I’ve been using Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners for the last several years. I started with their ScanSnap 300M, and then graduated to their S1300. Compared to my old flatbed scanners, the Fujitsu ScanSnaps were able to quickly scan any size document or business card and with the great software that Fujitsu included with the scanners, I could quickly recognize and input the data scanned into PDF, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, address books, and more. Perfect. Well, almost perfect. Although they were compact, the 300M and the S1300 were not the perfect size for the portability that many consumers needed. Fujitsu understood and reacted. Enter the ScanSnap S1100.
The ScanSnap S1100 is one of the smallest scanners in the world. It’s about one quarter the size and one quarter the weight of the S1300 (10.74 x 1.87 x 1.33 inches). In addition to standard paper types, the S1100 can scan plastic cards like the ones used for membership IDs. You can also switch S1100′s paper output guide to either the folded position for the straight path or the open position for the U-turn path to best suit the document you want to scan. The straight path is most suitable for scanning post cards, photos, business cards, plastic cards, ScanSnap Carrier Sheet, and common office paper. The U-Turn path is best suited for plain office paper or maybe receipts and other non-rigid material.
I found that scanning multiple pages on this tiny little ScanSnap was easy. The Continuous Document Feeding function allows you to insert pages one after another without any extra button pressing by detecting when a sheet enters and exits the S1100. Then the S1100 uses a powerful set of automated image processing functions including Auto deskew, Auto orientation, and Auto color detection. These functions make pre-scan work like sorting pages and changing scan settings unnecessary, so you can scan your documents with minimal effort.
I also wanted to mention that the S1100 makes it easy to clean the rollers and camera window so that all the dirt and dust that can get inside the ScanSnap over time will not affect the performance. It’s an overall solid, well built and designed portable scanner. But, that’s only half the story. I feel the real secret to Fujitsu’s success with scanners lies in the software.
Whether your goal is to email a document to a business associate or turn your office into a paperless one, the scanning itself is only half the job. What happens to that scanned item depends on what software you have on your Mac. Fujitsu supplies you with some of the best software packages available for scanners. The S1100 is the first ScanSnap to come with a linking function to popular cloud services including Google Docs, Evernote and Salesforce CRM. Now you can seamlessly link and save your scanned image data virtually anywhere, anytime. After scanning is complete, the Quick Menu appears. Navigate through the Quick Menu’s easy to use interface to smoothly send your digitized document to an application of your choice.
CardIris on the Mac scans your collection of business cards into easy to navigate digital business card holders. It also imports the data from your scanned business cards into Excel, Outlook, Address Book (Mac OS) and other database programs for fast referencing and application. The OCR engine for ScanSnaps is one of the best. ABBYY FineReader for Mac can convert any paperwork with machine print back into an editable Word or Excel file in seconds. I was amazed at the accuracy and the formatting capabilities.
Other direct scan-to features include Scan to iDisk, Printer, iPhoto, and of course all the online services we mentioned earlier. All you need is a USB cable, no external power cord is needed, so traveling is a breeze. The retail price is about $199 and if portability is what you need, the ScanSnap S1100 is your answer. Another great scanner from Fujitsu.