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November 2nd, 1999

[8:00 AM] Umax Releases Mac-Only SCSI & USB Scanner

Umax Technologies, the former clone maker, has announced a new scanner that departs from typical scanner fair. The MX3, as it is called, is not only a Mac-only scanner, it also a scanner that be connected via USB or SCSI. This feature makes it very attractive for both the new generation of PowerMacs, iBooks, PowerBooks, and iMacs, as well as the legacy Macs that predate USB. According to Umax:

Businesses, households and students have been buying Apple's iMac and G3/4 computers in record numbers, and today UMAX Technologies, Inc. announced a dedicated scanning solution designed exclusively for the Mac.

The new UMAX Astra MX3 scanner represents three significant breakthroughs for Mac users -- it is the first UMAX scanner designed strictly for the Mac, the only Mac-specific scanner designed to connect through either SCSI or USB port, and the only Mac-only scanner now on the market to feature three-button scan and print convenience.

Priced at under $200, the UMAX Astra MX3 bows to style-conscious iMac users by providing a patented see-through user interface driver in a color selectable by the user, plus a blue translucent scanner lid designed to match the most widely used iMac. The dual USB/SCSI interface makes this scanner fully compatible with iMac, G3, G4 or legacy Mac computers. It operates using software compatible with Mac OS 8.0 or higher.

The UMAX Astra MX3 features three pushbuttons, of which two allow fast, easy scans or copies of any color or black and white image. The copy button sends scanner output directly to a printer, turning scanner and printer into a no-cost copy machine -- a great feature for consumers and SOHO users who are price or space conscious.

The third button can be easily defined by the user to send a text document to the user's word processing application through the integrated OCR software, or to send the output directly to e-mail as an image attachment. These push-button features apply the intelligence of the scanning system to simplify and automate the entire process for the user.

The Astra MX3 scans at 600 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch) optical resolution, allowing software interpolation up to 9600 dpi. It can scan photographs, artwork, graphics or any document up to standard letter size, utilizing a charge coupled device (CCD) that brings out the richness and preciseness of the original image. The scanner features true 36-bit color, providing rich, vibrant colors and detailed highlights and shadows.

The Astra MX3 will include out-of-the-box productivity solutions including Adobe PhotoDeluxe Home Edition, Caere OmniPage LE OCR, and Presto! PageManager and Presto! PhotoAlbum LE.

With scanner shipments worldwide growing 42 percent in 1999 to reach 21 million units, according to recent studies by InfoTrends Research Group, Inc., the new Mac-centric, consumer-priced scanner meets a newly emerging space in the SOHO market for a versatile device that can scan almost any media type. Its new ease-of-use features will all enhance the productivity of users.

You can find more information on the MX3 at the Umax web site. The scanner is priced at US$179 and is available from online and physical Mac retailers.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is an exciting new product. Umax has been a long time supporter of the Mac with its peripheral line, but this marks the first time in a long while that a company has released a Mac-only version of a product like this. Umax has also done a very smart thing by equipping the scanner with USB and SCSI. Not only does this broaden the appeal of the scanner to those legacy users, it also makes it extremely attractive to homes and small offices that have a mixed environment of pre-USB Macs and the current models.

this should prove to be a very successful product for Umax.


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