IRIS uses the tagline ‘Scan Anything’ in its marketing materials for the IRIScan Anywhere 2. Whis is pretty silly, as there’s a whole class of documents the device can’t handle. Any bound document is beyond it, as it’s a sheet-feed scanner which can only take single sheets of paper. It precludes scanning from books or magazines or even a photo album, unless you extract the prints and scan them individually.
What it can do is scan an A4 pages in black and white, greyscale or colour, and at 300ppi or 600ppi. It does this pretty quickly and our 300ppi test scan took just 11s, with a further 2s for the OCR operation. The finished RTF document was pretty accurate in both content and layout. There were a couple of minor glitches in some heading fonts, but for archival purposes, it would be fine.
Business card scanning was less successful. Although the image of the card was captured well enough, there were a few problems with translation of the contact details into the program’s database. They would be easy enough to rectify, but you’d be advised not to scan cards as a batch job, without first checking the conversions.
A 15 x 10cm photo, scanned at 600ppi, took 19s and was recognisable, but rather grainy. For permanent conversion of legacy photo prints, you’d be much better off with even a fairly inexpensive flatbed scanner.
This is a clever, portable scanner which really can be used completely autonomously. By scanning to the supplied SD card, you have plenty of capacity to record page images when you’re away from your computer. It’s simple and effective and the software suite is well above what we’d normally expect with a portable scanner. The only problem is not being able to check what you’ve scanned on the fly.