Plustek MobileOffice S400 review
Unlike its bigger brother the MobileOffice AD450, Plustek’s MobileOffice S400 model lives up to its name. Measuring a pint-sized 47 x 274 x 33.8mm (WDH), and weighing in at a feather-light 330g, it more closely resembles a desk ruler than a traditional scanner. It’s versatile as well, feeling as much at home on the desktop as it is in transit.
In keeping with its pared down aesthetics, the feature list is basic. It offers only single-sided scanning; the device itself features only two buttons – one general-purpose scanning button, and a shortcut key for scanning directly to PDF; and the resolution is limited to 600dpi.
It’s slow too: an advertised scan speed of 3ppm makes any lengthy scanning task glacial in pace. In our tests the MobileOffice S400 recorded average speeds of just over 3ppm across colour, greyscale and monochrome documents.
However, for the odd job here or there it isn’t bad at all. It draws its power over the USB connection, so no need to lug around a second power adapter in your laptop bag. The sheet feeder is comfortable handling a range of media at various thickness without jamming, a problem that plagued the more expensive AD450. We tested it with everything from business cards to thin copier paper and it didn’t miss a beat.
The feed is also very efficient at recognising when documents have been inserted, and has little trouble coping with different sized documents. The maximum paper width is 216mm, which lets you scan documents up to Letter in size.
The software is more of a mixed bag. The Presto! ImageFolio 4 document-management application feels dated and is headache-inducing in its complexity. On the other hand, the OCR package – Abbyy Finereader 9 Sprint – offers some redemption, enabling users to quickly and easily scan documents to searchable PDF, Excel and Word files. While it isn’t the most sophisticated of OCR packages, it does its job simply and effectively.
It’s a competent little scanner, then, and if you need to scan occasionally on the move it will do the job. Our main concern surrounds the price. At £105 exc VAT, it’s far more expensive than, say, the Genius ColorPage SF600, which offers a very similar specification and software bundle.