One thing that has enhanced my productivity over the years is my being 100 percent paperless. Every time I receive anything that is paper, it is immediately scanned, filed, then gets eaten up by the shredder. A good combination of a decent scanner and a compatible software are what had made this possible.
After years of trouble free use, I decided to install in our new office the old Canon DR 2580C which I have been using together with Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.
Recently, we had our hands full with voluminous files that need to be shared among my team members. Given the mood of the season, I decided to let my staff have the two year old 2580c. After reading raving reviews about the Fujitsu Scansnap S510, I decided to buy one for the SOHO – the THQ. I was not disappointed.
There are several assumptions about scanners in general that have been disproved by the S510M:
1. Scanners take up lots of desk space. The S510M’s footprint is even smaller than my old Canon DR 2580C and is almost just half that of a 13 inch macbook. It may not be as portable as the canon because of its girth but S510M is still amazingly small.
2. Scanners are slow. At 18 page a minute, it may not be as swift as the DR 2580C. But scanning a 30 page document in under two minutes, in my vocabulary, is fast.
3. Converting documents to text is a joke. Not, so with the very good integration of the Scansnap software and the bundled OCR software - ABYY FineReader for ScanSnap™ 3.0 Mac Edition. I am experiencing close to 100% accuracy in this department.
4. They are prone to paper jams. I have scanned 500 pages of different sizes and have not yet, fingers crossed, encountered a single paper jam.
It is a small scanner which weighs only 5.9 lb. The paper feeder can hold 50 sheets and it can scan a variety of paper sizes. The ScanSnap can scan color documents at 600dpi, black and white at 1,200dpi, and Duplex at 0.6 pages per minute to 1.2 images per minute. It also come with a film sheet that allows me to scan crumpled paper and even A3 sized poster (folded, placed inside the film sheet, and scanned in duplex mode).
ScanSnap S510M can clearly scan photographs but the original may come out folded since the feed path isn’t completely straight. Besides, for pictures, we have plenty of flatbed scanners gathering dust in the office.
The S510 comes bundled with the following software:
• Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional
• ABYY FineReader for ScanSnap™ 3.0 Mac Edition
• Cardiris 3.5 (Business card scans)
My workflow in the past was to scan a document, give it a filename, and manually store it in various different folders. With the added scan to searchable PDF (via FineReader), I just let the S510M do its thing and need not worry about naming the file or which folder to put them in. Scanned searchable PDFs are given default names and saved in the default folder which I selected, all these with the push of one button in the S510M. Life just got sweeter.
The S510M will set you back around US$435. But if you exclude the cost of the bundled software it comes with, your total cost for the hardware should be just around, drum roll, FREE. This is not a typo. Go check with Amazon.
Let me leave you with just one question. Have you ‘tamed your paper tiger’ lately?