Review: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Color Personal Scanner

Fujitsu offers mobile scanner with desktop scanner features. (February 15th, 2011)

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 includes many of the features of its larger desktop scanner brethren. The S1300 is more portable and significantly smaller.

Electronista Rating:

ratingratingratingratingrating

Product Manufacturer: Fujitsu Computer Products of America

Price: $295

The Good

  • Compact yet still offers automatic document feeding.
  • Scans both sides of document simultaneously.
  • One-button operation yields high quality results.
  • Inbuilt intelligence overcomes common problems, such as miss-fed documents.
  • Operates using AC power adapter or computer USB port.

The Bad

  • OCR scanning quality inconsistent.
  • OCR software had difficulties capturing data from business cards with colored backgrounds.
  • Photograph shadows somewhat muted.
  • Items printed on heavier paper stock-may get caught in the transport mechanism as they exit the scanner.

Fujitsu recently released a tiny mobile scanner, the ScanSnap S1100. We have that review on deck, but thought it would be prudent to also take a closer look at its older big sibling first. This gives you all the information you need to choose the document scanner that exactly meets your needs in the mobile market.

The personal mobile sheet-fed scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300, includes many of the features of its larger desktop scanner brethren, the ScanSnap S1500, but with a much smaller footprint. Intended for business professionals on the go or for home use, the cross-platform ScanSnap S1300 is compatible with Mac OS X v10.4 (Tiger) and up and Windows 2000 (SP-4) or later.

s1300-open

Open ScanSnap S1300


Features of the S1300 include duplex color scanning, 600 DPI optical resolution, an integrated automatic document feeder (ADF), automatic paper size detection, skewed paper feed correction and AC or USB bus power options. File output is either PDF or JPEG. Alternatively, you can export scans to Microsoft Word, Excel, Entourage, or Address Book.

s1300-closed

Closed ScanSnap S1300

In The Box

The S1300 scanner ships with an AC power adapter, a USB to power connector cable for powering the scanner via a computer's USB port, a USB to mini-USB cord for scanner-to-computer communication, and a CD with drivers, manuals and software for Mac and PC. The Macintosh software provided includes ScanSnap Manager, ABBYY FineReader, and Cardiris. Also included are hard copies of the Getting Started manual, Safety Precautions Guide, and Quick Installation Guide.

s1300 Package

ScanSnap S1300 Package Contents

Installation

Installation is fairly straightforward. First, you install the drivers and scanning and scan processing software. Second, you plug the scanner into either an AC outlet or a powered USB port on your computer. Third, you connect the USB cable and you're done. Fast and simple, plus the clearly written installation documentation is easy to follow.

Scanning

Fujitsu has made scanning simple: Flip open the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and it automatically turns on the S1300's power. There is no waiting - the scanner is ready almost instantly.

s1300-poweringon

Power On the ScanSnap S1300


You can insert up to 10 pages to scan. It doesn't matter if all the pages are right side up either; the ScanSnap program orients the output in the same direction automatically. The S1300 also feeds the pages properly even if you've not aligned them in the feeder chute properly. Another nice feature is that the software automatically ignores blank pages.

You start the scan by either pressing the illuminated key on the scanner itself or by clicking the scan button on the open ScanSnap Manager program. The scanner software takes it from there and automatically saves the document scan in the format you want (PDF, editable PDF, or JPEG) in the location you want, or it asks you what you want to do next. When you are finished scanning, simply close the ADF and the scanner shuts itself off.

s1300-scan menu

ScanSnap S1300 Scan Menu


The S1300 can scan side both sides of a document at once. As a result, scan time is the same whether you choose single or double sided. The average document page scan takes about 9.5 seconds per page. In our tests, that speed held true whether one or five single or double-sided pages were scanned. A scan of an 8x10 photo at 300 dpi took about 12.25 seconds. Business card scans averaged about 3 seconds per card.

Post Scan Operations

After the scan is completed you have several options. You can save the document to a specified folder, iPhoto, or iDisk, you can send to a printer, or attach it to an email. Scans, other than photos are saved as PDF files by default, and editable PDF format is also an available option. The quality of PDF-saved scans is excellent. You save photos as JPEG files. Scanned photo quality was good, but not exceptional - there seemed to be a loss of crispness in the shadowed areas, but the ScanSnap S1300 is primarily for documents, it is not designed as a photo scanner.

You can convert scans to a Microsoft Word or Excel document using the provided ABBYY FineReader software. Business cards can be exported to Address Book or Entourage. In our tests, a 10 page scanned document was converted to a Microsoft Word document in about 34 seconds. The results were generally excellent, although the OCR software is a bit inconsistent. I converted one document to Word several times and each time I encountered a few distinctively different misreads.

Scanning business cards presented some challenges. First, not all business cards have the same dimensions. Most are 2.4" wide, but can vary in height from 1.875" to 2.0". The S1300 had trouble adjusting to cards of different heights if they were fed in vertically (height first). Consequently, the feeder jammed several times. Scanning in horizontally (width first) seems to work better, but I had to feed in business cards manually and separately. The S1300 package comes with Cardiris Mac software and CardMinder PC software to process scanned business cards and export the information to Address Book, Entourage, or Outlook. In both cases, unless the original business card has a white or lightly colored background, neither program could capture the data on the card with any accuracy. It should be noted that other business card reading software programs probably encounter the same problems. The CardMinder software had an additional problem: It only captured basic information such as name, company, email, and phone number. It was incapable of collecting address, cell phone, and other important information.

Conclusion

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is a solidly built mobile sheet scanner. It does an excellent job of performing its primary function - scanning and organizing documents. The ADF worked flawlessly with most document types, and the ScanSnap Manager software correctly reoriented inverted pages and ignored blank pages. Scans of two-sided documents are fast thanks to the ScanSnap's duplex scanning technology.

Scans of photos were good, but capture of dark shadowed areas could be better. The included business card interpretation software has trouble reading cards with dark or colored backgrounds, although this is a problem common to other similar programs. If you do not want to use up valuable desk space with a big scanner, you will not be disappointed with the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300. Next up, I take a close look at the mobile ScanSnap S1100.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Barry Michelson


POST TOOLS:
toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Asus Chromebook C300

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's Ch ...

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

Lemur BlueDriver

"Oh no, the check engine light is on…again! What one of the hundreds of reasons could it be this time? Probably going to cost a fort ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News