Tech reviews

Tech review: Fujitsu’s compact scanner does a lot in a very small footprint | News


I’ve been using document scanners for years, and just when I thought I’d seen everything, Fujitsu’s ScanSnap iX1300 ($325 at amazon.com) showed me some innovative new tricks.

The iX1300 is a compact document scanner that looks similar to other document scanners I’ve tested. But it has unique paper-handling that allows the scanner to work in a much smaller footprint on your desk.

A document scanner is a machine that takes in paper documents and turns them into electronic documents to store on a computer, smartphone, tablet or on your favorite cloud storage system.

You feed the paper through rollers that move it quickly past a narrow scanner. You can feed multiple sheets to create multipage PDFs.

A different path

Most document scanners that feed from the top have an output tray that leaves the paper in front of the scanner, so you need to clear a spot on your desk big enough for the paper as it shoots out of the scanner.

The iX1300 has a top feeder, but after the paper gets scanned, it is routed in a U-shaped path so it stands up in a stack in front of the feeder. Nothing spits out of the front.

The path the paper takes is genius. It really keeps the clutter on your desk to a minimum.

The sheet feeder can hold up to 20 pages and the scanner can image 30 pages per minute. You can scan documents from 2 by 2 inches up to 8.5 by 14 inches.

Manual feed

The U-shaped paper path from the document feeder isn’t designed to work with thicker documents.

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The iX1300 has a different way to handle thick items like business cards, ID cards, postcards or even photos.

There is a front-facing slot to feed documents of all sizes, from business cards to receipts to legal-size paper. That slot feeds the document past the scan heads, then reverses the rollers and brings it back to you out of the same slot. It works without curving or bending the original, so it’s good for scanning documents up to 2 millimeters thick.

Scanning both sides

The iX1300 is a duplex scanner, meaning it scans both sides of the page at the same time.

The scanner can also capture color, grayscale or black and white. It has a resolution of 600 dots per inch, which is great for documents.

You can also use it to scan photos, but that is not its primary job. Don’t buy this just to scan your old photos — there are better options.

The iX1300 can connect to your computer through an included USB cable or through Wi-Fi (2.4 gigahertz or 5 gigahertz).

You use Wi-Fi to scan to a smartphone or tablet.

The scanner can even create a direct Wi-Fi connection to scan to a computer, phone or tablet if no Wi-Fi network is available.

Scanning

Scanning to your phone or tablet is as easy as installing the ScanSnap app and being connected to the same Wi-Fi network. The app will help you connect the scanner to your Wi-Fi.

Stack the paper in the feeder and press the scan button in the app or on the scanner.

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The paper will feed through and you’ll see the document appear on your device.

The same goes for your Mac or Windows PC. Download and install the ScanSnap Home app, be connected to the scanner via USB or Wi-Fi and press the scan button on the scanner or in the app.

If you want to scan to a cloud storage service, use the ScanSnap Cloud app. It can scan directly to Google Drive, DropBox, Box, Evernote, OneDrive and more.

After scanning, the ScanSnap software will make quick work of cleaning up the document. It can automatically sense the page size, auto-rotate, delete blank pages, straighten images or remove streaks.

The output formats are JPG, PDF and Searchable PDF.

The iX1300 can create PDFs that have searchable text. It uses optical character recognition to turn the scanned text into editable text.

Optical character recognition also works for receipts. The scanner is able to recognize the vendor, total amount and tax.

It can also read information from business cards and export that data to your Outlook contacts.

Portability

The iX1300 is a compact scanner, but my biggest complaint is the lack of a battery, which would make it much easier to use away from your desk.

The scanner itself measures 11.7 by 4.5 by 3.3 inches, and it weighs 4.4 pounds.

The ScanSnap iX1300 runs on Windows versions 7 through 11. It runs on MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer.

ScanSnap Connect for iOS runs on iOS or iPadOS version 12 or newer. ScanSnap Connect for Android runs on Android version 6.0 or later.

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In use

I’ve used top-of-the-line document scanners, and none is easier to use than the iX1300. Once the wireless connection is set, the scanner never failed to connect to my computer, phone or tablet.

The scans look great, and the pages move through the scanner quickly.

The ScanSnap software isn’t hard to use, and it makes things easy after the scan is done.

The way the iX1300 moves paper in such a small package is fun to watch.

This scanner is best suited for home use or where desk space is at a premium.

Pros: Small footprint, unique paper handling, crisp output, easy to use.

Cons: No battery.

Bottom line: A robust scanner in a smaller package.

Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at jrossman@dallasnews.com.

©2021 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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