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September 15, 2011 • Reviews

Review: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Instant PDF Document Scanner

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As I have moved further and further away from using paper and pen and more and more into eEverything having a good, high-speed scanner has become increasingly important. My Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is my workhorse. It handles up to 50 sheets of paper at a time and does duplex scanning. When I am “covering” a book to an eVersion (a laborious process that starts with me cutting the binding off of it) this is the tool for the job. The NeatDesk Desktop Scanner (reviewed here) is perfect when I have a few pages or receipts to scan. When I am out and about or at my work desk however neither is a good solution since they really aren’t all that portable. That’s where Fujitsu’s S1100 USB-powered mobile scanner comes in. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and have grown to depend on it pretty much every day. It is small enough to carry with me and fast enough to make quick business of scanning so long as I don’t need to do more than a few sheets at a time.

Let’s take a look.

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From Fujitsu:

The ScanSnap S1100 Mobile Scanner – Takes document scanning just about anywhere! At nearly 12 ounces, the new ScanSnap S1100 is the lightweight companion for front-side document scanning at home or on the road. Whether scanning receipts, contracts, recipes, or plastic cards, ScanSnap takes scanning beyond the desktop and into your world.

The Perfect Mobile Scanning Companion! At nearly 12 ounces, the ScanSnap S1100 is the world’s smallest ScanSnap designed to bring full size document scanning productivity out into the world, wherever you go.

Just press the “SCAN” button and ScanSnap S1100 feeds a document in about 7.5 seconds in color and at an astounding 300 dpi quality. The S1100 automatically recognizes the size of each document, detects and corrects for skew, and shows images in their proper orientation without operator intervention.

Creates Searchable Content from Your Scans: With ScanSnap, operators can remain connected with their scanned documents. The ScanSnap S1100 can automatically convert scanned data into searchable PDF files at the press of its scan button. Users can also use a colored highlighter pen on a black & white document to create searchable keywords automatically.

Continuous Document Feeding (CDF) Function: Scanning a multiple page document is as easy as inserting the next page with the automatic page detection sensor. Each time a subsequent sheet is inserted by the operator, ScanSnap S1100 pulls the next page. When the job is done, just press the scan button to close the task to send the scans on their way.

With the S1100 you can:

Create a searchable PDF file with the touch of a button

Scan paper as small as an inch up to 34 inches long

Scan to an editable Word and Excel file

Create searchable keywords with a highlighter

Use the included business card scanning software

Scan plastic ID cards

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Some time ago I reviewed the DocuPen X mobile scanner. It was cheap, far from user-friendly AND overpriced. I wasn’t all that unhappy to send the review sample back since I didn’t see myself actually using it going forward. That’s not the case with Fujitsu’s S1100. No, the device is already part of my work flow. Since it is small, portable and USB powered I am able to bring it with me, plug into my computer and quickly scan a few pages. (It is actually just
12 oz!!) I can’t tell you how convenient that is!

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 is powered by a single USB cable and Windows and Mac compatible.

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While the more expensive S1500 comes with Adobe® Acrobat® 8 Professional, the S1100 only includes ScanSnap Organizer, Cardiris 3.6 for ScanSnap (Mac)/CardMinder V4.1 (Windows) and ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap 4.1. That is a bummer but Fujitsu needed to keep the price down and this was one way to do it. That said, the included software does pretty much everything I need it to do and it has the added benefit of direct scanning to Evernote and Google Docs.

(Check out the book Evernote Essentials for tips on using Evernote to the fullest. You can learn about, and order, here. [Affiliate Link])

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Once the included software is loaded onto the computer it is as easy as connecting the ScanSnap S1100 to the computer via the included USB cable, firing up the software and opening the feed door to the scanner.

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Once you place the page on the small feed door you press the Scan/Stop button.

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The document feeds in and in a bit over 7 seconds you have a scanned page. The S1100 doesn’t do duplex scanning but it does wait for the next page and automatically scan the next side or page once it detects a new page placed in the input area. After using the S1100 for just a few minutes I got into a rhythm that had me scan one side, flip the page and scan the second side in seconds.

The scanner can detect skewed pages, automatically rotate a page if the document was not fed in top to bottom and detects the size automatically. Scans can be up to 300dpi!

The software includes a “Quick Menu” that lets you quickly choose what you want to do with a scanned document. You can:

Scan to Folder: Store scans to a folder, network folder, or to SharePoint (PC) or iDisk (Mac)

Scan to Email: Eliminate faxing and share electronic documents over email

Scan Business Card: Scan business cards and automatically extract contact information

Scan to Print: Use ScanSnap with your printer to create copies

Scan to Cloud: Scan directly to Evernote or Google Docs for high document accessibility

Scan to Word (.doc): Scan directly to an editable Word file

Scan to Excel (.xls): Scan directly to an editable Excel file

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The S1100 isn’t as heavy-duty as its bigger brothers but it scans with the same quality. When I first took it out of the box I was surprised at just HOW light it was. I took that to mean it was a bit on the cheap side but, quite frankly, that just isn’t the case. I have been carrying it and using it quite a bit and it is holding up just fine.

The convenience of having a high quality scanner that runs off the computer’s USB port can’t be overstated. I can bring it anywhere and get rid of paper with ease. The fact that the scanned documents then go to Evernote means that I am less likely to lose documents than ever. And if I need to actually USE a document the included software can hit the scanned pages with OCR and convert them to searchable/usable documents. How convenient is that?!?

I really love this scanner and only have one gripe with it. The S1100 is designed to be a mobile scanner. Love that. The carrying case to protect it in transit is not included and is a separate accessory purchase. Hate that. Fujitsu should have included SOMETHING to carry the S1100 in. Other than that this is a great productivity tool that I highly recommend. My thanks to Fujitsu for sending the review sample and for allowing me to continue using it. No doubt it will be used constantly!

You can learn more or order one here on the Fujitsu website. It is $189.99 through our Amazon affiliate store. [affiliate link] (The carrying case is $48.65. The S1500 Mac is $418 and the S1500 Windows is $411.[affiliate links])

MSRP: $199

What I Like: Small and portable; Creates great scanned documents; Scans to Evernote; Converts documents with included OCR software; Runs of USB

What Needs Improvement: Less included software than bigger more expensive siblings; Carrying case is extra

One Response to " Review: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Instant PDF Document Scanner "

  1. Tracy says:

    Awesome review!  i love my Fujitsu scanners and my S1100 goes everywhere with me.  As a Professional Organizer, this is my number one tool.

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