Canon CanoScan LiDE 400 Slim Scanner vs. Canon CanoScan LiDE 120: What's the difference?

Both the 400 and the 120 versions of the CanoScan LiDE scanners are lightweight and low profile, but one is significantly more powerful than the other. If you are hoping to do any picture scanning then the 400 is probably the choice for you.

There is a clear choice here

While you might be inclined to think one flatbed scanner is the same as the rest, that isn't quite true. Both versions of this scanner will get the job done if you want to scan documents, but when it comes to more intensive tasks, the only one you can count on is the 400.

Resolution — how many pixels your scanned image contains — counts for a lot in scanners and the LiDE 400 has double the scan resolution of the LiDE 120. If you're thinking of using your scanner to convert old photographs into digital copies, for example, then having the higher resolution 400 is a must. With a very satisfactory 4800x4800 DPI, your photos will look as good as the day you took them.

The scan resolution of both scanners is sufficient for copying documents, but the LiDE 120 processes at half the speed of the LiDE 400, making your scanning day that much longer. It takes the 120 a whole 16 seconds to scan one sheet of paper. Compared to the 400's eight seconds, the LiDE 120 is a wagon next to a rocketship. The LiDE 120 may have been an acceptable scanner two or three years ago, but for todays scanning needs it just doesn't cut the mustard.

You can check out the rest of the important specs below.

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Header Cell - Column 0 CanoScan LiDE 400CanoScan LiDE 120
Max. resolutionsOptical:4800 x 4800 DPI, Interpolated: 19,200 x 19,200 DPIOptical:2400 x 4800 DPI, Interpolated: 19,200 x 19,200 DPI
Scanning speedDocument: 8 seconds, Photo: 4 secondsDocument: 16 seconds, Photo: 8 Seconds
Weight3.6 pounds3.4 pounds
Power inputUSB-CUSB 2.0
Scanning ElementContact Image Sensor (CIS)Contact Image Sensor (CIS)

In this comparison, there really is one clear choice. The LiDE 400 is faster, more powerful, and even has USB-C as it's power input, making it compatable with all the future devices that are moving over to USB-C. The 120 only uses USB 2.0, ensuring it'll only work with older devices.

The fact that it costs $20 more than the LiDE 120 is not enough of a reason not to reccomend the 400. The CanoScan LiDE 400 is twice as fast and has double the resolution of the LiDE 120 making it the outright winner in this comparison.

James Bricknell

James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.