Now Released to Canadian Market, Fujitsu’s Small Portable Scanner Does Big Job

By: Lee Rickwood

April 20, 2010

The instructions don’t get much easier: push the button

And there’s only one button!

Just push ‘Scan’ and the recently-released Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 does its thing.

The S1300 is the latest addition to Fujitsu’s line-up of scanning devices, and although the company calls it portable, it comes with lots of features and a whack of operating software for Mac or PC that’s more common to a desktop unit.

Some users will appreciate the portability of the scanner; others, like me, really appreciate the small footprint of the unit in a home office set-up.

Either way, making good quality scans of single- or double-sided paper, in B&W or colour, from standard-sized pages or odd-sized documents, including business cards and spread sheets, with the S1300 is easy and productive.

ScanSnap comes with software, cables and manuals included

ScanSnap comes with software, cables and manuals included

Operating with four user-selectable quality settings, it scans a maximum of 600 dots per inch in colour and 1,200 dpi in grayscale. Understanding that higher scan settings result in a larger file size and a slower scan time, I found that the Normal mode was just fine for most jobs.

There’s an auto document feeder if you have up to ten documents to scan, and it will scan both sides on one pass, a nice feature in a portable device.

It can be powered via USB, so it’s handy even if an AC plug is not – that’s where the portability comes in. That and the fact the unit weighs just 1.4 kg!

(Note that two USB ports on your PC and the two provided USB cables are required; direct AC operation is also supported with another supplied cable.)

The dual platform ScanSnap S1300 comes with productivity software for PC and Mac users, and once a scan is completed, the software opens up and asks you for more specifics on what you want to do, like turn the scanned doc into an editable file that you can open up in Word or Excel, or turn it into a fully-searchable PDF, or make it an e-mail attachment.

There’s a great business card scanning and reading service, too.

In one pass, the unit captures both sides of a business card, and makes the contents easily searchable and exportable. The software does a good job in optical character recognition, and finding a contact among dozens of pre-scanned cards is often as simple as just typing in the first name or part of a phone number.

Scanning business cards with the ScanSnap from Fujitsu

Scanning business cards with the ScanSnap from Fujitsu

Using a pre-production model, I scanned in a number of business cards (including those with text on both sides, and some of those printed on different card stocks with glossy finishes, even a couple of those very odd-sized business cards – thanx Gadjo!!).

And I was really impressed with how sensibly the software would read the cards and then offer me a pop-up window with most information already accurately recognized. I only needed to add or correct a couple of fields, as they were gleaned from highly stylized fonts on the business card.

I also tried scanning a coloured certificate of achievement I once received, printed with multi-colour text, complicated logos and even a soft grid-like background design, all on heavier card stock.  At Normal quality, the resultant file was certainly viewable, but much of that background design was lost. Using a higher quality setting, I was able to capture the fine detail of the document, including lightly coloured text and an embossed watermark, but of course the scan time was longer (nearly 30 seconds from just a handful) and the file size was twice as great (almost one MB, compared to about 280 KB).

I also scanned an old, crinkly store receipt, and again, I was impressed the unit could handle the long, thin, oddly-sized document and still get quite usable results from the mostly numerical text it carried.

 So, among the in-box software included with the scanner is:

  • ScanSnap Organizer 4.1: For PC users, a storage, management and viewer tool for PDF and JPEG files as well as for doing post-scan editing, keyword entry and searchable PDF conversion.
  • CardMinder 4.1: Captures both sides of a business card, extract the information automatically and export it to Outlook, Excel, Act! Or other PC contact management software.
  • Quick Menu Functions: Tools for PC users to send scans to a folder, attach scans to an email, send scans to a printer, or scan to Microsoft SharePoint for ad-hoc efficiency.
  • ScanSnap Manager (Mac and PC): Provides Mac and PC users one button searchable PDF creation, access to intelligent features and custom scan settings (profiles) for simple operation with sophisticated results.
  • Quick Menu Functions (Mac): Mac-based PDF search and management tool, with options for saving content to a folder, a network folder, iPhoto, even to an iDisk account.
  • Cardiris 3.6: Provides Mac users a way to scan business cards and export the contact information directly to Address Book or Entourage.

For Windows users who require additional functionality for managing their documents, a special ScanSnap S1300 Deluxe version is also available.

ScanSnap S1300 Deluxe provides all of the functionality of the ScanSnap S1300 plus Rack2-Filer software which provides the look and feel of paper in an electronic environment.

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 and S1300 Deluxe models are available now at list price for $325 CAD and $375 CAD respectively through Canadian resellers.

A carrying case and cleaning tools for the rollers are optional accessories.

Fujitsu has some special promotions on now through the end of June; if you are going to make a purchase decision soon about your scanning needs, you may not need to look any further.

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