Portable scanners offer the opportunity to collect information from printed sources when you’re on the move. Most require a connection to a notebook, to draw the power they need from a USB socket. Visioneer’s Mobility device goes one step further by including a rechargeable battery pack, so it can be used completely independently of any computer, though a smartphone still comes in handy for previewing the scan..
The Mobility scanner is not much wider than the A4 paper, which is the maximum width it can scan. Its glossy white top and textured black base give it clean, purposeful lines and it's about the size of a half-baguette. You feed paper from the front on a straight-through path to exit from a slot at the back.
There are just two control buttons on the scanner's top, one to turn the device on and off and the other to cycle through its three scanning options, which are for photo, a mono PDF and a colour PDF. You also need to press the option button for two seconds to periodically switch the scanner into calibration mode and feed in the supplied calibration card.
Underneath is the battery compartment, where the 1.7Ah lithium ion battery fits – Visioneer says this should be good for up to 300 scanned pages per charge. At the back are three sockets. The first is for the miniature USB plug on the supplied power and data lead, which connects to one or two USB sockets on a PC to transfer data and charge the scanner. There’s a USB power supply included with the scanner, too.
The second is a conventional USB socket and this can be used to connect a USB drive onto which the scanner will save its JPEG and PDF files. The third slot is for an SD card and a 1GB Micro SD card is supplied, with an SD adapter. The scanner saves directly to the SD card as if it was the storage in a camera and uses the same DCIM folder structure for storing images and documents. This makes it very easy to use the card data in most graphics applications.
Visioneer’s software provision depends on whether you’re a PC or Mac owner. Mac owners are left pretty much on their own, using the OSX Scan utility to transfer images and having to drag and drop PDFs directly from the DCIM folder in the scanner’s memory card.
Those connecting the device to a PC are much better off, with full versions of Nuance PaperPort 12 and OmniPage Pro 15, as well as NewSoft’s Presto! BizCard. Between them, these three cover most of the possible uses of the scanner and form a well above average bundle.