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Fujitsu ScanSnap S300

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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FUJITSU ScanSnap S300
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The Bottom Line

For small scan jobs and occasional scanners, the ScanSnap 300 portable document scanner comes highly recommended. It's amazingly small and compact (you could fit it into your top desk drawer) and since it can run via two included USB cables, it's not going to add another power cord to your already overworked electrical socket (of course, an AC adapter is included as well). It doesn't come cheap--if you want a cheap scanner, a flatbed will save you money, but not space--but it does its job so well that it's worth every penny.
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Pros

  • Very compact
  • Can run via USB or AC adaptor
  • Scans duplex during one pass

Cons

  • Small paper guides sometimes allow paper to angle

Description

  • Document scanner
  • Double-sided color scanning in one pass
  • Automatic color detection, page orientation, de-skew
  • Up to 600 dpi resolution
  • Name documents while you scan
  • PDF password protection functionality

Guide Review - Fujitsu ScanSnap S300

This very compact scanner from Fujitsu does more than it should, and does it better than I expected. It won't take up any desk space since it's cleverly designed to fold up (which turns the unit on and off as well), and it can run on AC or via USB cables.

Scanning both sides of a document to a PDF took about 25 seconds total. Other options include scanning directly to an e-mail attachment and scanning directly to a printer. The process is very fast and worked flawlessly. Using the USB power connection rather than the AC adaptor might have slowed this process a bit, but not noticeably. That said, unless you're really short of electrical connections, why eat up two USB connections?

The software includes CardMinder, a program that allows you to scan business cards directly into CSV or other formats. Each business card took about 15 seconds to scan into the program, and the character recognition was excellent. When company names and logos were too close together, there were glitches; and blue business cards completely flummoxed the character recognition; but otherwise, I was able to scan dozens of cards to a CSV file in a short time (you can also scan to other file types, such as Outlook). And since the scanner can run off USB, you can use CardMinder on the road.

If there is a downside to this scanner, it's the paper guides are necessarily low (they fold in on the scanner when it closes), but this means that it's easy for pages to feed in at an angle. That happened during some of my tests; it's fairly simple to prevent it from happening, but if you have a lot of paper to scan, it can slow down the process a bit (and since it has a built-in de-skew, it's not such a big deal). Or perhaps I'm just spoiled, having tested the bigger <a href="http://printscan.about.com/od/scanners/gr/scansnaps510.htm">SnapScan S510</a>, which took paper more cleanly and quite fast as well.

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