Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 review: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the results of the ABBYY software, though we did encounter one glitch where it turned all "I"s into "1"s. You can do a find and replace if the software makes any errors like his, but things get a little tricky when you're faced with a situation where you have both "I"s and "1"s throughout a document.

While we found the S1500 a pleasure to use and easy to store (the paper trays fold inward into the unit to conserve space when not in use), we should point out that it does have some limitations. For starters, it can't accept oversized documents aside from longer legal-size pages. Since the scanner is designed for 8.5x11 inch paper (as well as the aforementioned legal-size paper), anything wider than 8.5 inches isn't scannable. Also, while it can scan photos, it doesn't scan them as well as a true photo scanner (we ended up with some visible scan lines with an 8x10 photo we scanned in) and it turns them into PDFs not JPEG images. On the other hand, we were impressed how most everything else looked, including receipts that were reproduced in vivid detail.

Also, as noted, Mac users don't get the important OCR extras; the scanner simply turns documents into PDF files and the desktop software helps you organize those files. (Initially, the S1500 was not compatible with Snow Leopard version of Mac OS X, but Fujitsu has recently provided new drivers.)

For those looking for something even smaller and more portable, Fujitsu also makes the S300M, which costs about $250. However, the S300M is geared toward receipts and short documents.

For about $400 online, the S1500 isn't cheap, but it's reasonably priced for what it does and how well it performs. The fact is, if you're looking to get out from under all the paper that's overwhelming you--or just taking up space--the Fujitsu S1500 is a small but powerful organizational weapon that you'll soon find indispensable.

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