Monday, April 26, 2010

Scan Like It Is 2010

The ScanSnap is a small portable scanner that does double sided copying in one pass. According to Fujitsu's web site it is the world's smallest duplexing scanner. It can operate off your laptop without a separate power source if necessary. In theory you could scan documents anywhere, at least until the laptop battery ran out.

Sounds good but I wasn't interested, in part because the capacity of the ADF is "up to 10 sheets." I rarely seem to have a document of only ten pages. And it is pricey, particularly when I have a perfectly good scanner.

However, although I had scanned most of my paper I still had two oversized file drawers of double sided pages. I could come up with no efficient way to scan them so I broke down and ordered the ScanSnap S1300. I'm only sorry I waited so long. Within days of its arrival I had totally eliminated the two drawers of scanning and shredded or recycled the paper.

The ScanSnap scans at eight pages a minute color, 16 pages black and white. That would be eight pages, both sides, but it is remarkably fast. And the 10 page limit on the automatic document feeder is simply not true. You can add to the pile as it goes so you can fill the ADF, let it most of them and add more pages which will all end up in the same document. Even if it stops it gives you the option of proceeding from that point.

It takes pages up 8.5 by 14.17 which is more than legal size. Those old wills and other legal documents are no problem. [No, I did not shred those after scanning.]

Mine came bundled with software file manager software which allows you to scan to file, email, fax, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, a picture file, a printer. Or you can scan to my all time favorite program Evernote and have your word searchable documents available to you on any computer, online, on many smart phones and you iPod Touch.

You can scan in business cards and a program reads them. Your documents are read by a version of ABBYY Fine Reader. You can straighten documents. There is a Rack2-Filer program to organize your documents. Depending on which version of the scanner package you buy that may be a trial version.

I own Adobe Acrobat Pro and the full version of ABBYY so I have not tried the bundled software. Their system, at least in the ScanSnap Organizer, is simple and easy to use. I sometimes used it for a temporary holding system before moving the document to my own system. I concentrated on scanning and making sure I had all the pages. I didn't always name the files. I will go back and do that as time permits, might check out their software then.

One thing that is a bit of an issue is paper exit. You put the pages in the automatic document feeder. When they come out they have no bin to go to so they shoot across the table, desk, etc. I found working on a kitchen island to be ideal for that. You could rig up a tray to catch the paper if needed. It's a small price to pay for a portable scanner.

The ScanSnap allows greater flexibility in putting different size documents through without issue. It's just more convenient. I'll let you know how it does on my next big project - pictures.


Nancy said...

Cheryl, please tell us where you bought it and the approximate cost.

Kim said...

Sounds like a good possible alternative to use when going to a relatives home, for example. i would sure like to hear more about it.