ScanSnap S510M Review

The ScanSnap S510M offers good quality high-resolution colour scanning while demanding less desk space than your MacBook.

It’s extremely compact. Rather than occupying the same space as the paper it’s designed to scan, this sheet-feeding scanner measures just 284 x 157 x 158mm. Despite its small size, it’s capable of scanning A3 documents when used in conjunction with a carrier sheet, which helps guide the paper through. Equipped with automatic paper size detection, the ScanSnap also scans smaller-than-A4 documents and business cards. Documents are automatically scanned into PDF format, compatible with Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional, which ships with the scanner. That last element means scanned documents can be searched through using Spotlight.

The ScanSnap management software provides single-click commands for a range of handy functions: scanning a document to a folder; an email; to print; directly into iPhoto; and to the OCR software supplied. Intelligently, ScanSnap also eliminates blank pages when scanning multi-page documents, and offers automatic deskew and orientation adjustment for better results. It’s capable of duplex scanning, too.

High resolution, (600dpi, optical), an automatic document feeder and a claimed 18-page-per-minute scanning speed in black-and-white and colour complete the package, but one key element is missing: TWAIN support.

This means you can’t scan directly into applications such as Photoshop, for example. While the ScanSnap isn’t intended for use in hardcore graphics environments, it’s an element buyers should be aware is lacking when parting with £270 for the product.

The software is supplied on three discs. Installation doesn’t take long, but does require a restart. That the included software bundle features Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional is the main advantage of the product. That software offers everything any business user may need to properly manage their paper documents electronically.

OUR VERDICT

There’s much that’s good here, although the ScanSnap is not really appropriate for creative studios and too expensive for casual users. The target market of SoHo and business users must really want Acrobat 8 Professional, and for them it’s an excellent choice. It’s a good compact scanner for a niche market.

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