Product News

Volume 38 Number 1

By

About the Author

Nerino J. Petro, Jr. is a legal technologist and the Practice Management advisor for the State bar of Wisconsin. A former practicing attorney, he blogs on legal technology and practice management issues at www.compujurist.com.  

THE SCANSNAP S1100
Fujitsu has long been known for its ScanSnap desktop scanners. I reviewed the current model, the ScanSnap S1500, in this column in the January/February 2010 issue of Law Practice magazine, where it earned a score of 19 out of a possible 20 points.

THE SCANSNAP:
The ScanSnap S1100 is a USB 2.0, small and easily transport- able simplex (single-sided) color scanner that will scan up to 600 dpi. Measuring 10.74” x 1.87” x 1.33” and weighing in at slightly more than 12 ounces, the ScanSnap S1100 is a compact package wrapped in charcoal and gray plastic with the scanning head encased in silver metal. Overall, the S1100 is not an aesthetically displeasing devic.

The setup:
Installing the ScanSnap S1100 is easy: Insert the included CD-ROM, follow the instructions and then connect the S1100 to your computer using the included USB 2.0 cable. Scanning is just as simple: Fold down the front feed tray (which also turns on the S1100), and insert the document to be scanned face up. The S1100 will pull the document onto its feed rollers to hold the document in place and then stop. All you have to do is push the blue button to begin scanning. If you have a double-sided document or multiple pages, insert the next page(s) or flip the document over and, under the default settings, the scanner will automatically scan the next page(s). When it completes scanning a page, a pop-up window will appear instructing you to continue to insert additional pages (if any), or click the “finish” button to stop scanning and commence processing of the document.

The feature set:
Documents ranging in size from A4, business card, letter and up to legal can be scanned. Under the default settings the size will be detected automatically based on the page length. The S1100 can scan multiple pages continuously with proper page feeding by the user. As with its big brother the S1500, the ScanSnap relies on a Fujitsu specific driver (ScanSnap Manager) and TWAIN or ISIS® is not supported. The S1100 differs from the S1500 in more ways than its reduced size, weight and portability: The ScanSnap S1100 software suite does not include Adobe Acrobat Standard. Instead, the ability to create searchable PDF documents is embedded in the ScanSnap Manager. One difference that is an improvement over the S1500 is the fact that the S1100 will work with both Windows and Mac OS X out of the box with its software suite including both Windows and Mac OS X versions.

The exact software included depends on the operating system and, at the time this article was drafted, breaks down as follows:

Windows

  • ScanSnap organizer V4.1
  • ScanSnap Manager V5.1
  • CardMinder V4.1
  • Evernote for Windows 3.5
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap 4.1
  • Microsoft SharePoint  3.4
  • Mac Os X
  • ScanSnap Manager V3.1
  • CardirisTM 3.6 for ScanSnap
  • ABBYY FineReadxer for ScanSnapTM 4.1
  • Evernote for Mac 1.10

The results: The S1100 is rated at approximately eight pages per minute or 7.5 seconds per page in all modes except excellent mode; scanning time in excellent mode being rated at 35 seconds per page. Scanning test documents delivered performance in the 8 to 9 seconds range for a single-sided black-and-white document, while scanning the same document using excellent mode took just 25 seconds. Most users should find the default settings to be sufficient, and that the S1100 will deliver relatively quick scanning for such a small package.

Users of the S1500 should be right at home with the included software as, with the exception of not including Adobe Acrobat Standard, it’s pretty much the same. Using the Quick Menu to scan, you are presented with the following options without the SharePoint feature enabled: Scan to ScanSnap Organizer; Scan to CardMinder; Scan to Folder; Scan to E-mail; Scan to Print; Scan to Google DocsTM; Scan to Word; Scan to Excel; Scan to PowerPoint®; and Scan to Picture Folder.

Settings such as resolution color detection and creating searchable PDFs are set from within the ScanSnap manager. If you scan to the ScanSnap organizer, you’re able to drag-and-drop documents to one of the options listed above.

The bottom line: I do have a few issues with the S1100 starting with its construction. The plastic feed tray seems as if it could be easily broken, and when the page guide is open for turn path feeding, the entire scanner moves when the page impacts the guide. I also wish that Fujitsu included TWAIN and ISIS® drivers with the ScanSnap product line. However, these are minor issues when compared to the feature set and value that this scanner brings to the table. The S1100 can be found online for under USD190 and provides a great deal of value for the price. While the S1100 is not intended for scanning large numbers of pages at any one time, its ability to scan documents while out of the office, convert them to searchable PDF or other usable formats and save them to your computer leads me to believe that you should seriously consider adding it to your mobile technology kit.

Scorecard: With a maximum possible score of 20, here is how I rate it:

Ease of use

Quality of materials

Feature set

Value for cost

5

3

4

5

Total score:17

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