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No Computer? No Problem for This Portable Photo Scanner

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Xerox Mobile Scanner
Photo courtesy Xerox
Mobile scanners are all the rage these days, and with prices and sizes very competitive, it's only the smallest features that set them apart. In the case of the Xerox Mobile Scanner, what sets it apart--very effectively--from the competition is the included Eye-Fi card, which enables a host of conveniences including sending scans (JPGs as well as color or monochrome PDFs) directly to a computer, tablet, or smart phone without having to be connected with a cable. That wireless capability is a nice change from having to plug in the scanner to move images around. It's also fast, small, and has a decent battery, so while it's heavier than some of the competition, it's worth the extra weight.

Set Up and Speed

If there is a weak point to the new Xerox Mobile Scanner, it's that set up takes a bit longer than with other mobile scanners. That's because you need to charge it for eight hours before using it (a full charge will get you as many as 300 scans), and because the scanner's main convenience--its included 4 GB Eye-Fi card--takes a bit of effort to get up and running, including setting up an Eye-Fi account and moving the card back and forth between the scanner and the desktop a few times. If you want to send scans directly to a tablet or a smart phone (not including BlackBerrys, which are not yet supported), there are more steps involved (downloading and installing the required apps).

But once that's done, the scanner is up and ready to rock and roll, which it does with aplomb. Photo scans go through in just a few seconds, while full letter-sized pages take only a few more seconds to complete. The scanner can take documents as small as 2" x 2" and as large as 8.5" x 11.69" (paper, photos, or plastic cards).


As with most mobile scanners, such as the Canon imageFORMULA P-215, scans were excellent and it would be hard to tell the difference between the typical scan done with a desktop scanner and one done with a mobile scanner. That's not to say that a photo scanned with the Xerox Mobile Scanner is going to give as good results as a serious desktop photo scanner such as the Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner, but for typical daily use, it does a fine and perfectly acceptable job.

I expect that most people would use this kind of mobile scanner to scan documents on the go, and the Xerox Mobile Scanner has very few issues here. The Eye-Fi card, which attaches to or even creates a Wi-Fi network so it can send scans directly to a smart phone, tablet, or computer, works great for photos, and while there are some small issues, also works well for PDFs. Those issues include its inability to create a thumbnail image for the PDF, so when they get transferred to the computer (a process which can take some time, so don't--like me--start to get antsy and begin searching for it when it hasn't appeared on the computer in about half a minute) you'll need to quickly rename them so that you don't spend a lot of time looking for the right file.

If you like to scan photos and have them sent directly to the cloud, Eye-Fi will help here as well. You can share content to more than two-dozen sites as well as to your computer.

Finally, I really appreciated the heavy-duty carrying case that came with this scanner, which seemed as though it would do a decent job in protecting the scanner when carried around. That's particularly good since the scanner is heavier than some other portable scanners such as the Doxie.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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