The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e ($349.99) is an apt, low-priced sheet-fed document scanner designed for low- to midrange-volume scanning in a small office, and it should also make a good personal document scanner. Like the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C225, it comes with an assortment of top-tier scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) software, as well as document and business card management applications. While its scanning speeds come close to matching Brother’s ratings, it’s a bit slow at saving to searchable PDF. It’s still fast enough for the price, though, and its OCR accuracy approaches that of higher-priced competitors, making it a solid budget-friendly alternative to the Canon DR-C225.
At 7.1 by 11.8 by 8.7 inches (HWD) with its trays closed, and weighing 7.3 pounds, the ADS-2000e is about average in size and weight for its class. Like many sheet-fed scanners, the cover over the face opens into an automatic document feeder (ADF), and the output tray extends out from the front of the chassis. As does the Editors’ Choice Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500, the ADS-2000e has an ADF that holds up to 50 sheets; the Canon DR-C225 has only a 30-sheet ADF. All three machines are rated at 25 pages per minute (ppm) for single-sided (simplex) scanning and 50 images per minute (ipm) for double-sided (duplex) scanning, and like the Canon model, this Brother has a 1,500-page daily duty cycle. The Fujitsu model’s recommended pages-per-day rating, as with several other scanners from the company, is not published.
The ADS-2000e’s control panel consists of three buttons (Stop, Scan to PC, and Scan to USB) and five LEDs (one each for the last two buttons, one for Error, and one for Power). There’s a USB 2.0 port on the right side of the chassis for inserting a thumb drive. In addition to scanning to USB flash memory, you can also send your scans to email, a file, a printer, and Android mobile devices. You can save your scans to PDF, BMP, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and XPS formats.
Setup and Software
Unlike the Fujitsu iX500, which comes with both USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, the ADS-2000e supports only USB. Setup is standard fare in that you don’t connect the scanner to your PC until the installation program asks you to. The software installation went smoothly, although I wasn’t asked about checking online for updates until the end of the process. A new version of the software downloaded and installed over the older one, which is inefficient compared with other installation programs that ask about checking for updates at the beginning of the procedure.
The software bundled with the ADS-2000e greatly enhances its overall value. The primary application is Brother’s own ControlCenter 4, a full-featured scanning interface that lets you set up all aspects of your scans, such as resolution, destination, file type, and whether to scan one or both sides of the paper. ControlCenter 4 has two interfaces, or modes. Home mode provides a few basic profiles for the most common scan scenarios, such as scanning monochrome text pages to PDF, and Advanced mode allows you to create and save your own profiles and assign them to buttons within the program. Both versions are straightforward and relatively easy to use.
But there’s a lot more in addition to ControlCenter 4. Nuance PDF Converter Professional is a full-blown PDF creation and editing program in the same vein as Adobe Acrobat DC. PaperPort SE is a pared-down version of Nuance’s (non-SE) popular document management program. Presto! PageManager provides document management for Mac computers, and Presto! BizCard is a business card scanning and contact management program for both Mac and PC. Between them, the included programs provide about everything you need for efficient document scanning and archiving. In addition, the ADS-2000e is Kofax VRS certified, but the Kofax software is not included. Kofax VRS assesses and enhances poor scans, improving overall accuracy.
I tested the ADS-2000e from our Core i5 PC running Windows 10, using ControlCenter 4 at its default resolution of 300dpi. The scanning time from when I clicked Scan (start) until the last sheet landed on the output tray came very close to matching Brother’s 25ppm and 50ipm ratings. Without the lag time (the time required to save the document to either image PDF or searchable PDF after scanning), the ADS-2000e managed 23ppm and 50ipm, and its times for scanning and saving to image PDF—22ppm and 46ipm—weren’t that far from Brother’s ratings, either.
The time the ADS-2000e took to scan and save the document in duplex to the more useful searchable PDF format (1:28) was considerably longer than its time to save to (non-searchable) image PDF (1:02). While this is a good time for a scanner at its price, it is well out of the top tier. By comparison, the Canon DR-C225 scanned, converted, and saved to searchable PDF in duplex mode in 1:09, and the Fujitsu iX500 took 1:05 to scan and process the same pages to searchable PDF.
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OCR and Other Tests
Like the Canon DR-C225 and the Fujitsu iX500, the ADS-2000e performed well on the OCR portions of our tests. It converted our Arial test font page to editable text at 6 points and our Times New Roman page at 8 points without errors. The iX500 delivered identical results, and the DR-C225 did a little better by converting both test pages without mistakes down to 6 points. The ADS-2000e didn’t handle some of our more obscure fonts as well as the Canon model did, however. Even so, OCR performance was good enough to handle most business documents and business cards.
I tested the Presto! BizCard business card program by scanning directly into it and letting it convert the text and populate the contact management fields. When scanning simple cards without colored backgrounds and other design features that impede accurate text conversion, BizCard performed with very few errors. The software also did a fair job of filtering out backgrounds, but I still wound up doing some editing when scanning cards with all but the simplest of layouts.
It’s also important to note that during testing, the ADS-2000e on two occasions picked more than one page from the stack of originals, resulting in an error and causing the current scan job to stop. You can minimize the chances of this by making sure that the originals are neatly stacked and that you fan the pages prior to placing them into the ADF. Considering that I scanned hundreds of pages overall, though, two failures aren’t enough for me to consider this a chronic issue.
An Affordable Entry-Level Scanner
The Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e created and saved searchable PDFs a bit slower than both the Canon DR-C225 and the Fujitsu iX500, but it also costs less. And it allows you to scan to flash memory via a built-in USB port. Unlike the Fujitsu model, though, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi. If you need wireless scanning to a mobile device, the iX500 is a better choice. Even so, the ADS-2000e comes with all the software you’ll need for not only accurate and efficient scanning and OCR, but also for managing your scanned documents and business cards. Although the Canon DR-225 remains our Editors’ Choice, the ADS-2000e is a capable, attractively priced alternative that offers good performance and accuracy, as well as a strong software bundle.