Digital scanners have been an important part of my life for nearly 30 years. I have hand scanners, flatbed scanners, portable scanners, slide scanners, card scanners, overhead scanners and more, including apps for my iPhone and iPad to “scan”. My quest continues for a unit which is self-feeding, two-sided, fast and iOS compatible . . . at Macworld/iWorld 2013, I found a real treasure that more than meets my expectations.
The Fujitzu ScanSnap iX500 Compact Color Duplex Scanner provides Mac (and PC) users, connected by USB cable, an effective way to greatly reduce paper clutter, storage space, and security risk associated with unmanaged paperwork at home or office. For even greater accessibility and usefulness, users can scan documents directly to an iOS iPhone or iPad via Wi-Fi. This meets the “WOW” factor through and through!
This scanner has a huge number of features including one-button searchable PDF creation, advanced paper feeding system (like many paper sizes in one tray all at once), blazingly fast 25 sheets of paper per minute color scanning, 50-page Automatic Document Feeder, built-in GI microprocessor, computer-less scanning to iOS (and Android) mobile devices, comes with Adobe Acrobat X Standard for Windows (but not for Mac), more Quick Menu productivity, and enhanced productivity with Fujitsu service and support. I could go on and on about its cool, compact foldable unit design for easy use and transport, as well as many other features.
As for scanning to mobile devices, after downloading the free ScanSnap app to my iPhone 5, iPad 3 and iPad mini, a quick configuration (including password) gets me setup, and I’m ready to start scanning with a single button on the screen. Or, I can still click the blue button on the scanner, send it to my computer, then share it via Wi-Fi with any of my iDevices, with one button click. It is so very convenient and easy to do.
The ScanSnap iX500 is equipped with an ultrasonic sensor that can be turned on to help operators avoid losing images. What's more, an interactive interface allows users to easily bypass intentional double-feed such as a taped-receipt on an expense report. What’s really nice is the ability to “scan to” many resources as shown on the dialogue box at right: ￼
Mac users can use Preview to manipulate many scanned images. But, for Windows users, the included ScanSnap Organizer software allows for the user to view, manage, and edit PDF and JPEG files scanned with ScanSnap. Organizer allows users to convert scanned PDF files into searchable content, embed custom keywords, attach to email or SharePoint, and remain productive with paperwork long after it is scanned.
As though that’s not enough, Cardminder Business Card Software is included to quickly scan loads of business cards, extract the contact information, and place it into editable fields that can be exported as a vCard to Contacts, Outlook or other address books.
I’ve used the iX500 now for over a month, and continue to be impressed time and again at the speed, clarity, quiet, volume and versatility of this scanner. It is such a delight to just press the lighted blue button on the top of the scanner, and watch it whisk through a pile of paper, scanning both sides at the same time (not the blanks), and saving it with a date/time stamp (or any title I prefer). Or, pressing a button on the app, then wirelessly autosaving it to my iPhone or iPad, quickly and easily. It can’t do it yet, but I predict that wireless scanning to my computer will be a feature in the near future.
If you would like to watch a product demo, or learn more about the ScanSnap iX500, go to http://scanners.fcpa.fujitsu.com/scansnap11/iX500.html. You can also purchase this fine unit from this website for $495.00, or discount bargains are also available at locations like Amazon.com for as little as $429.99. Other fine scanners are also available from Fujitsu, but I am definitely a big fan of this incredible model, which is worth every penny. This is the new productivity standard for other desktop scanners to meet.