Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i review
Fujitsu is usually at the forefront of portable scanner development, so it’s a surprise it’s taken more than two years to update its popular ScanSnap S1300. The S1300i doesn’t offer any radical improvements, however, upping scan speed from 8ppm to a mere 12ppm.
Its chassis is identical to the older S1300, too. It has a flip-up ten-sheet ADF tray, with no output tray, and all scans are initiated by pressing a blue backlit button on the right-hand side.
The scanner can be powered via the mains or a USB port, with the latter cutting down the top quoted speed to 4ppm. Build quality is solid enough for deskbound duties or mobile use, but it doesn’t come with a case.
Installation on a Windows 7 host is swift, and all operations are managed via the bundled ScanSnap Manager software. This runs in the background and pops up whenever you hit the Scan button, giving you the option to save scans to various formats, print them, send them as email attachments, or load them into a variety of applications.
From ScanSnap Manager you can set up profiles for specific apps, assigning various parameters as you go. These range from simple settings such as resolution, to more advanced options such as whether to scan originals single- or double-sided, in colour or mono. Scanning to Google Docs is a cinch: after linking the software to our account, we could scan test pages and have them sent directly across as PDFs.
Scan speeds depend entirely on the resolution selected; the top speed is only possible at the lowest colour setting of 150dpi. Using the external power supply, we confirmed this with a ten-page test document, which scanned in at almost 13ppm.
The “Better” 200dpi mode returned 9.5ppm; “Best” 300dpi dropped the speed to 7ppm; and the top 600dpi “Excellent” setting saw speed fall to 1.5ppm. With the scanner under USB power, we saw scan speeds drop to 5ppm, 4ppm, 2.5ppm and 1.5ppm for the four tests respectively.
Scanning plastic-embossed cards will jam the mechanism, but business cards were handled well, provided only two or three were loaded in the ADF at a time. The supplied CardMinder software failed to impress, though, with distinctly average OCR abilities and an inability to deal with anything other than bog-standard originals. Cards with coloured backgrounds flummoxed it completely.
ABBYY FineReader, on the other hand, does a fine job for general OCR, and produced searchable PDFs from our test documents with few errors. We also found the anti-skew function worked well, straightening out every one of our test receipts.
Finally, Fujitsu’s Scan to Mobile feature will prove useful for smartphone and iPad users. Download the Connect app onto your device, configure access security in ScanSnap Manager and you can send scanned documents to it from the host PC.
With admirable scan output quality and a decent selection of software, the SnapScan S1300i is good value. There isn’t enough here to entice existing S1300 users to upgrade, but businesses looking for an affordable and versatile portable scanner will find that the S1300i does the job well.