If you frequent trade shows or spend a lot of time making new business contacts, you invariably wind up with stacks of business cards and the tedious task of adding the info to your contact manager. A card scanner can speed up the process considerably; now's your chance to scoop one up for $16.99, shipped, after a $60 mail-in rebate.
The Plustek OptiCard 820 is a portable color scanner designed for business cards and photos up to 4x6 inches. It weighs just under 7 ounces and draws power from your PC's USB port, so there's no bulky AC adapter to pack. Optical scan resolution tops out at 600 dpi, which is fine for cards and snapshot photos.
The included CardIris software, used to convert business cards into raw data, can automatically save to Outlook, Lotus Notes, Palm Desktop, and other popular PIMs. PC Magazine's review of the scanner dinged it for so-so character recognition, meaning you might have to do some manual clean-up of the card data--but it's probably still faster than entering it manually.
This rebate deal ends January 31.