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Review: ScanSnap S1300 portable scanner

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Short Version: Tax season is upon us, friends, and wouldn’t those 1099s and W2s floating hither and yon would be much more accessible if they were nestled deep inside a searchable PDF? Sure. That’s why Fujitsu invented the $295 ScanSnap S1300.

Features:

USB-powered
3.1 pounds
Automatic paper and de-skew detection
MSRP of $295

Pros:

Very small and light
Quick scans
Lot’s of good scanning software

Cons:

Some problems with text recognition
Mac software is a little wonky

Review:

The ScanSnap S1300 is supposed to be a mobile scanner. While I’m dubious that many of us need a portable scanner, the device is small enough to fit in a briefcase and is quite light – about 3 pounds. It is USB-powered — it requires two ports (one for power and one for data) however, which is a pain – and the top is collapsible for portability.

There is one button – Scan – and that’s it. You install the software, press the button, and rock out with single- or double-sided scanning. The scanner can grab eight double-sided pages per minute and it can hold card as well as standard stock. It scans a maximum of 600DPI in color and 1,200 dpi in grayscale.

Once a document is scanned Fujitsu’s ScanSnap service kicks in and asks you what you want to do – scan to file, to email, to Word, to Excel, or to CardIris, the card scanning service. This is where things get hairy.

I tested the scanning features using a standard spreadsheet I made in Excel and printed twice.

One I essentially ruined with a magic marker and the other I simply signed. I scanned both back in into Word and Excel.

As you see, all of the text scanned perfectly, except for where I adulterated it. While it’s obvious that a ruined page won’t scan correctly, I wanted to give it a bit of a challenge.

I then scanned them both into Word and Excel. The results are fairly heartening. The unadulterated version came out great in both Word and Excel and larger scanning jobs a I ran earlier also worked fine. The adulterated version – well, not so much. Obviously this is drastic example, but its food for thought if you’re planning in scanning handwritten notes.

Scanned into Word

Scanned into Excel

Bottom Line
I’ve yet to become completely paper-free in my record-keeping but this would definitely be a step in the right direction. For quick jobs as well as spreadsheet and document storage this portable scanner did a more than adequate job.

Product Page: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300

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