Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another Product Review: Handheld A4 Document Scanner

Okay, I'm not sure what the actual brand of this scanner is as it seems to be one of those types of electronic gadgetry that is branded with a number of different names.

Here it is as the VuPont Solutions PS410 600DPI Color & Mono Handheld Scanner.

So, what did I think of it?

The Good 
  1. It's small. Size isn't everything, except when you're after portablity, when it is.
  2. Speed. Depending on resolution (300x300dpi or 600x600dpi) and whether colour or black & white, an A4 scan takes between 2-13 seconds. I mainly use the mono low setting, so 2 seconds is good enough for me.
  3. Durability. Probably not part of the design but this thing is hardy. I've dropped mine onto concrete about 4 or 5 times now (yeah, I've got butter fingers), and it's still working fine.
 The Bad

  1. It's small. Yes, well, it's small enough that I lost misplaced it after it's first official use. I can't tell you how annoying that was! Essentially I paid twice the price for the product but it's worth it as it has proven itself to be invaluable over the past few months.
  2. It's incomplete. The scanner does not come with an SD memory card and has no onboard memory. You have to additionally purchase an SD card prior to use which is rather annoying. I like things to be immediately useable out of the box.
The Indifferent

  1. Finnickyness. As you might expect, having a steady hand is required when running the scanner over documents, otherwise the JPEG image will be skewed. I'm not necessarily anal about it but you might be. Also, when scanning in colour, particularly at the higher resolution, the winking error light is all but guaranteed if you're too fast. Lastly, if the documents are creased or there may be staples etc, I've had some issues getting the scanner over them. 
  2. Formats. There's just one: JPEG. I'm pretty sure when I made my purchase (online) the blurb stated it could scan to a variety of formats including PDF etc. Well, it doesn't, and I have to manually convert the scanned images to PDF. Not really a deal-breaker, just a little annoying. Similarly, multi-page documents need to be compiled manually.
Overall Verdict

Even despite the several annoyances mentioned, I'll rate the scanner as a A-/A for relative ease of use, portability, and cool factorness. For what I (and presumably you) are likely to use it for, it's an indispensible tool. Get one now.

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