Review: Canon Scanner LiDE 210

Update: Added some info on the scanner driver. Also, it's so good I bought another one for my workplace.

This is the Canon CanonScan LiDE 210, a scanner I bought to scan my art work or illustrations consisting of pencil, pen, watercolour. This review is written for artists who are thinking of scanning their own art.

Build and basic features

It's a flatbed scanner about the same size as a thick A4 ring folder. Portable in a sense. There's a handy clip-on stand included for operating the scanner in a vertical position. So the scanner can take a small footprint on the table if needed.

The lid is non-removable, but can be lifted to a short height to fit a small book.

The scanner uses a single USB 2.0 cable for connection and power. That is really great. And it's the generic type USB cable that Canon has been using all along. The same cable I use for my Canon camera and USB card reader.

There are some buttons for quick scanning, copying to a printer, creating a PDF and emailing. It's good for those who want simplicity, but there are extra settings for the professionals in the software.


Scanning is fast. It takes about 10 seconds to scan an A4 size document at 300dpi. It's so fast I usually don't scan a preview for cropping.

This scanner scan up to an incredible 4800dpi. Typical scans are at 300dpi. To get that high resolution, you've to type in the magic number yourself.

I think the highest best working resolution is actually 2400dpi.

The scan quality is great. The colours captured are very close to the actual material with very minor or no tweaking required, but as an artist you always tweak. The images above are straight from the scanner.

It's able to capture very good detail, down to the texture of a piece of watercolour paper.

The scanner works well when the paper is in direct contact with the glass surface. If there's warping in the paper, such as using a low GSM paper for watercolours, the surface not in contact with the glass will have dark shadow effects. The lid isn't heavy enough to keep the warped paper flat so additional weight is required.


I'm using this on my Mac Pro with OS 10.5.8. I've also tried it on my office computer Windows XP (SP3).

The CD provided comes with a few software. I feel that they are a bit cluttered. It just doesn't look nice. I don't usually scan with the software provided, always preferring to go with scanning in Photoshop.

The most important software is the Canon ScanGear which is the interface for advanced scanning. Luckily, the interface for that is straightforward.

One of the main reasons I choose this scanner is because of the scanner driver, specifically the TWAIN plug-in. With the TWAIN plug-in, it means you can scan from Photoshop. When you're scanning from Photoshop via menu File->Import, you're presented with the ScanGear interface.

Setting Up

Windows XP
Setting up the printer under Windows XP is straightforward. You just pop in the disc and do an automatic or custom install of the software. Once you've installed the scanner driver, you can scan from Photoshop (works for me with CS4).

Mac OS
It requires more steps if you are to scan using Photoshop. I'm using Photoshop CS5. This section is actually to help me remember the steps to get it working in Photoshop CS5.

You've to install the Canon ScanGear and the TWAIN plug-in from the disc. They can also be found here: LiDE 210 product page and Photoshop CS5 Optional Plug-Ins for Mac (includes TWAIN) and Photoshop CS4 Optional Plug-Ins for Mac (includes TWAIN)

If you're using Photoshop CS4, it should be able to detect the scanner now.

For Photoshop CS5, an extra step is required. You need to open the software in 32 Bit Mode. Simply find the Photoshop CS5 application, right-click Get Info, then check the "Open in 32 Bit Mode" checkbox. The TWAIN plug-in was written in 32 Bit Mode, that's why.

If you want to import using Photoshop, this is the way to go. Otherwise, you can also use the Canon software provided.

After installation, the TWAIN plug-in should be in the Photoshop->Plug-ins->Import-Export folder.

This is a very fine scanner. It scans fast and the quality is great. The printer drivers included allows you to scan using Photoshop.

It's not too expensive so it's really value for money.

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Out of curiosity, is the

Out of curiosity, is the scanning surface level with the edges of the scanner? In other words, if you scan a large drawings in multiple parts, will the edges of those drawings scan flush to the scanning surface, or would you see some bending where the paper picks up at the edges? Thanks for the review!

The image gets blured when

The image gets blured when the drawing is off the surface because it's a CIS (Contact Image Sensor) scanner, I was about to get one very similar to this - I think it was the LIDE 200 - ,but chose to get a CCD one... But your scanner is very good!

Totally awesome, thanks for

Totally awesome, thanks for the review! I myself was looking for a new scanner for the exact same purpose and was on the fence between this one and Canon's LiDE 110, but I think I'll be going with the same 210 you've got.

You mentioned that the lid can be lifted up but do you know by how much? Majority of my sketchbooks are spiral bound and rather thick, particularly when you factor in the coil(usually goes up to almost 2" thick).

Side scanning via the clip is a new feature to me; does this actually hold the paper in place when standing up this way or are there other preparations needed? This would be fantastic for saving desktop space.

I just purchased this scanner

I just purchased this scanner yesterday and am returning it today. It will not work with a Dell comp running windows 7 home premium 64 bit. Keeps giving me internal error code. I even tried downloading 64 bit driver. I don't need the headaches. Besides, I only need it for when my wife wants a recipe scanned from a magazine. I have a 20 years old Canon printer, and when I upgraded to windows7, I found a driver update, and it works perfectly. Too bad this scanner does not work for me.

I have this scanner a month

I have this scanner a month or two back. At the moment, i used it many to scan documents, and images from books. i didnt compare the quality of the image scanning, but the main reason i got this scanner is to avoid typing documents. Documents scanned and saved as PDF can be converted into editable documents - the speed and accuracy is great. Saved me lots of time in typing out documents or articles. For the price, this scanner is really good value!

Any idea how to get this to

Any idea how to get this to work?

I am running Widows 7 NTFS file system. When I install the software using the installation disc supplied I get a message saying that the software was successfully installed but when I open the Canon Solutions Menu Ex window I get another message saying that a driver supporting Solutions Menu Ex is not installed. How do I fix this ?

I found this article whilst

I found this article whilst looking for other information on canon scanners however I have to say, i thought this review was really good. I owned a lide 210 for years before I had to upgrade it recently due to extra workload however I never had any problems at all!

Oh thank you so much for this

Oh thank you so much for this review!
I'm an artist and I make highly textured mixed media artworks, so I wanted to find something awesome to scan them that also has the capacity to scan thicker objects (I often work on board).
You've answered my questions and I look forward to giving this scanner a go!
Thanks again,

Thanks for the very good

Thanks for the very good review. One question I have is can either one of the 210 or 110 scan multiple pages into a single document? I find it kind of annoying that a multiple page doc has to be scanned in as separate files....

What do you think of the LiDE

What do you think of the LiDE 110 for scanning DRAWINGS only. I'm gonna be buying my first scanner and since I don't know much about scanner models and brands. I'm thinking of buying a LiDE 110. Would you recommend it? I have no use of those extra features like email, PDFs or whatever.
Also, you mentioned that 110 scans at 2400dpi and 210 scans at 4800dpi. Does that mean the sketches will be 'doubly' sharper with 4800dpi? Or is 2400dpi good enough for detailed drawings?

After Completing scanning and

After Completing scanning and clicking 'Finish', I am left with two files on the desktop, I guess in case I want to scan somehting else. I'd like to find a way of deleting them automatically, but I can't find the file names etc. Does anyone have an answer?

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