The latest version of Fujitsu’s high-end, portable, sheet-feed scanner, the ScanSnap S1300i, has a number of improvements over its S1300 predecessor, including speed and scanning to mobile devices. It’s aimed at those who don’t need the functions of a full flatbed device, or who want a scanner to carry with them alongside a laptop, netbook or tablet.
When closed, the scanner is about the same size as a couple of packs of Bourbon biscuits. That’s two packs taped together, so possibly a little thick for the average laptop bag, but still very portable. There’s no carry case supplied with the scanner, but a very small black-block power supply is included.
Perhaps the more practical choice for power, though, is a single USB connection, which supplies a data link from any PC and all the power necessary to run the device.
The top cover flips up to become the paper feed tray, with a two-stage, telescopic extension and a top, flip-over support. This can take up to 10 sheets and the paper feeds through the scanner to eject onto the desktop, in front of it.
A catch in the ScanSnap’s top surface releases the head mechanism, which folds forward to reveal two separate CIS scanner heads, with LED illumination. This is a duplex scanner, which scans both sides of the paper in a single pass and with very little slowdown in the scan speed.
The only control on the machine is a single, illuminated scan button, which works in collaboration with the custom-written ScanSnap software. This includes a setup program to select simplex or duplex scanning and define the scan resolution and output file type, as well as an organiser, which works quite like Nuance PaperPort.
ScanSnap Organiser shows thumbnails of the scanned files in its main pane, but also offers a very wide range of destinations for scanned files. With ABBYY OCR built-in and automatic conversion to PDF format, it’s very easy to create searchable PDFs or to feed documents through to Word, Excel or the provided CardMinder business card application, among many other applications. Mac equivalents are provided for these PC applications.
One particularly interesting destination is Scan to Mobile. Once you’ve downloaded a free app to an Android phone or tablet and established a password shared with your PC, it’s extremely easy to copy PDF or JPG files to and from your portable device.