Fujitsu's ScanSnap S1500M is not a jack-of-all-trades designed to fulfil all your scanning needs, but if you regularly scan large, unbound documents, it could make your life easier.
It's capable of scanning both sides of a page in a single pass, and offers four image settings with resolutions of up to 600dpi in colour or 1,200dpi in black and white. It can handle documents from business card to A4 in size, with variable compression options.
Scanned files can be saved as PDFs or JPEGs, and can be automatically emailed, printed, converted to Microsoft Word or Excel documents or imported into iPhoto.
Scanning speed is blisteringly fast. At the highest quality setting, it scanned our 16-page full-colour company magazine in one minute and 14 seconds, which is very agreeable considering the resolutions used. 12 single-sided greyscale A4 pages scanned in 35 seconds at 150dpi.
Image quality is excellent, offering crisp, clear text and faithful image reproduction at the higher quality settings.
As you'd expect, the ScanSnap S1500M is only capable of scanning loose sheets, not books or bound documents. The aforementioned magazine had to be cut down the spine before scanning. Staples and paperclips must be removed, and previously-stapled pages must be checked to ensure they're not still fastened together.
Even so, if you do a lot of loose-document scanning, this machine's for you. It's fast, capable and very space-efficient.
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