Given that Evernote's mission is to help you organize all the digital content you accumulate, such as articles, e-mail attachments, and notes full of text, it's only natural that it would one day extend offline to organize all the pieces of paper cluttering your desk. The company teamed with Japanese scanner manufacturer Fujitsu to build the ScanSnap Evernote edition, a scanner that pulls all of your receipts, documents, photos, and any other physical content into Evernote, so you can store your entire life in one place.
This is not the first time that Evernote has partnered up with a scanner manufacturer to make it easier to save to Evernote, but this is the most tightly integrated partnership it's ever had. The two companies worked closely on the software that powers the scanner and the design itself. The result is a 600x600-dots-per-inch (dpi) color scanner that can scan documents, photos, receipts, and business cards, and instantly turns them into searchable files stored in Evernote. With any other scanner on the market, you'd have to scan and save documents to your computer's hard drive, then upload them to Evernote. While that's not a particularly difficult process, it can be tedious and time-consuming, especially when you're faced with huge stacks of documents.
Still, for all that speed and convenience, $500 is a steep price to pay. Unless you are the ultimate die-hard Evernote fan and battle massive piles of paper regularly, you're better off spending your money on an all-in-one printer that can do more than just scan.
Design and features
For those who don't know, Evernote is an online note-taking service that can store all kinds of content, such as photos, file attachments, e-mails, text notes, and snapshots of Web pages. You can think of it as a digital file cabinet. The company has desktop apps for Windows and Mac OS X, plus iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition has the same specs as the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500. The difference between the scanners is in the design, which features an all-gray soft-touch exterior with the Evernote logo on the front.
At a little more than 6.5 pounds, the scanner is heavy, but compact. It's 11.5 inches wide, 6.2 inches deep, and 6.6 inches tall, and roughly the size of a two-slice toaster.
The ScanSnap is an automatic document feeder (ADF) scanner, meaning there's a feed tray at the top where you put your documents, which then pass through the scanner, in the same way a piece of paper passes through an inkjet printer. Since it's not a flatbed scanner, you can't scan books, magazines, or other bound documents unless you tear out the page.
You can load up to 50 sheets at a time and the scanner can handle document sizes A4, A5, A6, B5, B6, letter, and legal, with a minimum size of 2x2 inches and a maximum size of 8.5x14.17 inches. It also comes with a carrier sheet, which holds A3 and B4 documents, as well as 11x17 documents if you fold them in half widthwise.
The top tray folds over the front of the scanner when it's not in use. When you lift it up and away from the body, the machine turns on, and you can then lift the bottom tray down and away to start scanning. The bottom tray has magnets to hold it in place, which is a nice touch.
There's a single back-lit power button and Wi-Fi indicator light inside. Instead of Fujitsu's blue back-lit power button, this scanner uses Evernote's signature green. You can unhinge the document feeder portion and fold it down to clear paper jams or clean the feeder.
With your $500 scanner, you also get one free year of Evernote Premium (worth $45), which includes extra storage and gives you the power to search for words in PDFs. That's important, since when you scan a document, it automatically saves it as a PDF into Evernote.
Before you can start scanning, you first need to install ScanSnap's software from Evernote's Web site, Evernote.com/scansnap.
The setup process is pretty painless, just make sure you already have Evernote running on your computer. Once you download and install the software, you can connect your scanner via USB to your computer and you're ready to scan.
The ScanSnap has a wireless scanning option, so that it can send files to your computer without a cable. To set it up, connect your computer to Wi-Fi if it isn't already and then flip the Wi-Fi switch on the back of the ScanSnap to On. Open the ScanSnap manager tool (included with the software you download to set up the scanner) and head to the Wi-Fi tab, select the correct network, connect to it, and you're done.
Place your document (or stack of items) face down on the top tray and adjust the guides to fit the largest sheet of paper. Press the big green button to begin the scan.