Saturday, April 08, 2017

Review: Fujitsu IX100 Mobile Scanner

This is a short review cum almost fan-boy like assessment of the Fujitsu IX100 portable scanner.   More than anything else at the end of this article please tell me you will make sure that there is at least 1 scanner in your house

What is it?
The Fujitsu IX100 is a tiny, and I mean really tiny, lightweight, portable paper scanner.   It costs about 180 GBP from Scan or other UK suppliers.  With battery power and WiFi it can make a cable-less connection to your PC and do single sided colour or black and white A4 page scanning at a rate of less than 10 seconds per page

The Importance of Scanning

I cannot emphasise the importance of document scanning enough. We actually pity people who don't own a scanner, why?  Because a scanner enables you to keep an accurate copy of your paper documents without the physical space.  But not just that, you can save the documents as searchable .pdf meaning that you can search through the documents saved on your computer.  And if uploaded to a Cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive you can even access these documents anywhere you have an Internet connection.

All these benefit might seem a bit meh. For small document quantities perhaps, but over time in the 21st century it's just not practical to store all your paper documents.  And certainly if scanned they are not only searchable digitally but you can make a backup copy protecting you from document theft or accidental destruction

Mobile Scanning
Clearly a mobile scanner represents a compromised scanning solution.  There is no sheet feeder and scanning speeds compared to a desktop scanner are mediocre.  For a desktop solution please see this review

What we have implemented is a 2 scanner solution

- Fujitsu IX500 whilst at home
- Fujitsu IX100 while on the move
- Both uses identical Fujitsu Scansnap scanning software

IX100 Specifics

The dimensions in mm are 273 x 47 x 36.  Yes this is literally about the size of one of those large Toblerones.   Astonishing.

In normal operation you cue up a page to scan then I'd recommend pressing the scan button on the scanner.  And have that button setup for your most often scan setting.

Alternatively you can initiate the scan from your Computer directly.

Once the scan is finished a thumbnail of the last scanned page is displayed and at that point finish scan and the image is save according to your preferences.  Let's examine some of the choices you will have setup:

 Select where images will be scanned to.  In our case they go straight to Dropbox and so automatically get backed up to the cloud.  So if the originals are subsequently lost or the computer stolen we still have the document copies safe.

You can setup the scan with yyyyMMDD at the head of the file name.  Fantastic, this is our house document standard.

 Select the scan quality.  For a portable scanner we found 400 dpi BW and 200 dpi colour perfectly acceptable.

Image rotation set to automatic so if paper is in the wrong way around the image is automagically rotated.

 Most importantly the pdf files saved are processed by OCR withing the Scansnap program which saves a searchable .pdf file.  Again just what we wanted.

Further there is control over how the PDF is saved.

For mobile us we set compression to a minimum

Connection Modes

You can choose between

- USB cable connection  (in which case it charges at the same time as passing data)
- Dedicated Wifi connection to your computer, i.e. no router
- Traditional WiFi connection via router

The dedicated or direct connection is useful in this mobile setup because it's unlikely you will have your home router with you whilst travelling

Whilst there is no document feeder or duplex scanner the Fujitsu IX100 portable scanner is an amazing device.  It helps us keep organised whilst we are away from home.  Since it's battery powered and has either a Wifi or USB cable connection we can scan documents even from our Motorhome.   So even whilst away from home we can maintain a precise and accurate scanned document log.

And the scans can be searchable .PDF.  In fact the scanning application called Scansnap is shared between all desktop and portable IX scanners from Fujitsu.  Just great!

We really recommend this as the second, and portable scanner in your family.  Fujitsu IX100.