New-fangled Scanner Technology
October 24, 2014 8:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a document scanner setup with some fairly specific requirements...

My dream would be to have a device that looks like an iPad, where you put the document face down on the glass and hit a button. The "iPad scanner" captures the image, stores it, and syncs it to a server later in the day. For this exercise, it's safe to assume all documents will be 8-1/2 x 11 inches.

Unless this magical device exists, I'm looking for scanning hardware recommendations that meet the following criteria:

1) Hardware must be "mobile", so that staff can take the equipment to the files, rather than bring the files to a central scanning location.

2) Given #1, the equipment (or the equipment cart) must be independently powered - or have a verrry long extension cord. We can't add power or outlets to the room.

3) Scanned images should be stored temporarily, and synced periodically throughout the day. There is no wifi in the storage room, and there never will be.

4) Scan quality should meet at least minimum standard of 300dpi, preferrably better.

I've seen the "document camera" type setups, and have concerns about the consistency and quality of the images. Unless there is an extremely elegant solution, we're unlikely to go this way.

Thanks, AskMe!
posted by grateful to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
To your question, there are portable scanners from companies like NeatReceipts, but most of them work by feeding a single sheet through a slot in the device, not placing the sheet on a flat plate. If your requirement for a plate has to do with the fragility of these documents, that's a non-starter (and you should probably contact somebody who specializes in handling this sort of thing). They're also slow, compared to any sort of commercial/high-volume scanner.

Is there a specific reason you're looking at scanning single sheets as-needed, rather than paying some service company to digitize the whole lot of it and hand you a few hard drives full of images and a database of content? You'll pay more up-front, but you'll get it done all in one go and be done with it. You can then use a smaller number of lower-volume scanners to digitize new data as it comes in.
posted by Alterscape at 8:31 AM on October 24, 2014

It sounds like your best bet is either something like the neatreceipts above, or using a frame/stand that makes the camera scanner more consistent for your needs.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:48 AM on October 24, 2014

The Doxie Flip is close on most criteria, but not letter-sized. The Doxie Go is also close, but it is sheet-feed type, not flatbed type (but can handle letter-sized sheets)
posted by misterbrandt at 12:20 PM on October 24, 2014

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