Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Exceeded all expectations
on 30 November 2011
I like the idea of keeping records of paperwork - particularly now insurance companies are tightening up on proof to support claims*. The problems are the reams of fading, disorganised receipts and a wife who hates me hoarding. This finally provided the nudge to get a scanner.
I looked at a variety from the simple, small USB powered models (like those from Doxie, HP and Canon) to something more substantial. I realised that I wanted a couple of key features - duplex and a feed. Small USB devices are all very well but they are slow and man-draulic. That might be OK if you just scan the occasional item but I get a reasonable amount of mail and receipts and have two filing drawers desperate to commit shredder suicide. The ScanSnap 1300 does require its own power supply but folds up into a small discreet package and stood clearly apart as the compromise product that made the least number of compromises.
Of course, hardware is only one aspect and software can ruin everything in a nano-second. As a Mac user, I was delighted to see a fully capable set of software - though for Lion support I had to go back to the website to get the latest and greatest. At some point, this will come in the pack of course. As a bit of a tech head I was impressed with how much I can customise the scans being taken and where they end up. The OCR is also fantastically good having come on leaps and bounds since my last miserable encounter with the stuff. The good news for regular users is that there are some sensibly specified defaults so you don't need to go deep if you don't want to (but you should work out which profile to use to force high resolution scans for the occasionally poor auto-choices). I also liked the fact that there's something of a community sprung up on the web. A quick bit of furious googling or binging will find you sites maintained by knowledgeable passionate people brimming with useful advice (relatively speaking of course - this isn't football or politics!).
So if I'm so impressed, why 4 not 5 stars? Fujitsu have optimised this product for printed sheets like A4. Of course, many receipts come on the flaky thermal paper and some of my records are also a bit dog eared. Although, with care, I have never failed not to get a scan successfully, it has occasionally required several attempts. If, like for bigger scanners, Fujitsu included a feed friendly clear envelope, I would have an entirely pain free workflow and would give it 5 out of 5. Still, this is only an issue 5% of the time so unless you only care about receipts, don't let this single demerit stop you buying this scanner.
I should say that my first scanner was completely DOA and, given that I got it so early after Lion's release, I put a lot of effort into checking it wasn't me, my impatience, the OS or the software. I got to the point where I was pretty certain I wasn't making any school boy errors and asked for a replacement. The new one fired up immediately. In retrospect, I can safely say that this is a well engineered product with good software. If there aren't signs of life, have faith, it isn't likely to be you. Use the amazing customer service that Amazon offers and send it back. Also, don't worry about reliability. There are no other comments about this at the time of writing and I think this was an aberration.
* Hint - go photograph your house like mad!