on 3 May 2011
i've had this product for well over a year now. do read all the reviews and info regarding lack of twain and other facilities and know that you're only going to be happy if the bundled software does what you want. in my case it does. in fact the default settings are just what i want nearly all the time. i get a LOT of mail and scan it all, so basically I'm using this product for document archival and not, for example, for digitising photos and so on. i've found it a great product for this purpose and it has saved me so much time, im never going back to paper.
build quality is adequate but not amazing. the amount of papers you can scan at any time is limited by the hopper size, so large wads of paper (eg books) must be split up first. You have to have it tethered to a pc via usb and use the builtin software. there is a scan button on the unit itself, but i would like to see two buttons - "scan" and "scan single sided". by default, it will scan both sides, but some documents have rubbish on the back that you don't want copied. To force, single sided, currently you have to click on the user interface, which is slower than just pressing a button.
after several months of use, it will start to jam on multi-page scans. you can recover from a mid scan jam, but i find it easier to start over. this can be annoying until you realise that you MUST clean the rollers every once in a while. i use isopropyl alcohol, but probably a wet cloth would do if you're careful. it jams because the rollers get coated in dust from papers. this is understandable, so if you're a heavy scanner, remember to clean it, every so often and you'll be ok. I've also noticed occasional vertical colour streaks on images, maybe the image sensor is dying or maybe my cleaning isnt perfect. this would be annoying if i really cared a lot about the images. not enough info on this whether it's my unit or a generic defect or me.
regarding value for money, it's quite expensive, but I've been happy with it. in fact, i'd gladly pay even more for an even better model, however full up heavy duty scanners rocket in price. the copy of acrobat bundled has been useful. if you're on a slow PC, the OCR is very slow. personally, i scan documents to PDF without OCR then OCR those that i want afterwards. this means i can get everything scanned as quickly as possible and it's the speed and ease of this that i recommend with this product rather than all round features.
I already own a ScanSnap S510; this is the updated model for PC (there is also another updated version for use with MAC). I had been tempted to just go for a second S510 as I was a bit worried that a newer model might be less easy to use, but decided against that as most outlets were charging a much higher price for the older model.
I have not purchased a second ScanSnap because of any fault with the original. I just have two different offices and decided that it was preferable to have a ScanSnap in each rather than save scanning up to be done at only one location. My 'older model' ScanSnap is still working fine.
The S1500 is just as easy to set up and then use as the S510. All you have to do is place the item that you want to scan into the hopper, make sure it is face down, press a button and then most of the rest is handled by the software. Altering the image quality (and thus the amount of space each scan will use) is also straightforward and it is also easy to scan into a word document that will allow you to edit the text (something that I never managed to master with previous scanners).
A4 documents (and smaller things like cheques) are very straightforward scans; A3 items are also a breeze, although these items need to be folded and placed inside a (supplied) holder, which can be slightly awkward to start with as the folded edge needs to sit precisely at the edge of the holder or you end up with a gap in the middle of the scanned document (if the edge is too far inside the holder) or missing text (if the edge is outside). This does not take long to master.
The obvious difference between the S510 and the S1500 is actually a redesign of the body of the scanner. The newer S1500 has a more angular appearance and the 'scan' button is illuminated in blue (which is very nice). Otherwise the mechanics appear to be much the same so, if you are weighing up the pros/cons of the S510 vs S1500 I would tend towards the S1500 as the newer model but otherwise go for whichever is the cheapest option.
on 9 May 2011
This is definitely one of those killer products you don't realise you need until you use one... When you finally have one, you realise how much time and effort (and money if you are a business) this little beauty will save you. I purchased mine before Windows 7 was released and had it running on Vista and XP. Fujitsu released an update a while ago and since since I upgraded to Windows 7 64bit, i have it working perfectly on this too. I haven't had any of the issues another reviewer experienced with the software, my guess is his pc has some other problems on it, or the Antivirus is scanning the folders that he is scanning into and slowing the process down, in which case I would force the AV to exclude the default save folder for scansnap (some of those packages are notorious for bizarre problems like that).
The product is very elegant, probably my best looking peripheral and is quite smart the way I only have to open the lid or close it to turn the device on or off. Aesthetics aside, most importantly for anybody is that it is extremely simple to use with two main workflows:
1. Quickmenu.. This allows you to put the document into the scanner, press the scan button and after completing the scan you get an on screen prompt asking you what you want to do with the scan and showing you lots of icons you will recognize. You can choose things like scan to email, print, word, excel, powerpoint etc. I think this is the way most people should use it if they are scanning different types of documents and want to do different things with each.
2. Standard mode.. This seems best setting for people who want/need to always scan into the same application (e.g. PDF into acrobat).. this allows you to set all of your preferred settings (quality, color, duplex etc) and every time you press the scan button, the scanner will use those settings and scan into the application or folder you set in your settings.
Unlike TWAIN/ISIS based scanners, It can be used very simply without having to read 100 page manuals to figure out what the names of the settings actually mean and what they do if you alter them. The settings are all labelled in user friendly terms that mean you dont need to be an IT professional to understand what it will do.
Some people have mentioned it doesn't have TWAIN or ISIS drivers.. Unlike other scanners that have complicated settings and options, this product requires no TWAIN or ISIS drivers because it has everything you need in the package. As a document scanner that scans directly to email, print, word, powerpoint, acrobat (or any other application that can open jpeg or pdf).. you simply dont need to use TWAIN/ISIS. Even people who want to use apps like Paintshop, Paint.NET etc (and believe they would need TWAIN acquire for that) can have the scansnap send the image to any of those apps. To do this, you need only to open the scansnap Manager, change the Mode to "Color" (instead of Color detection), change the file type to JPEG, then go to application, click add and find the exe file for your application. Once you have added it, it becomes an application that you can scan directly into... if my memory is correct, i think it allows you to define up to 10 applications in addition to the standard list that most users would require.
Personally i use my scansnap at home to do the following:
> Scanning all correspondence with HMRC and all tax return related documents
> Scanning all of my travel expense receipts straight into Excel so i can keep a track on my expense claims at work, I can even scan the very tiny receipts using the carrier sheet (excellent that they include this in the package).
> Scanning all letters from my banks (into searchable PDF), plus bank statements (straight into Excel) so i am able to properly check what i am spending against the online banking statement.
> Scanning utility bills and credit/debit card slips (those that still send them) straight into Excel, enabling me to keep tabs on my home expenses.
> Scanning business cards i collect during my business trips - This is achieved with the cardminder functionality which automatically OCR's the business card and puts all the words into the correct fields (e.g. name, surname, telephone, mobile etc) and enables me to make edits before saving. After that i push this straight into Outlook and then i'm able to sync all the contacts i want straight into my smartphone. This feature saves me a lot of time as I travel a lot and collect a lot of business cards.
> Another use i found was after I was denied warranty on a 10 month old speaker system because I couldn't find the receipt/shipping note (this definitely wasn't Amazon). Since that I started to scan every delivery note/receipt/warranty card for everything I purchase.. then let the software OCR them into searchable PDF. This means its really easy to find the details in case theres a future problem with a product i have purchased and no nonsense looking for paperwork afterwards.
The software that is included is excellent and intuitive to use, the scansnap manager software allows me to view, edit and manage the images even after they have been scanned. Think of it like windows explorer allowing you to view all your images in a tree like file/folder view, but with the added ability of sending straight to email, print or performing OCR and importing into word, excel, powerpoint etc all with drag n drop. One review said the OCR was slow on his pc, I have the software OCR everything in the background (I think the scansnap manager software manages this task) and have no slowdowns when OCR is taking place.
Whilst most people probably wouldnt require this, i found one of the coolest features was the ability to use a highlighter pen, mark part of the document with the highlighter (e.g. the word British Telecom), scan the document and the document could be sent to a folder called "British Telecom". Upon tinkering a bit more, i found you can set it to extract only highlighted text, or to extract parts of a page including graphics and tables, really smart idea.
The bundle also includes Cardminder as already mentioned, Abbyy Finereader and also includes a full version of Adobe Acrobat. One reviewer thought the product was expensive, I disagree with this. When you consider the price for Adobe Acrobat alone is almost the price of this scanner (look for yourself) which puts the value of this whole product bundle into perspective.
That reviewer complained also of paper jams, I found that wiping the rubber rollers periodically negated that entirely, somebody also mentioned streaky images, I found that is just when the glass gets dirty and is easily solved with a periodic wipe. I scan about 20-50 documents a month, so I just wipe it once or twice a month, nothing difficult in that.
All in all, I found it so effortless to use, i even took the risky decision to purchase one for my father so he could use in his business. This was risky because he is a bit of a technophobe at best, but i really shouldn't have been worried because he finds it extremely easy to use and it has become a tool he uses daily for his business.
Sometime after I purchased mine, they released a version that had some more software included (scansnap deluxe). This is the version I bought for my father, it simplifies things by presenting the filing system like a physical filing cabinet/rack, with ringbinders you can label and store "on the shelf". I found I am happy with the standard version, but my father finds this really helpful way of understanding how to manage his digital documents (just like you would with a physical filing system). I haven't really had chance to check the full functionality of that, but my dad says "its mustard".
If you are like me, have lots of letters, paper and clutter and want to rid yourself of it, I recommend you get yourself a scansnap and a paper shredder at the same time!!!! (Amazon should do a recommended buy the two together!!). You will never look back again.
The scanner comes with a 2 Year manufacturers warranty where they exchange the product within 1-2 days, you dont need to buy a 2 year warranty from squaretrade with this.
on 2 January 2012
Bought the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 (for Windows) on 16 August 2011, after having read many reviews. I put some time before writing my opinion on this machine because I wanted to try it in great detail. This machine is FANTASTIC. And say that I have spent years to scan my documents with a flatbed scanner and OCR software. That time lost. With my ScanSnap S1500, I can now go to the core. With its included software, my documents are in electronic format in less time that it takes to say and with FULL DUPLEX. Two jams, my mistakes, put paper with strongly folded edges. Since then, it is that fun. It is also possible to scan A3, with a few small manipulations. Of course, not to scan a full magazine, but it is still possible with a little patience. It is even an A4 scanner after all! With my flatbed scanner and a maximum compression rate, a file of 30 pages occupied about 26 Megabytes*. With ScanSnap and its software, the same file occupies less than 5 Megabytes*! even in searchable PDF! It automatically detects paper formats and removes blank sheets. During OCR process and file compression, which occur in a SINGLE operation, one can do something else. The search for text in files (searchable PDF) is highly efficient and reliable, much more than with my old system. Even the pictures are of excellent quality. For less of £370.00 (EUR435.00), I think there is no better. In one word, it does what it says.
The machine arrived in the time indicated by Amazon, in a perfect condition and there was even a continental electrical plug (Belgium), (in addition to the UK one). I highly recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 to all of those who want to get rid of paperwork.
P.S. Oh yeah, sorry if my English is not perfect.
* In my previous review, I mistakenly wrote 2.6 GB instead of 26 MB and 50 kb instead of 5 MB for a file of 30 pages.
My main computer is a Mac, so I wasn't certain whether the S1500 would work okay with my setup, as opposed to the Mac-friendly Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Document Scanner. Fortunately, it does. Although the product is aimed at PC users - most of the software, including the bundled Adobe Acrobat, is provided in a Windows version only - basic scanning functionality works under both Windows and Mac (the software appears to be the principal difference between the S1500 and the S1500M, aside from the latter's Mac-esque white colour and its equally Mac-esque inflated price tag).
The S1500 is surprisingly small and its build quality is good. When it's not being used it's very compact and unobtrusive. Even during use, the amount of desk space it takes up is relatively low. Despite first impressions when you open the box (caused largely by a scary-looking graphic on one of the box's flaps), it's simple to set up and operate.
I'm accustomed to using a flatbed scanner on a multifunctional printer and compared to that the S1500 is an absolute dream. It's fast, accurate, quiet and, unlike a flatbed, you can just "set and forget" it; there's no laborious lifting of the cover and turning over of the pages every 30 seconds. If you're using a flatbed scanner a lot at the moment, a device like this is undoubtedly a sound investment, whether or not you intend to go the whole hog and turn completely "paperless".
My only complaint is the user interface, which is rather plain and un-Mac-like, but this is a minor gripe given the S1500's ability to quickly and easily scan and store all of your documents.
on 16 September 2012
An excellent product, and worth the money. A document scanner is a different animal from a flatbed scanner - it scans both sides of a sheet faster than my laser printer prints a single side. It(if set to do so) adjusts to the size of any sheet; will automatically skip blank pages; automatically orient the page; scan to .pdf or a range of other formats. On the rare occasions that it picks up two sheets, it detects automatically (without fail - now how does it do that?!) and allows you to correct it. Only occasional misfeeds and jams, easily corrected even if in mid document - I am really impressed by the mechanics, never mind the software! The OCR is far superior to anything I have ever had with a flatbed scanner. No problems encountered in immediately setting it up with Windows 7, and I am well into the process of scanning the contents of filing cabinets that have moved with me from house to house over 30 years - soon all I will need to move is a memory stick!
Sorting and retrieving files is much easier on screen than moving pieces of paper - and I can locate things that used to be gathering dust in piles on the floor. This scanner is transforming my home office (like, I can get the hoover in now). I probably don't need to point it out to most readers, but of course, this all relies on keeping safe and reliable backup of files, but I reckon it will now see out my lifetime before the .pdf format becomes obsolete (unlike music formats which change every time I finish copying everything). If, like me, you are hesitant about the price - think how much you would be willing to pay as a fee if someone offered to sort and tidy your entire filing (lack of) system?
If you suffer from paper mountains, this will genuinely make a difference to your life!
on 18 June 2012
... but it is certainly significantly improving my state of mind in my home office.
As someone with various interests that lead to lots of paperwork, a family that generates too many bills, a job often done from home that also leads to print outs and invoices, this device is moving me towards a paperless home office. I was sceptical of this, but when used in harness with a suitable filing program (eg. OneNote, Evernote) it is capable of allowing whole hanging files to be discarded. It links with Evernote brilliantly - just have Evernote open before you scan, select an Evernote folder, put the paper in the scanner and press the button on the scanner. It will scan 20 to 30 pages, in colour, both sides within a minute and pop the scan straight into the folder where you can quickly give it a title if desired, then move to the next. I have been able to scan both mine and my wife's wills (of which paper copies are kept!), bills, articles I might want to read, professional publications and newsletters (if under 30 pages just cut down the middle and remove the staples), invoices and receipts, business cards for tradesmen etc. The scans are of small memory size given they are easily readable on the screen - I have been scanning far more at the outset than I suspect I will be in future months, and am only 30% of the way through my monthly Evernote upload limit (on premium). There are options to improve or downgrade the quality of the scan.
I like to have physical paper in my hand as much as the next person for many tasks, but I reckon 95% of the paperwork we generate which "might" one day need to be looked at will not be and so just takes up physical space in piles for filing, hanging folders and in folders. The removal of most non-vital physical paper is making my home office much more organised and I suspect would have the same effect at work if I bought another.
Other plus points:
a. It is small. When folded it is a compact silver box, not like in the Amazon photo.
b. It automatically turns off and on just by folding in the trays.
c. Set up is reasonably intuitive. It will require a little playing with before you manage to do an occasional manual change so that only 1 side of a document is scanned as you will sometimes want.
d. It will do OCR text recognition for either the first page, selected text or the whole document if you want so to enable searches in whatever program you are filing them with. This obviously takes longer but it reasonably fast on my 2 year old PC.
Con points for balance:
a. There are misfeeds. They are annoying, but aren't common if the original document is regular A4 or letter. I find the issue arises when there are crinkles or existing folds in paper - most often the device takes 2 sheets at once. However, it is adept at recognising this and stopping the scan to say so. The way round this seems to be to fold against any creases and thumb through the paper so the ends are free, and keeping the document folder holder slides tight to the document.
b. It has crinkled up a few pieces of paper on a misfeed, generally when the original was unevenly shaped and a little crinkled to begin with.
c. It will need cleaned occasionally.
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 document scanner would appear to be aimed at the home user or small business with a need to digitise fairly large amounts of single sheet documents, business cards and other similar documents. It is not a flat bed scanner and cannot, therefore, scan from books and the like.
On unpacking the unit I was suprised first by the weightiness of the unit and secondly by its small footprint, 280x120 mm or 11"x 4.75" in old money.
Stripping off all the packaging material and tape revealed a unit which opened at the top to provide an input chute and at the bottom to give an output tray. Half way up the left hand side is a blue button marked scan which illuminates when scanning and processing is taking place.
It is necessary to install the software first and this was achieved successfully under both Windows XP and Windows 7 without any hitches. Installation time took about 15 minutes on each operating system and a number of different programmes are installed to give the scanner maximum versatility. It should be noted that the scanner does not use the standard Twain driver but the software will allow direct scanning into Word, Excel, Powerpoint, e-mail as well as the default PDF format.
Once the software is installed the machine can be connected via USB to the host computer. There is no On/Off switch on the scanner so the machine is powered up as soon as it is plugged into the mains.
Up to 50 sheets of A4 paper can be loaded into the input chute and pressing the 'Scan' button launches the software and scanning commences at a remarkably quick rate. Although the scanner is rated at 20 pages per minute I'm sure mine was a little speedier than that.
The scanned pages are displayed in the ScanSnap Organiser software from where they can be read, saved or converted to the other formats I mentioned earlier.
Larger sized pages can be scanned by utilising the carrier sheet which is included with the machine and while there is an 'auto' mode which works extremely well in most instances, the scanning dpi can be manually adjusted in 4 steps.
There are a number of consumable parts on the scanner which need replacing on a pages scanned or yearly basis, I have not checked out the cost of these but let's hope the prices are not prohibitive!
So, a well made machine that oozes its well-built qualities and operates quickly and efficiently, apart possibly from it not utilising the Twain interface what is there not to like about it?
I am very impressed with it.
I really like this product. The picture doesn't quite do it justice. It's really small and really quite sleek.
Very impressed by Fujitsu - I've only come across their larger office wares before so was taken aback to find a device like this. It's various parts unfold with the delicate nature of a $1bn satellite unfolding in space. The flaps that make up the paper exit and paper input seem to be held by discrete magnets and so it simply unfolds.
Once unfolded, it does take up slightly more space but not much at all.
In the box: charger with UK & European mains adapter, USB cable, software, holding card, scanner
What you may not know is that the software includes ScanSnap (the Fujitsu software) and Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard (this retails for quite a price on it's own!). So well designed and good software supplied with it. Installing the software was easy and was done before attaching the device.
The ScanSnap software is easy to use and lets you collate documents in Cabinets and/or folders. Files are converted to PDF but can be sent to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. This was tested with Office 2010 and worked fine.
Scanning is a cinch. Insert business cards or paper and press the blue button on the scanner. The ScanSnap software asks where you want to send the scan to. It also scans duplex paper and even detected a deliberate attempt by me to scan a folded A4 paper.
The only trouble I had was scanning a batch of business cards - one of which got stuck but was easily removed by opening the front hatch.
I'm going to use this to digitise all our home records and for my SOHO. Great device and highly recommended.
I use the ScanSnap S1500 with a Windows VHP 32 bit 2G RAM laptop - by no means a computing powerhouse - and have experienced no issues. Although I have not used the full range of features offered by the software, I have found the machine to be a very capable and impressive piece of kit that had probably made my flatbed scanner redundant.
It is amazingly fast in operation, I've thrown documents in that I don't really need scanned just to see them zip through the machine.
It scans both sides of the document at once, automatically detecting if one side is blank. This is slightly a double-edged sword because most bills etc have rubbish printed on their reverse sides, but the worst consequence is that you have a few stored images you don't need.
It scans a pile of old photos in a flash. Maybe that's not its intended purpose, but it does the job very well. All the photos I have scanned were very old (20+ years) and dry, and I do suspect that more recent prints with a tacky feel to them might cause roller fouling.
It will not work with TWAIN so cannot be used to scan directly into a graphics package; you have to use the supplied software.
The ScanSnap S1500 is a very good buy.
The S1500 is still going strong, but I changed my computer this year. I now use a Lenovo ThinkPad with 64 bit Win 7 pro, and have experienced no issues whatsoever.