LG Mouse Scanner review
An odd idea, and quite expensive, but it does work as advertised and it isn’t a bad mouse either
From multitouch to palm sensors, folding designs to mice small enough to use on the wristrest of a laptop, it seems the inventors of rodent high-tech will stop at nothing to provide the ultimate pointing device. But has LG gone too far with its Mouse Scanner?
Yup, you read it right. In a fit of what we can only describe as engineering swashbucklery, LG has produced a mouse with a scanner inside it.
Press a button on the device’s left-hand side, and LG’s scanning software leaps into life, allowing you to capture everything from text snippets and small images to full-sized A4 or even A3 pages at up to 325ppi.
There’s no limit to the size of the scan you can carry out, although it helps if you have a reasonably modern PC (large scans at high resolution do slow the software down) and plenty of clear desk space.
The mouse uses four LEDs to provide light and a small mobile phone-style camera to capture images. And it does this live: as you swipe the mouse over the image, the scanned document appears on screen, and the software performs some clever jiggery-pokery to line everything up as you go. Then it’s a case of performing some basic edits on the final image and sending it to your preferred destination.
LG’s bundled Smart Scan software lets you print or paste the image directly into any application, it will OCR the text and let you paste that into an email or Word document, and there are shortcut links to popular social networking feeds Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.
Practically speaking, there are some limitations. It’s possible to scan in business cards, but it’s fiddly as they’re so small they tend to move with the mouse. The LG also sticks to some surfaces, making it tricky to maintain a smooth scanning stroke.
It isn’t ideal for photographs: image quality isn’t a patch on a proper flatbed, and the software struggles to line up scanned segments where there’s no text. High volume jobs are beyond it, too – it’s just too slow.
Nonetheless, the LG Scanner Mouse is an intriguing device, and despite the odd shape, it makes a comfortable everyday desktop mouse . We can’t say we’re completely convinced there’s a huge market for it, and the price goes against it too, but it does a unique job surprisingly well.
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