document counts as one image. While I did not conduct timed performance testing, I did take note of how very zippy the ADS-2500W scanned both one- and two-sided documents and images. I occasionally need to scan documents at work and have been impressed how much faster and jam-free this scanner is in comparison to similar ones I have used there.
The quality of the scans from both OCR, PDF, and image standpoints were excellent. Even at 300 or 600 dpi, the ADS-2500W barely skipped a beat. Occasionally it slowed down, but that was the exception versus the rule.
Features & Function
To say the ImageCenter ADS-2500W scanner is highly capable is an understatement. Its specifications, feature set, functional capabilities and software suite I have described above make it one of the best scanners I have used to date.
Overall, I really like and would recommend the Brother ImageCenter ADS-2500W to anyone who needs to scan regularly to a variety of destinations or who wants to transform their paper world into an digital one. That said, the ADS-2500W is not inexpensive; with a MSRP of $799, it is definitely an investment in a one-purpose piece of hardware. Bill put it well in our previous review: “.…some readers may think the price is high, but to keep the purchase in perspective, these (types of) scanners are not meant for the casual user”. If you need to do more than basic scanning with the the Cloud, FTP, emailing, and/or an enterprise environments in mind, the very feature-rich ADS-2500W is definitely worth considering.