37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Great little scanner, Wifi may drain battery
, 9 July 2012
This review is from: Doxie Go - Rechargeable A4 Mobile Document Scanner (Office Product)
I bought this scanner along with an Eye-Fi card, to use wirelessly.
First let me say that the scanning itself is good. The software is good, and the OCR seems to work well. I do find that it can be difficult to feed paper in straight sometimes, and I think it would benefit from a little bit more of a paper guide.
Unfortunately, I had some issues with battery life, and initially posted a two star review here. Since then I've had some excellent support from Apparent (makers of the Doxie), which has helped to clarify the problem. If the score was on customer support alone, I'd be giving it 5/5.
As it is, I'm saying 4/5 as I do believe that the product has three minor design flaws.
1) My main problem *was* that the battery life seemed to be dreadful. It seems that the main culprit here is the Eye-Fi card, which substantially reduces the number of scans you can do between charges, even if you set the card up to be as power efficient as possible. Apparent did also send me a replacement scanner unit which seems to have better battery life than my first one, so it's possible that I had a slightly dud scanner to begin with. Even the new one though doesn't manage as many scans as is advertised.
I don't think that this is a major problem, but I do think that Apparent should make the potential impact on battery life a bit clearer when using an Eye-Fi, since they actively promote the use of the two together. The scanner is not the sort of thing I use every day, and I don't want to leave it permanently charging, so having it go flat quickly is a bit of problem, particularly since the time taken to charge it up was longer than the advertised two hours for me.
2) My second problem with the design relates to the first problem: if the battery is flat, the scanner will not work even if you are charging it via a USB charger! This is just poor from a usability point of view. It's probably because operating the scanner requires more current than a normal USB connection can supply, but that's an implementation detail frankly.
As a user I would expect any consumer electronics device that can be charged via USB to work when plugged into USB, regardless of the state of the battery at that time.
Apparent have subsequently also sent me the standalone power supply, and using this completely solves any battery life issues. Of course, it's more clutter to carry around with you, but for me that's not really an issue as I bought the scanner to use at home - the main advantage of it's size simply being easier storage, rather than portability.
For the price of the scanner, I think including the power supply would be a good idea, given the limitations I've mentioned above (fixing the USB charging issue would be even better).
3) My final gripe with the design is that when you plug the scanner in to your computer via USB it mounts the internal storage as a USB disk, but when you use the scanner, it un-mounts it again. On MacOS X this is a particular problem as it doesn't like you removing drives before you've ejected them from the desktop, and so complains.
Again, there may be hardware related reasons for this behaviour (clearly the scanner doesn't support both it and the computer having simultaneous write access to the drive), but from a usability point of view, the experience is poor. I'm fairly sure that there are devices out there that cope fine this this sort of thing, and the fact that the Doxie doesn't is one reason why it doesn't get 5/5 from me.
- good scanner, but could be even better
- if you want to use Wi-Fi then buy the power supply
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