I’ve owned a scanner of one type or another for many years. They were all flatbed scanners and the only time I really used them was to scan photos and get them into a computer. But as the years wore on, more and more of my photos became digital and were stored on my Mac naturally. The need for a scanner seemed to be reduced to maybe once or twice a year.After all, cranking up that flatbed scanner and putting papers in it to scan seemed like a lot of work. Plus, when you did get your papers scanned into your Mac, they sat there as jpegs normally or maybe the occasional PDF.
Times have changed and scanners changed along with our needs. Now you can feed sheets of paper, business cards, maps, invoices, bills and more through a small 4×11 inch scanner and expect that scanner to read both sides of the paper in one pass, read color and black and white scans, work with USB only connections and have the software available to turn those scans into editable forms, documents, spreadsheets and addresses via accurate OCR software. You can, that is, if the scanner is the new S1300 ScanSnap from Fujitsu.
For the last several years Fujitsu has been the brand synonymous with the paperless office. I received an S1300 for review from Fujitsu after Macworld Expo and have been totally impressed with the speed and functionality of the hardware and the included software. Fujitsu was the first to introduce multi-sheet, duplex performance in a USB powered mobile scanner with the ScanSnap S300 series and now the next generation ScanSnap S1300 provides even more intelligence, productivity features and flexibility.
If you listened to the MacReviewCast Episode #237 you heard my interview with the Fujitsu folks in the booth at Macworld Expo. They talked about the main features, but in a nutshell, here they are again.
Users can utilize a standard highlighter pen on a black & white document to automatically create searchable keywords of the highlighted text, such as an invoice number or last name. ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap allows users to be productive by quickly transforming their paperwork into editable Word and Excel files at the push of a button.
In addition to automatically detecting color and monochrome, users can now scan images or text in grayscale. This is especially important for small images or text within business cards and small receipts that typically includes fine print. Users are able to scan a document up to 34 inches long, allowing ScanSnap S1300 to support a wider range of documents, such as long grocery receipts or lengthy rental agreements.
ScanSnap Manager: Provides Mac and PC users one button searchable PDF creation, access to intelligent features and custom scan settings (profiles) for simple operation with sophisticated results.
“Scan to” Functions : Offers Mac users a flexible way to manage their PDF, searchable PDF and JPEG files. Users can save content to a folder, a network folder, iPhoto, and even directly to their iDisk account.
Cardiris 3.6 : Provides Mac users a convenient way to scan their business cards and export the contact information directly to Address Book or Entourage.
Additional features include:
· Scanning speeds of up to 8 double-sided color pages per minute (ppm)
· Automatic document feeder (ADF) holding up to 10 pages (letter size)
· One button searchable PDF: Converts scanned data into searchable PDF files that let users quickly and easily find the documents they have scanned.
· Scan to Email, Scan to Folder & Scan to Print functions
· Automatic paper size detection: From 2×2 inches to Legal
· Automatic de-skew & orientation
· Automatic blank page detection & deletion
· Small footprint (compact and 3.1 lbs)
· Can be powered by USB (USB cables and AC power adaptor included)
I can tell you that the software works as advertised and the scan to MS Word or MS Excel is amazing to see and a breeze to use. The S1300 scanner itself is portable and has a very small footprint on your desktop or in a drawer. The moment I got back from the Expo I scanned all the business cards I received and transferred them into address book with Cardiris and it took me a few minutes at the most.
I have started scanning in all the bills I receive and I spent an afternoon going through my old documents for important information I should keep safely offsite. The S1300 is not the workhorse of the product line for Fujitsu scanners, that would be the S1500. But for $279, the portable S1300 does the job for me. The only downside I found is that the photo scanning capabilities do not match those of a good flatbed scanner, but it’s a small concession.
I vow to become paperless this year and the S1300 was the kick in the pants I needed to get it done. Thank you Fujitsu.