Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Pen-Sized Color Scanner Reviewed 125

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the other-kind-of-spyware dept.
moto writes "ThinkComputers has a review up of a cool pen-sized scanner, the Planon RC800 Portable Color Scanner. From the article: 'I've noticed one major constant about most technology, as it changes it gets smaller. Take scanners for instance, I have a few of them, an older one that is pretty big, you could use it for a computer case if need be, if I lined them up in order of age you would find that they get smaller as they get newer. Today for review I have the smallest scanner yet, it's from Planon, and they actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Pen-Sized Color Scanner Reviewed

Comments Filter:
  • This is old news. (Score:5, Informative)

    by yagu (721525) * <yayaguNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:36PM (#14752101) Journal

    While a handheld pen-sized scanner may intrigue, it's not very new, not even for this particular device. If you go to the amazon.com review of this device [amazon.com], and look and see the oldest review for this device is in October of 2004!

    Additionally, while there are only fifteen reviews, the average is only 3.5/5 stars, enough of an indicator (to me at least) this isn't exciting or very interesting technology (for the record, a running theme at amazon seems to indicate a klunky package with difficult to use software and controls). Also fifteen reviews over a 15 month period would indicate a product that isn't moving. Perhaps this review is a nudge to try and get the product moving?

    • Re:This is old news. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SteelV (839704) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:41PM (#14752117)
      It is possible that it's just too new, so it isn't ready for market yet--that could by why the items aren't moving. Of course, I'm sure the first iterations of this product won't be amazing, but as time goes by, they'll probably improve.

      Of course, the idea of having such a tiny scanner is amazing. It would be great to one day have a normal pen that you can just slide along a piece of paper anywhere and it will save the image. Later, you could upload it to your computer wirelessly. I would definitely pay a few hundred dollars for something like that, if not a thousand. It would be great in class to quickly scan in and then throw away every handout, so I don't need to keep them in a folder somewhere collecting dust.
      • Re:This is old news. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dattaway (3088)
        It is possible that it's just too new, so it isn't ready for market yet-

        or the dozen or so patents haven't expired yet for a community to develop and release an improved version without bugs.
        • or the dozen or so patents haven't expired yet for a community to develop and release an improved version without bugs.

          Patents encourage innovation in multiple ways.

          1. People develop new things to get that government-granted monopoly.
          2. Other people have to find new ways to do things that the people in #1 did so they can make money too.

          Lately it seems that the people in the 2nd group have decided it easier to whine and complain about the people in the first group than it is to come up with something new on
    • Perhaps this review is a nudge to try and get the product moving?

      I RTFA. What review? It's pure, unadulterated online ad, exactly the sort of copy I would expect to see at a place that asked me to add it to my cart just to see the sale price.

      The "reviewer" needs to wear a Tshirt that says "I'm a ho" on it.

      KFG
    • The page you linked to is the R700. This article is a review of the R800.
    • You've linked to a review of the R700. The R700 is a monochrome unit.

      This is the R800. The R800 is a colour unit with higher resolution. They also claim to have improved the tracking system and software so it isn't so fiddly.

      The difference in utility is pretty major. I wouldn't bother with a monochrome pen scanner, but I would love to be able to quickly scan visual reference material out of art books quickly. They tend to be expensive and have low print runs, but photocopying for reference when doing a pain
    • by fm6 (162816) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:16PM (#14752288) Homepage Journal
      While a handheld pen-sized scanner may intrigue, it's not very new...
      Indeed, Slashdot's sibling site, ThinkGeek, used to sell little monochrome scanners meant for OCR work. I actually bought one, but found it too hard to hold it steady enough to work reliably. And come to think of it, the first scanner I ever bought was a little handheld thing. I didn't buy it (ten years ago, I think) because it was small, I bought it because it was cheap. But again, too hard to hold steady.

      If you look carefully at a typical $100 scanner, you'll realize that the electronics contribute very little to its size. Most of the bulk is due to the mechnical stuff that holds the paper in place and moves the sensors across it.

      That kind of mechanical engineering has clearly hit its fundamental limits in terms of size. To get a real breakthrough, you'd have to find a way to do without moving the sensor over the image. You can already image a piece of paper with a digital camera — and some digital cameras are very tiny indeed. But they don't include the ability to correct the image for the arbitrary positioning of the camera. Invent that, and you'd have a handheld scanner worth talking about.

      • I would be impressed if they came out with a sheetfeeder dock for this thing. Load up a small stack of papers, hit the button and be done with it. Or remove it from the dock to scan a page out of a book without trying to squish the book onto a flatbed scanner.
      • If you were to use a tilt-shift lens I think you would overcome that issue rather quickly. I have seen images "scanned" with Canon cameras using tilt-shift lenses and it works rather well....
      • That kind of mechanical engineering has clearly hit its fundamental limits in terms of size. To get a real breakthrough, you'd have to find a way to do without moving the sensor over the image. You can already image a piece of paper with a digital camera -- and some digital cameras are very tiny indeed. But they don't include the ability to correct the image for the arbitrary positioning of the camera. Invent that, and you'd have a handheld scanner worth talking about.

        No, a camera wouldn't be good. The sid

        • not sure that would be much more useful for me scanning the boxes of the dvds i want to pirate for my l33t haxx0r friends :) jokes aside i think the flatbed scanner will always have it's place.
        • No, a camera wouldn't be good. The sides would get distorted due to the lens and the resolution wouldn't be there.

          Well, I started using my Canon Digital Rebel XT for "scanning" documents. If you have the right distance and the right lens (around 28mm seems pretty good, though 35 is better if you good enough light to be able to hold it steady).
          It is true, at the 18mm end of the stock Rebel lens, distortion is a little of a problem, but if you go higher up, it's less fisheye. Good quality 18mm and 14mm
        • I've owned exactly what you propose. Back in.. It was probably 1995.

          9 inches long, about as big around as a Red Bull can. Big thick SCSI cable that weighed more than the scanner connected it to a little parallel port SCSI board the manufacturer had bought in bulk from AT&T. Did black and white at like 200 dpi, cheesy 256 greyscale at less.

          If the paper was thin, the scanner wouldn't grab it. If the paper was thick, it sounded like the scanner was going to have a heart attack. If you weren't scanning some
      • http://www.dpreview.com/news/0509/05090702ricoh_ca plior3.asp [dpreview.com]

        Check this passage:

        The skew correction function. Through an original algorithm, which automatically detects trapezoids in images and corrects them to rectangles, images of such things as blackboards, documents, or time schedules shot at any angle can be corrected so that the image looks as though it were shot from the front. The camera is most effective in business environments where blackboards, overhead projector, OHPs, time schedules; sign

      • "To get a real breakthrough, you'd have to find a way to do without moving the sensor over the image. You can already image a piece of paper with a digital camera -- and some digital cameras are very tiny indeed. But they don't include the ability to correct the image for the arbitrary positioning of the camera. Invent that, and you'd have a handheld scanner worth talking about."

        It's not perfect, but my camera -- a Casio EX-Z120 -- actually has exactly this feature built in. Casio calls it "Business Shot";
      • http://sprite.student.utwente.nl/~jeroen/projects / mouseeye/ [utwente.nl]

        I think you could get away with a 256x256 sensor (real cheap IC) that is hooked up with a plastic lens to read a 1/2" square area at roughly 300dpi.

        It could break the image up into tiles, and autocorrelate them as you scan to build up the document on the fly in the onboard memory. An ARM core with a few meg of onboard RAM and flash, maybe a DSP, it shouldn't take much to make that possible in a mouse-sized, lightweight device.

        Put a few LEDs on top
      • My camera does. It's a Casio Exilim EX-S100 [casio.com], which is now a discontinued product I believe. I would assume current poducts in the line have the same feature.

        It's intended to take pictures of whiteboards and business cards and an angle, and does an admirable job of finding the edges and correcting for perspective. The camera itself isn't high-enough resolution to do a great job with a sheet of paper, but for smaller items or things with large print (as I said, business cards and whiteboards) it does a pret
        • Sure, it's not as hypothetical as I thought. But my main point was that shrinking down scanners by eliminating the machinery was pointless.
    • ANYONE who claims more than months or even weeks uptime in XP isn't applying patches!

      What about the people who did apply patches and are lying? Perhaps "claims" should be replaced with "experiences" or "has".
    • The link to the review is for a previous model, the DPEN-R700, the article refers to the RC800, which seems to be far more capable than its predecessor.
    • The review posted is for the RC800, not the RC700 on the amazon site.

      I've got an RC700, and the only difficult thing about it was the basic instructions being unclear, with no simple explanation on how to clear the memory.

      Other than that, it has come in quite handy, and even intimidating...when looking up public records at government offices, the clerk tends to panic when you whip it out of your sleeve and start scanning the paperwork into it. Especially when it is one of those "cannot leave the counter to
  • by eMartin (210973) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:37PM (#14752102)
    "I've noticed one major constant about most technology, as it changes it gets smaller."

    Hey baby..

    I'm just more technologically advanced.
    • I've noticed one major constant about most technology, as it changes it gets smaller.

      I'm confused now. Is it a constant, or isn't it?
    • "I've noticed one major constant about most technology, as it changes it gets smaller." Hey baby.. I'm just more technologically advanced.

      Just goes to prove too much technology isn't a good thing.

    • "I've noticed one major constant about most technology, as it changes it gets smaller."
      how the hell does this end up on /.?
      • by typical (886006) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:50PM (#14752407) Journal
        Actually, "small" and "futuristic" are not necessarily mentally intertwined as you might think.

        I remember looking at old futuristic art from, oh, the 30s through the 50s. The future was big. Big buildings, bridges, ships, and later big airplanes and spaceships. Big cars, big roads. I suspect that for the typical person from that period, "futuristic" would be more closely associated with "big" than "small".
        • Yeah but in the '50s, the concept of miniturization didn't exist. The closest they had were cold swimming pools.
        • The future trends towards useful.

          Some things are more useful when they're bigger (the examples you cited). Some things are more useful when they're smaller (anything that you have to carry).

          Then there are some things that have a Goldilocks size - like a cell phone. The current ones that can only be held between the thumb and pinkie and dialed with a ballpoint pen are one such counter-example.

          And the iPod inVisa - "it floats!".
  • by cuteseal (794590) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:40PM (#14752113) Homepage
    ... scanner in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? :D
  • See, like, 'cause I just saw this movie Firewall where Harrison Ford transferred 10,000 bank account numbers from a screen into digital data in an iPod in, like, three minutes, and I think this could really cause a problem because, you know, people could totally scan all sorts of secure data virtually instantaneously and then use it to, say, steal a hundred miiillion dollars.

    And he even did it with the scanner used in a Fax machine. Totally awesome techie feat, not to mention impossible. The greatest line ever, though: "Ten thousand songs, ten thousand account numbers. It can't tell the difference." I fell out of my chair.
    • you could easily fit 10,000 account numbers into a tab-deliminated text file, and it'd only take up a few megabytes.

      a zip disk perhaps would have been more appropriate?
      • you could easily fit 10,000 account numbers into a tab-deliminated text file, and it'd only take up a few megabytes.

        Exactly how many digits is your bank account number, and why the hell do you bank there?
      • The routing number for your bank is nine digits.
        The number for the account at the bottom of my checks is fourteen.
        Let's say we store 50 characters of name identification because we feel like sending everyone a form letter thanking them for the money we're stealing.
        Tab inbetween them.
        Null at the end.

        In character format, this comes out to 75 bytes, with one extra null for delimitation. This comes out to a grand total of 750,000 bytes, or 730k'ish of data for 10,000 accounts.

        You and everyone you hav
  • by SteelV (839704) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:43PM (#14752131)
    This is a great way to start moving even further from the paper world. Every one or two-page document you get in class/the office you can quickly scan with a pen, then upload wirelessly to your computer. The day this becomes effective and viable--and the software for converting scanned images to text/pdf/.doc files becomes more accurate--we'll start to see an even greater shift away from traditional documents.

    Already, most handouts in class can be found online. This will just make it even easier to keep everything on your computer for easy retrieval--especially through SEARCH (spotlight, google DS, vista, etc.).

    Can't wait till they technology is cheaper and more efficient.
    • I think ill wait for the deluxe model, that combines scanner,copier, printer and fax. Now thats what I would call a gadget!!
    • People said the same thing about the old Logitech Scanman portable scanners (twas about the size of a trackball. With the software, it made it easy enough to join up scan strips into one whole). Then there is the Visioneer scanners, etc. Now would be a digital camera with a ring flash and a good high quality macro lens and good quality sensor. The flash would need to be bright enough yet diffuse enough to allow for hand-held picture taking, and if the optics are good enough so that simulating pixels (ala di
    • Such an idea works in a classroom setting, but fails to work most elsewhere. It is necessary to have paper records in many fields. For instance, in some jurisdictions medical records must be on paper. While they can be stored in a computerized database, there still must be a paper copy for insurance and legal reasons.

      And that's just one example. Many engineering documents and specs (I mean for real structures and products, not necessary consumer-grade hardware or software) are kept in paper form, again for
      • So while it is theoretically possible to move towards a paperless society, and devices like this would help, it is not exactly practical within the existing legal frameworks of many nations.

        The computer works best when you think of it as a box that does wonderous things that you used to use many pieces of paper for.

        The stream, for those that still get paper in, should be "recieve paper -> Scan document -> archive or discard paper -> Create product -> print product." You start having a paperless
        • Ask anyone who works in a paperless office.
          It ain't all that paperless.

          What usually ends up happening is that they generate the same amount of and sometimes more paper... but in different ways than before.
          • Ask anyone who works in a paperless office.
            It ain't all that paperless.


            Then they're not working in a paperless office.

            A paperless office is a large place, with one department for "incoming paper," a seperate print shop, and NO ONE ELSE HAS A PRINTER.

            If you've got a printer installed on your PC, your office ain't paperless.
        • Paperless office - hrmmm, that old myth. We use more paper since the advent of computers than we did previously. A significant use of which is printing out email.

          While I work for a business which provides digital archiving solutions, personally I still request bills and bank statements in hardcopy.

          Hardcopy can provide a trigger to pay the bill, I can write a recipt number on it, file it for referring to later, fax it to someone should there be a dispute. Digital files tend to either be untrusted (too easy

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:04PM (#14752243) Journal
    300 dpi, 3 pass scanner, 8.5in x 11in, slow as mollasses and cost me $1500.

    Now I have an 8.5 x 11 scanner that does 2400 dpi in a single pass and it only cost me $89 on sale at Best Buy.

    Amazing what happens in a dozen years...

    RS

    • Indeed, however, even though your older scanner is quite a bit larger I'll wager its form factor is still determined by the size of a piece of paper.

      The worlds smallest playable violin is only 4 inches long, but you're not likely to see people lining up to buy it. There is an international standard now for the "correct" size of a violin, because:

      For every technology there is a right size. A working automobile the size of a peanut would be a remarkable bit of manufacturing technology; and useless.

      KFG
      • You're constraining the possible solutions to fit your notion of the technology.

        It's like saying "the world's smallest boulder is so small that it fits in a hat box!"

        I've got a motorcycle that runs circles around most cars -- it is bigger than a peanut, but accelerates faster than a supercar and still gets 40 mpg. (my other bike is faster than 85% of all cars, but gets 90 mpg and is 1/5th the cost of a stripped civic). The only reason you would think it's useless is because it isn't a car. But, it does ever
        • I've got a motorcycle that runs circles around most cars

          I miss my RD400. Note that I didn't say "vehicle," I said "car." Yes, I constrained the technology, but to what it is. I didn't constrain other technologies to accomplish the same or similar ends.

          Nowadays I just ride a bicycle, because even though it won't "run circles" around a car, let alone a motorcycle, I find it to be a superior technology. For minimalism I've got a skateboard, because even though I can make a fully functional, 4" long bicycle my
          • You are a human being. Your form factor is an irreducable.

            Good point. Unless you're saying I'm fat and am never going to be skinny ;-)

            I guess we should have come up with better examples -- some things are constrained by human form factors (car, violin, piano), and others aren't as much (mp3 player, sheets of paper).
            • . . .some things are constrained by human form factors (car, violin, piano), and others aren't as much (mp3 player, sheets of paper).

              The single volume dead tree OED came with a magnifying glass. The magnifying glass becomes part of the size of the piece of paper, because the paper is useless without it.

              If you find you need to use a tripod to achieve high quality scans with your digital camera, the tripod becomes part of the size of your scanner.

              The size of the scanner is dependant on the size of the piece o
        • How can you scan a notebook if the camera focuses at infinity? You definitely need a macro mode on the camera, although scannig pages with a camera makes more sense than a silly pen you wave across the paper.
      • The worlds smallest playable violin is only 4 inches long

        Speaking as a violinist: If the violin is 4 inches long, it ain't playable.

        Then again, I guess that was your point.

  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918&gmail,com> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:32PM (#14752352)
    This would be useful for those doing research in libraries' historical records. They rarely lend out their older collections, and in some cases won't let them be scanned either. This could be a useful covert way of doing just that.
    • I read that worng the first time around!
    • Get a high-megapixel camera with a macro and low-light mode (that doesn't destroy the resolution) and take pictures of the books without flash.

      If they're brittle enough to need avoiding a photocopy you don't want to run anything over the pages in physical contact either.

      If your camera isn't that high of a resolution, tile the pictures use something like Autostitcher to glue them together.

      You're a guest in the community's library and you have no right to damage the community property just because you're feel
    • The reason they don't want them scanned is the paper is fragile, exposure to light or being handled is likely to accellerate the decay.

      They are trying to preserve the record so it is available to be viewed by generations of people at a later date. 'Covert scanning' as you propose is a form of vandalism and exactly the type of attitude that causes these sort of items to be placed in closed collections.

  • WTFC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AlterTick (665659) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:55PM (#14752422)
    and they actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Honestly, is there anyone over the age of 12 that's still impressed with anything in the Guiness Book of World Records? And even if so, why is a record of "Worlds Smallest Scanner" even worth recording? It'll be beaten as a matter of course when the R900 comes out.

  • usable with Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by srk (49331) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:55PM (#14752423) Homepage
    Does anybody know if it works with Linux or Mac? Manufacturer's web site has only Windows as a supported system.
    • Does anybody know if it works with Linux or Mac? Manufacturer's web site has only Windows as a supported system.

      You seem to have answered your own question in the same post.

      • by markdavis (642305)
        Apparently not, since http://www.planon.com/drivers.php [planon.com] indicates that it is, indeed supported under MacOS 10:

        "Please note that these files are drivers only and do not include any scanning software. They will allow you to use your DocuPen with your mac if your mac has OS 10 and a TWAIN compliant imaging software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Acrobat Writer among others."

        Unfortunately, no mention of Linux, so it is not an interesting product, afterall.
      • by srk (49331)
        There are lots of products for which manufacturers do not claim any Linux compatibility. However, such products are often perfectly usable with Linux either because there is a community support or a product is built to some standard. For example, I have not seen a USB key claiming compatibility with Linux but 99.99% of them work fine.

        I wonder if somebody tried this scanner with Linux? Also this scanner can use microSD card to extend its memory. It may store the files on the card in some usable format.
        • I think it's difficult for a manufacturer to say "Linux compatible". If they've tested it in the top-5 distros and then someone uses Vector Linux or DSL and it doesn't work out-of-the-box that person will have a negative opinion of the vendor.

          I am suprised we don't get Mandriva / Fedora / Debian compatibility listed though.

    • It would appear not. At the very least, it is not included in SANE [sane-project.org] in either the internal or external backends. For that matter, no Planon scanner is.
  • This device was being sold on retail outlets like compussr and such for the past year or so and the reviews are dime a dozen. I am not sure how this article got past the scrutiny of slasdot editors while they slash stories of much better content left and right. He/she must be a good friend to one of the editors here I am thinking {grin}...
  • by Jaime2 (824950) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:30PM (#14752506)
    I work with scanners regularly and all the destop scanners we recommend to our clients cost around $1000 or more. Dedicated 8hr-a-day scanners run close to $5000. We don't make a dime on hardware, so we're not trying to squeeze cash out of anyone. Just try a $1000 scanner like a Kodak i40 someday and you'll see why anyone who depends on a scanner for a business shouldn't consider anything inferior.

    Now, if you show me a pen scanner that makes images good enough to ORC or recognize a bar code and I'll sell a million of them for you. But for now, I love to have an ultra-reliable, self-feeding, double-sided, 60+ ppm scanner whenever I need to scan anything worthwhile.
    • The difference with industrial sheetfeed scanners is that this one actually fits in your pocket..
    • I have a Chevy pickup truck with 4WD, a crew cab, a snow plow, tire chains, a winch, aggressive tread tires, and a hard plastic bedliner. It's going to get a second battery and some brighter lights come spring time.

      I don't use it to commute to client sites for computer work.

      But you won't see me pulling stumps out of the ground with my Subaru either (the tow hooks are actually just cheap sheet metal - DAMHINT).

      So, right tool for the right job at the right price and all that.
      • Ahhh yes, but this scanner is more expensive than most consumer scanners while managing to suck more than most. My point was that many companies are pushing the wrong boundaries... almost nobody needs a portable scanner that barely works. The worst thing about this scanner is that you can't see how bad the scans are until you plug it into a computer. It's like a digital camera that often gets the settings wrong and doesn't have an LCD.

        Also, all of the examples they give on the website are for mission-c
  • by melted (227442) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @09:47PM (#14752578) Homepage
    All I want from scanner manufacturers is come up with a model of scanner that can scan _multiple_ pages, from _both sides_, _automatically_, bundled with decent OCR software and archiving software. I'd just feed all the paperwork I receive in a week into it and have a searchable archive. Unfortunately, the industry is run by morons and it's not gonna happen.
    • We use one of the better Kodak scanners, full duplex and with ADF. We run it through Captiva and we get fully searchable OCRed documents (with the original document image). These end up being filed on an archive system. It works, but the solution is very proprietary and extremely expensive.

      Of course it helps to be a big bank to be able to afford such systems. SoHo prioced scanners can be nice, but they generally aren't full-duplex and the ADFs tend to jam if the paper quality isn't 100%.

    • $1000 doesn't sounds like too much if you really spend that much time pissing about scanning.

      And I found it in like 2 minutes

      http://search.ebay.com/XDM2625D [ebay.com]

      The Xerox DocuMate 262 Color Duplex Sheetfed Scanner & Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) for Windows/Windows XP is Double the speed in duplex mode @ 50 ipm and includes OneTouch scanning for up to 9 functions.
      MODEL: XDM2625D-WU VENDOR: VISIONEER

      Seems it's not just the people you think are running the show who are morons.
    • All I want from scanner manufacturers is come up with a model of scanner that can scan _multiple_ pages, from _both sides_, _automatically_, bundled with decent OCR software and archiving software. I'd just feed all the paperwork I receive in a week into it and have a searchable archive. Unfortunately, the industry is run by morons and it's not gonna happen.

      You mean like the Kodak i40? I'd say it does just about everything you mention, and has a nice supply of included software to boot.

      At the office, w

      • At the newspaper where I worked until recently we had a Ricoh Officio (or something like that, forget the model#) that was a printer/scanner/fax etc. You could feed in a stack of paper and push a few buttons and it would either email you a file or drop it on an SMB share for you, in TIF or PDF format. It was a pretty cool device.

        Expensive to buy, I bet, but the bosses liked it because it cost something like $40 a month to lease including all supplies (except paper) and all maintenance.
      • ... and compact enough to keep on my desk. $1K+ behemoth is OK for the office, but at home I need something smaller an less expensive.
        • Well, the sub-$400 is going to be tricky. The Fuji SnapScans are going for around $495 retail and have pretty good reviews (I think somebody said something about not being real TWAIN scanners, though).

          I can say from experience, the single-sided Kodak i30 is about $600 (with software, cable, and even USB interface card if you have a really old computer), it's seriously fast and as small as a typical inkjet printer. We use it for electronic case filing (ECF) with the Federal court. The Kodak i40 is doubl

    • Kodak, Xerox and Fujitsu all produce scanners as you describe. A friend and I built a client management system for financial advisers, and we've used a Fujitsu duplex scanner (around 27 sheets per minute iirc) plus the duplex scanning facilities in photocopiers to keep all client records archived. We currently have something like 70,000 documents (between 30 and 100 A4 sides per document on average) on one deployment of system - all scanned in a short space of time. On a smaller scale you can also buy soft
    • A doctor's office that I occasionally do work for has a Canon scanner up at the the front desk which they use to scan, from what I gather, all of their patient-related documents into a computer.

      It's a dandy little box. You just put a stack of papers into it, and it scans them - both sides at once. It doesn't seem to care much about bent corners, or creases, or folds, or slightly-off sizes. And when it does begin to misfeed for whatever reason, it has the remarkable ability to shake the paper stack until
    • I spent some time, recently, trying to find something like that, but decided that everthing I could find was too expensive. Instead, I bought an HP Network ScanJet 5 on eBay, and used the wonderful, customized installation CD provided by David S. Madole (http://www.madole.net/scanjet/ [madole.net]) to install FreeBSD on it. Now I have nearly everything I wanted: quick, good quality scans, a large ADF, and the ability to email or fax directly from the device. The only minor detail is that to scan duplex pages, I have to
  • ... I would love one of these. Being able to scan pages and books anywhere with minimal fuss would be a dream come true for me. The only downfalls i can see are highish price and flimsy construction. Might wait a bit to see if there are any copy-cat products that do a better job.
  • Today for review I have the smallest scanner yet, it's from Planon, and they actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

    Designers seem to keep making devices smaller and smaller just because they can. Some devices are becoming so small it's making them virtually unusable.

    Future Review: New scanner released that's the size of a needle, unfortunately the review has been delayed because we dropped it in a haystack.
  • Smaller isn't necessarily:

    Better.
    Cheaper.
    Easier to Use.

  • Since the boring day on which I noticed the space under the screen of my Inspiron 700m notebook is just large enough to pass a sheet of paper I have wondered if it would be possible for Dell or some intrepid DIY'er to install a scanner in the afore-mentioned space. Perhaps this little pen will spur somebody on.
  • Pen-Sized Color Scanner Reviewed

    I suppose I'm the only person who thought that said penis-sized color scanner. It was a boggle trying to figure out why that would be the unit of measure and who would calculate the standard.

    You could spin that out to suggest there was a replica at some government office, made out of titanium or something, that was the internationally recognized standard. That could help out anyone getting caught with a vibrator in their desk. They could simply explain that was their 1

  • I remember most affordable scanners in the mid 90s being hand-held.
    Those looked a bit like a T-shaped overgrown mouse (now figure that out) and required at least two passes to scan an A4 sheet.
  • Anyone else thinking of Isaac Asimov's short story "The Dying Night"? Where scientists use a form of camera, that's basically a hand-held scanner device, in order to store images of written paper? Asimov basically had this device down pat, except he imagined it being mechanical in nature, with film as its storage medium, instead of digital, with a computer chip.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.

Working...