Visioneer returns with two-in-one scanner

Visioneer has announced the Strobe 500 two-in-one scanner: It's a desktop duplex color scanner with a 20-page document feeder. Or, with the press of a button, the scanning unit detaches from the feeder to become a stand-alone, portable, sheet-fed scanner.

When docked in the document feeder, the Strobe 500 scans up to 15 two-sided pages per minute or 30 images per minute (at 200dpi). That feeder can accommodate all kinds of documents, from letter-size, legal, and A4 paper to photos and even plastic ID cards. You can send those scans via USB 2.0 to up to six user-configurable destinations, including PDF files, text-editing or e-mail apps, and printers.

The Strobe 500 comes with Mac drivers (OS X 10.4 or later), plus copies of ExactScan scanning software and NewSoft’s Presto! PageManager document manager. When it ships November 20, you’ll be able to buy the scanner-sheet feeder combo for $400, the stand-alone scanner ($350), or just the feeder ($100).

Until 1998, Visioneer was a major player in the Mac scanner market. But as digital photography took hold (reducing the need to scan old photo prints), the company shifted its focus to document management—a business then dominated by Windows. Visioneer executives say that, given the Mac’s inroads in the corporate market, it made sense to come out with a Mac version of the Strobe 500. (Note that Visioneer also manufactures scanners for Xerox.)

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