We have just got our hands on both the Fujitsu PFU Ricoh Fi 8170 and the Fujitsu PFU Ricoh 8190. What we want to do is test them and see how they do. Remember, these models will replace the old Fujitsu Fi 7160 and the Fujitsu Fi 7180.
We will focus on the aspects that made the Fi 7160 a great scanner and see how things have evolved from there. I think it’s best to test them the same way we tested the old models, and then compare things a bit and see how they evolved. Just for the sake of our test, we also took an old FI 7160 that we will run in parallel.
|Sheets per minute
|Images per minute
|Daily Duty Cycle
|Fujitsu Ricoh FI 8170
|8.5 x 14
|USB 3.2 + Ethernet up to 1000BASE-T
|Check the price on Amazon
|Fujitsu Ricoh FI 8190
|8.5 in x 14 in
|USB 3.2 + Ethernet up to 1000BASE-T
|Check the price on Amazon
Paper handling and formats
First thing we did was to make 3 separate batches for testing purposes. The first batch was your regular 20 page batch of A4 documents in relatively good condition. We also had a second batch of 10 relatively fragile documents and another batch of 30 pages that involved mixed sizes and thickness.
First one to try out was the FI 7160 with the regular batch. As you probably know it did very well, just like in our previous test. Everything was fed normally through the scanner with no apparent issues. The second scanner was the Ricoh FI 8170. Immediately we noticed that the feeding was much smoother and just felt faster than the 10 page difference between the two. It’s almost as if the newer model had a lot more confidence. It also felt quieter than the old FI 7160. The 8190 felt like a rocket, smoother pickup and just really fast. I guess for larger volumes, you should go for the faster model.
Immediately after I noticed the smoothness of the pickup mechanism, I jumped to try the fragile documents. I must say, I was not dissapointed, everything works just perfect. On the FI 7160 it worked really well, but the new model seems to gently take each document and feed it through the scanner. On both the FI 8170 and the 8190 I just had more confidence to run everything through it, without worrying about damaging the documents or having constant jams. In this sense, in terms of fragile documents, it’s a big evolution compared to the older scanner.
When we tried the mixed batches, honestly it did not feel such a big difference. Maybe the processing on the newer models felt a bit faster, but all in all, I would say there is not that much between them in this sense. I guess mixed batches will always be a problem, so there is not much manufacturers can do to improve the process.
I must say, when I first heard about the FI 8170 I immediately checked the connectivity features and options. To my surprise, it had ethernet, which suddenly makes this a digital sender. So how does it work in practice.
Well, we took the FI 7160 and created a destination on a network computer. But this means that you have to first setup the access from the desktop computer you are scanning on, and give permissions on the destination computer. It’s quite a workaround I must say. Nonetheless we did this and we scanned to a destination on a windows server station. Then we had to setup our ECM solution to take files from that folder. All in all, for our solution this works, but would it work for any solution? I don’t know what to say.
With the Ricoh Fi 8170 the process was much smoother. Scanning to a network destination requires only to setup the IP address on the scanner and hit the scan button. Also, our ECM could take files from the scanner much easily. There is a question here, about how the Paperstream Capture software releases files, and in what order. I know that with the FI 7160 there were some issues that we mad files in the wrong order, just because the release was not in the scanning order. We did not notice this with the FI 8170.
So yes, this is a big improvement nowadays, especially considering that this scanner is used as a desktop scanner, and usually it’s connected to an ECM solution. And this is the main selling point of the FI 8190, that it can easily connect to storage solutions.
Ease of use
Well, the screen and scanning buttons evidently help a lot. On the FI 7160 you could use the buttons to go through the scanner options, override double feed errors or even check and clear consumable warnings. On the FI 8170 you can do all of these, but you can also select scanning destinations and workflows. I think this is the future, and we invested a lot of time to setup workflows that we can have on the shortcut button directly.
For example, we had the accounting department. They usually have batches of up to 5 documents, generally mixed documents. So we setup the FI 8170 for them, and have the files sent to the destination they used. Selection of the workflow is done on the fly and they love that. Than we had the logistics department, they always have relatively fragile documents and CMR’s with special paper. Again, everything was setup for their need, select the workflow and hit the scanning button. Even if the scanner was on trial, some of my colleagues really asked us to keep it, which goes to say just how easy it is to use.
Just like any PFU Ricoh scanner, this comes with the Paperstream IP driver and the Paperstream Capture scanning software.
The Paperstream IP driver you already know, it’s probably the most powerful driver available for any scanner, that you don’t have to pay extra for. And on the FI 8170 and the FI 8190 it comes with options that improve the already good functions the FI 7160 had. These also mix with the ethernet scanning capability quite well.
What we tried on the other hand was to see how we could use Paperstream Capture with the workflow selection on the screen. Turns out it’s a bit weird at first. I did not have the confidence I am selecting the correct workflow at first, or the one that will match my Paperstream selection. But in all honesty, it works just fine, and you will really quickly get used to how it works. I guess this is the only thing that might affect the really good ease of use this scanner should be famous for.
Which scanner should you buy ?
So, which of the scanners should you buy? Well, considering production has ended for the FI 7160, you should be able to get good deals on it. If you don’t need the ethernet transfer of files, you can get a great deal for the old model, and it will work like a charm. Now, getting back to the new models, I honestly think that the FI 8170 should be enough if you use it for what it should be used. Great paper handling, ease of use and the fact that you can transfer files to the network directly are all a big plus for the device.
The Fi 8190 will surely seem like a rocket if you are moving up from the FI 7160. It seems like it can scan all day, and my colleagues were really impressed how quickly a small scanner like this can scan. If you consider A3 scanners of 100ppm, remember that these scanners are slower when you scan A4 portrait. The Fi8190 is actually faster than that, and you will see it in practice, as it just easts large amounts of documents.