ION Slide2PC Scanner Review

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, February 2009
Published by: ION Audio
Requires: Windows XP or Vista, PIII 800 processor, 256MB RAM, 100MB available hard disk space, USB 2.0 port
MSRP: US$99.95, UK£109.95

I've reviewed a few slide scanners over the years and when I came a cross a news release for the Slide2PC from ION Audio I thought I'd give one a try. The unit is quite compact and at least 50% smaller than the Plustek Optic Film slide scanner I reviewed over a year ago. The Slide2PC is basically a simple plug and play solution for converting your old slides into digital files. Whilst there aren't many folks using slide film anymore, there are millions upon millions of 35mm slides stored in albums, archives, basements, shoe boxes and so on. All of you out there who have slides which you'd like to preserve and archive should start to think about how you're going to preserve them and back them up.


The ION Slide2PC scanner isn't designed for professional use but is capable of giving excellent results that should satisfy any amateur, hobbyist or photography enthusiast. The unit is capable of scanning slides or negatives and even comes with a simple software solution for editing and cleaning up your scanned images. The ION Slide2PC scanner is tiny, actually less than half the size of other transparency scanners I've tested and used.

The Slide2PC is simple enough to use. Simply plug it in to the USB port of your Windows PC and install the included software (which unfortunately doesn't support Mac OS). A blue light on the front of the scanner will tell you that the scanner has been correctly set up. Once everything is installed, the scanner can be started via a one touch button or via its control software installed on your PC.

The ION Slide2PC scanner is a 5 megapixel device with a high quality, four-glass optical element. ION rates the optics as a fixed-focus range f/6.0 element. The unit also features automatic exposure and color balance. The scanner produces pretty good results, but features no hardware based brightness or intensity controls. The unit has a low dynamic range which means that over- or under-exposed images tend to lose detail in the shadows and highlights. This shortfall can be corrected to some degree if you can afford to invest in a copy of Photoshop Elements 6 or later, ACDSee Photo Manager, or some other advanced photo editing software.

The ION Slide2PC scanner is surprisingly speedy — a pleasant surprise — and I had no problems using the device and the software. I wouldn't recommend the Slide2PC if you are a professional user looking for high quality commercial results. However for the user who is starting out and who wants to archive their images in the short term, the ION unit is just right.

Cons: No support for Mac OS. Dynamic range is poor. If the DR was just a bit better and ION kept the price down, this could be a killer device.

Pros: The ION Slide2PC scanner is fast, easy to use and inexpensive. It has a very compact footprint on your desk. It's also a scanning solution that may be ideal for non-photographer consumers who have a lot of stored slides and negatives to scan, but who at the same time don't have the interest or inclination to get into a heavy-duty or more technically complex solution. The ION Slide2PC isn't designed for the professional and although the results aren't entirely perfect, I am quite happy to recommended the unit for the home user and enthusiast.

KSN Product Rating:



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