Last July we reviewed the NeatDest scanner and software system from Neat. (Read the review.) Here’s how I began the review
One of the keys to Apple’s remarkable success with their iOS devices is the fact that they control both the hardware and the software side of things. Good software is nice to have. So is nice hardware. But when you put the two together; when the hardware is specifically designed to work with the software and the software is specifically designed to work with the hardware… now THAT is a combination worth speaking about. The result? Well just take a look at Apple’s numbers since the iPhone was first released.
The same holds true for Neat’s organizational tools since they created both the receipt scanner AND the software that works with it. The result is a winning combination that can help even the most disorganized person (like me!) begin moving toward some semblance of organization.
And here is how I ended it
I’m rather sold on Neat’s scanner/software combination. It was simple to start using and, the more I HAVE used it, the more I have found myself growing reliant on it. There is nothing like developing a workflow that has you scan new paper and receipts upon receipt and then quickly have the satisfaction of shredding the originals. I have a way to go before I am truly paperless since there was SUCH a backlog but once I am caught up I have no intention of every getting back to the chaotic sea of paper I had previously lived with. If you use a Mac and want to get out from under your piles of paper you may want to give the NeatDesk a look. At $399.95 it isn’t cheap but what price can you put on being organized?
But what if you want to spend less than the $400 price tag? And what if you want to be able to scan your receipts, and documents, on the go? That’s where the company’s NeatReceipts for Mac comes in. They were kind enough to send one over for review and I thought we might take a look.
Transform your paper into information you can use. NeatReceipts® for Mac is a mobile scanner and digital filing system that enables you to scan receipts, business cards and documents so you can organize, store and secure all your important information. The patented technology identifies and extracts the important information—and automatically organizes it for you.
Create expense reports, searchable PDF files, and IRS-accepted copies of your receipts for an organized library of all your important information. You can even scan business cards and send them directly to your Address Book. And at less than one pound, NeatReceipts works wherever you do.
What’s so neat about NeatReceipts for Mac? It’s the software.
NeatReceipts is powered by NeatWorks for Mac Version 3.5 software. NeatWorks for Mac was developed from the ground up to look and feel like the applications you use every day. It features drag-and-drop functionality, multiple views, and is completely integrated with Spotlight – so you can find any file with a simple keyword search. NeatWorks for Mac also imports PDF files, and allows you to add electronic receipts or documents simply by printing from any application.
What first strikes you when you pull the NeatReceipts out of the box is just how small it is. While it is a bit longer than a standard sheet of paper, and the same width as the NeatDesk, it is just half as high as an iPhone is wide, and abut the same depth. And it is light. Super light. To help ensure that it is truly a mobile offering it is powered through the included USB cable when plugged into a computer. Yes, there is no powerbrick to bring along.
There are only two buttons on the entire scanner. One is marked PDF while the other is marked Scan. How’s that for simplicity?
The key to both NeatDesk and NeatReceipts is the included software. (It sells separately for $79.) as the company explains,
NeatReceipts is a mobile scanner and digital filing system that helps you manage all of your paperwork on the computer. Includes our Neat software that identifies and extracts the important information from receipts, business cards and documents and automatically organizes it for you. All scanned documents can be searched by keyword so you can find exactly what you need.
Our patented Neat software gives you an easy-to-use, intuitive application to manage all of your business and personal paperwork.
The system is all about intelligent scanning. If you are scanning receipts you can
• Save digital copies of receipts and records of vendors, dates, and totals
• Create expense reports and manage business and personal expenses
• Keep track of expenses for tax time (records accepted by the IRS)
• Export data to PDF, Excel®, Quicken®, QuickBooks®, TurboTax®
If you are scanning business cards you can
• Keep digital images of cards and contact information
• Capture name, address, company title, etc.
• Create your own searchable contact database
• Export data to Outlook and more
And if you are scanning documents you can
• Create searchable PDF files
• Edit text using copy/paste
• Organize and store in your digital filing system
In other words, the hardware and the software work together seamlessly to help you tame paper overload.
The scanner is simple to use and great if you are on the go. All is not perfect however. One thing I really do not understand is the lack of an included carrying case. After all, this scanner is intended for use on the road. While it is far from delicate, it is a complex piece of electronics and yet there is nothing to protect it when you put it into a gear bag. That makes no sense and, truth be told, it would only have been a few cents to include something… Anything… To carry the scanner and USB cable. Other than that, however, this is an impressive piece of kit.
Details and ordering information can be found here on the company website.
MSRP: $199.99 or here $175 in our Amazon Affiliate store.
What I Like: Small; Portable; Leverages the NeatWorks software in a mobile package
What Needs Improvement: No carry bag
I knew I was going into this that I like Neat’s approach. After all, for almost a year I have been using their NeatDesk and I have never run into any issues. And with Father’s Day coming up either one would make a great gift for dad. The question is, which one?
In my opinion,
If money is not an issue, you have desk space to spare and you don’t need to be mobile, the NeatDesk is the best choice. After all, it is fast, has an automatic document feed scanner, has a chute that lets you accurately scan different-sized paper and it does duplex scanning. It has a maximum resolution of 600 dpi, can scan up to 24 papers per minute and has a capacity of business cards and 15 receipts and 15 letter-size documents when using the paper input tray. And with the tray removed you can scan 50 letter-size documents.
If, however, you need mobility, want to save money or just don’t need all the power and functionality of the NeatDesk you might want to consider the NeatReceipts option. It too has a maximum resolution of 600 dpi and, since it is USB powered, it needs no external power supply. Sure, it can only scan 3-4 receipts per minute but that is a small tradeoff if you need portability or want to spend half as much as you would on the NeatDesk. Most importantly, for under $200 you get into the NeatWorks ecosystem and there is no better way to manage receipts and other paper documents.
NeatReceipts: $175 at Amazon
NeatDesk: $374 at Amazon
The Bottom Line- Either one would make a fantastic Father’s Day Gift that your dad will love!