Scanner Spotlight: The Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600

When it comes to scanning external resources such as books, magazines and compiled documents, things can get a little tricky. You’ve got feed-in scanners that aren’t any help at all, and then there are the traditional flatbed scanners. While the latter are certainly useful in capturing those favoured pages, they also come with a set of fiddly drawbacks, such as the lid not closing, books being skewed, and page corners being curled under in the squash.

Enter the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600. If there was a time to convert to the contactless scanner, this baby proves that that time is definitely now. The ScanSnap SV600 makes scanning those heavy or bulkier items a doddle thanks to its overhanging motorised scanner head, under which its black felt mat makes the ideal scanning area for your manuscripts. There’s no annoying shadow like there is with some contactless scanners, and the ScanSnap is capable of handling documents up to A3 size.

Basic Features

So let’s start from the basics. The Fujitsu ScanSnap has a speedy scan rate of 15 ppm, and the result is a clean, crisp 600dpi, with good contrast and no distortion. This makes the scanner perfect for document and book-archiving systems, as well as replicating photography and perhaps even artwork. Its clever depth-of-field calculations enables it to scan (and later correct) curved pages on books up to 30mm thick, and the user can set an interval time between scans to give them time to turn the page (though the ScanSnap can also do this automatically with its page-turning sensor).

The scanner’s black felt mat, as mentioned earlier, makes a great scan base. It removes glare and provides markings for accurate positioning. It is also rubber-backed for firm stability on almost any hard surface.

Software Functions

The ScanSnap is compatible with Windows 7, 8 Vista and XP, and also with Mac OS as well. It comes with free Adobe Acrobat software (standard edition), as well as ABBYY FineReader 8.0. Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Manager allows you to make simple yet effective changes to your scan really easily, popping up as soon as you hit the scan Start button (though some might find this annoying if they plan on using alternative software).

ScanSnap Manager gives you options for all the most basic things you’ll probably want to do with your scan, such as save it as a searchable PDF; print it; send as an email attachment; edit in a Microsoft Office program or move to a cloud storage system like Google Drive or Dropbox. Its editing tool also allows you to conveniently flatten out curved pages and erase visible fingertips that may have been used to hold down page edges. You can also crop your scan, reposition the book centre and fine-tune its edges.

The ScanSnap will impressively automatically detect multiple documents, even when they’re strewn all over the scanner mat. It will create separate documents for each, and align them all perfectly using its anti-skew measures. If scanning a double page, the software will also allow you to indicate where the book’s spine is located, before proceeding to merge the two separate pages into a seamless double page spread.

An additional feature that would no doubt be useful for many people is the scanner’s scan-to-mobile function, which sends a scanned image straight to your tablet. Simply download the Connection Application to your device and enter the IP address of your host PC. Be sure to run the hosting component as you press the scanner’s Start button.

Why Go Contactless?

Contactless scanners are the next generation of scanners allowing us to effortlessly scan books, magazines and even framed photographs or artwork without damaging spines or pages in the process. Because no part of the page is pressed up against the glass (as it would be with a typical flatbed scanner), it generates a smoother image, even when scanning uneven surfaces, like a book with lots of sticky notes.

In the case of the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600, there is also the bonus of having time to turn pages in between scans, so you don’t need to disturb the scanning process in order to capture multiple pages.

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