Expo Notes: Scanning the showfloor for scanners

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It’s been a good couple of years for consumer-focused document scanners, with many new and established companies entering the market. Working with cloud services like Evernote and Google Docs, the scanners on display all week at Macworld Expo drew large crowds on the show floor, as more and more people become interested in organizing their documents and reducing the paper clutter in their lives. Many of these products look alike, work alike, and cost alike, so the main differentiator becomes the software interface; at Macworld 2011, attendees could test drive all of them to see which ones best suited their needs and tastes.

The Neat Company demoed its $200 Neat Receipts for Mac—a portable, single-sheet simplex scanner—as well as the $400 NeatDesk for Mac. This desktop document scanner features an automatic document feeder and duplex scanning capabilities.

NeatDesk features an automatic document feeder and duplex scanning capabilities.

Just a few rows away on the Expo showfloor, Fujitsu was showing its recently introduced, portable version of their popular ScanScap document scanner, the S1100. For $200, this USB bus-powered single-sheet simplex scanner manages to keep many of the same features as its desktop sibling, the S1500, a $495 desktop document scanner that can scan both sides of a sheet of paper in a single pass and offers a 50-sheet automatic document feeder and 20 sheet per minute color scanning. Both allow you to scan to Microsoft Word and Excel, Evernote, and Google Docs

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 portable document scanner retains many of the features of its desktop counterpart.

In iVina’s booth, the company displayed a complete line of BulletScan documents scanners, from the small and portable $99 M40 to the $1299 BulletScan F600 with a daily duty cycle of 3500 pages. Most interesting was iVina’s $299 BulletScan S300 which can work as a portable single-sheet duplexing document scanner or can be docked to take advantage of a 20-sheet automatic document feeder.

IRIS had a couple of new products to show off at Macworld. Its $99 IRISPhoto 4 is not, as its name might suggest, the fourth iteration of the IRISPhoto product line—this is a brand new product. It features a rechargeable battery and 512MB of internal storage that can hold up to 2000 4 x 6-inch 300dpi scans, allowing you to sit in front of the TV, for instance, and casually load photos into the half pound device. When you’re finished, plug it into your Mac and the scanner mounts to your desktop. Drag the files to iPhoto or the included ACDSee Express 2 software.

IRIS also showed off a $199 portable document scanner, the IRIScan anywhere 2. Unlike other portable document scanners, the IRIScan Anywhere 2 has a rechargeable battery and a 512MB of internal memory, as well as an SD card slot and a USB thumb drive slot for additional storage. When connected via USB to your computer, it mounts to your desktop like any storage device. You can then bring the files into the ReadIRIS Pro 12 OCR software or CardIRIS Pro 5 business card processing application.

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