- Good custom-written software
- Automated scans to many destinations
- Excellent OCR results
- No onboard memory
- Setup can be touchy
- No case provided
- Review Price: £193.00
- Duplex scanning in a single pass
- Small size makes mobile use easy
- Powered from USB socket
- Produces PDF files directly
- Scans colour and black and white
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.
Fujitsu claims 1ppm for a 600ppi colour scan from the ScanSnap S1300i, though this is a top spec scan. For most general day-to-day and archival work you can expect higher scan rates than this. A black-and-white scan at 300ppi took just 8s, and that includes conversion to PDF format.
A greyscale scan at the same resolution took 13s, which is again good. Running a scan of our five-page document using the same settings took 47s, so you would expect around 7ppm in this mode. If you add-in the processing time to OCR a single page and feed it into Word, you get a total of 28s, which is very acceptable.
Scanning a duplex page, still using the greyscale and PDF conversion settings, took 13s, the same as for a single-sided document, so there’s no appreciable overhead for scanning both sides. A 600ppi colour scan, the top setting for photos, produced a 15 x 10cm photo in a reasonable 22s.
The scan quality we saw was good throughout. The ABBYY OCR did an excellent job on our test page, with no mistakes we could spot, though it did embolden all the text. Our test colour photo also came through very well, though slightly pale in comparison with the original.
An unusual test we tried was to load three dissimilar documents: an A4 sheet, a 15 x 10 print and a till invoice and scan them as one document. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i coped valiantly, scanning each at size and de-skewing any crookedness in the feed. Ideal, if you need to present various expenses electronically.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i is an excellent portable scanner. While it might not be the smallest device you can buy, the duplex scan facility is very useful and the software is now so well integrated with the device that it really is close to foolproof. It’s quick and produces document and photo scans that are easily good enough for day-to-day uses.
Score in detail
Scan Speed 8
Scan Quality 9