The Bottom Line
- Simple to use
- No installation required
- Only photos up to 5x7 can be scanned
- Doesn't scan slides or negatives
- Awkward placement of USB cable can block photos
- Portable photo scanner
- 300 or 600 dpi resolution
- 5-in-1 card reader
- Supports SD, MS, MS Pro, MMC, XD
- JPEG output
Guide Review - Pandigital PhotoLink One-Touch Scanner
Pandigital correctly surmised that the average audience would be those who have shoeboxes filled with photos and are desperate to get them scanned and archived before they sustain more damage, so they've made the PhotoLink One-Touch easy to use. In fact, once it's set up (no software installation required, so set up takes about 20 seconds), you don't really need to do anything except feed photos into it. For those old, wrinkled or curled photos, simply slip them into one of the included plastic sheaths to ensure that they are flat when they get scanned. The scanner automatically pulls the sheath or photo through--no need to touch any buttons unless you decide you want to scan at 300 dpi rather than the default of 600 dpi. There's no good reason to lower the resolution that I can see--the file size from the higher-resolution photos is not significantly larger, especially in this age of cheap memory. Scanning a 4x6 photo took just over 10 seconds. Scans looked very good, with true colors and respectable sharpness.
The scanner comes with a 1-Gb SD card that serves as the scanner's memory (it also contains a copy of the user guide and some software that facilitates scanning directly to a PC). You can scan to the memory card or plug the scanner into a PC using the included USB cable.
If you want to enhance or alter the photos you scan, of course you can use whatever graphics software you prefer; but unlike larger, more expensive photo scanners, there are no auto-fix options on this little scanner. And if you have negatives or slides to scan, you won't be able to do it with this photo scanner. But if you're just looking to get organized, you're probably not going to worry about correcting little problems, so this scanner could work just fine. Plus the scanning process is fast and simple enough to make it convenient to scan a lot of photos quickly, as compared to a flatbed scanner.
One minor irritation was that the USB cord in the back of the scanner has a large bulge that sometimes got in the way of photos as they passed through the scanner. I had to put the scanner close to the edge of the desk to lower the cord out of the way, but that meant I had to catch each photo as it was scanned, which could slow up the process of scanning a lot of photos. I read some user reviews from an older model that complained about streaking on the photos, but I didn't encounter that myself. The scanner comes with a calibration sheet as well as roller-cleaning sheet and cleaners for the image sensors.