There’s a growing number of standalone, sheet-feed scanners around for those needing to capture documents when not in the home or office. Most have battery power or derive it from a USB connection and few can work completely autonomously.
The unique selling point of Xerox’s Mobile Scaner is the inclusion of a 4GB Eye-Fi card. This is an SD memory card with a built-in, wireless connection. With it plugged into the scanner, it provides local storage for pages and photos you’ve scanned and a connection to the Internet, via any wireless network to which it has access.
Eye-Fi has a server site where your documents are automatically stored, and you can opt to have them transferred to a sharing service, like Flickr or Picasa for wider distribution, as well as having them transferred to the Eye-Fi Centre, installed on a PC or Mac.
The first time you connect the scanner to a PC or Mac, the Eye-Fi software is uploaded from the SD card, so no separate CD is needed. You can also download a free Eye-Fi App to any Android or iOS device.
It’s all very convenient, though it does slow the transfer if you’re working directly between a computer and the scanner, around 43s extra for each page or photo, in our installation. Xerox has thought of this, though and provides direct USB access software, along with Nuance PaperPort 12, OmniPage 17 and Presto! BizCard, a comprehensive and up-to-date bundle.
The scanner itself is a little more bulky than some mobile devices, in a gunmetal and grey livery. It comes with a semi-rigid cloth case and a power supply with USB outlet, into which the supplied cable plugs. There are small and large USB sockets on the back of the scanner, with the large one for connecting a USB drive; another way of transferring images.
On top are two buttons, one for power and the other to select between scan types: photo, mono document and colour document, which each have blue indicator leds. All three lights flash together to show error conditions, like not having an SD card plugged in. A Li ion battery fits under a cover on the underside of the scanner and this is claimed to hold enough charge to scan 300 pages.