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The Xerox Travel Scanner 100 is cool

27 Sep 2008 | | 6 Comments

One thing I’ve never liked about scanners is their size — they aren’t exactly portable in the laptop sense of the word. But that looks like it’s starting to change, with Xerox releasing the Xerox Travel Scanner 100.

 

Xerox Travel Scanner

Xerox Travel Scanner

It’s small, it’s powerful and it’s portable. More details from Xerox:

The Xerox Travel Scanner measures only 2″ x 1.5″ x 11.4″, weighs 10.6 ounces –less than a can of diet soda — and has a resolution of 600 dpi with 24-bit color. Because the Xerox Travel Scanner is powered through the USB port on a personal computer, users don’t have to worry about finding a wall outlet while on the road.

It’s products like these which will one day ensure that we’re all working with digital documents.

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6 Comments »

  • Kurt said:

    Have you used this scanner? I am interested in purchasing, but would like to hear from some users regarding quality of scans, functionality of OCR software, ruggedness, etc.

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    Hi Kurt, I haven’t been able to get a hold of a Xerox Travel Scanner yet, so unfortunately I don’t have any feedback to offer.

  • Floris Jansen said:

    I bought one of these the other day. It’s a very cute scanner – definitely “laptop” size. But you can get a positive story from the Xerox website so let me tell the other side:

    The bundled software is a nightmare to install.
    It may be because of virus scanners etc, but it required a couple of reboots and two additional attempts to install, and still it’s not working as documentation suggests. I am not an idiot but I must have spent 3 hours before I had it working and calibrated. Lucky thing I had the day off for Thanksgiving.

    Having said that even in its current “impaired” state it does a nice job of importing simple documents and straightening them out. Included OCR and indexing also work well – but I can’t seem to control quality, and the Kofax VRS (Virtual Rescan) which is part of the magic of making it happen keeps complaining that it’s not sure it is legal on my machine.

    Other problem is that it’s easy for paper not to go through quite straight (especially receipts etc) in which case OCR has trouble (letters get squished or streeeetched). Additionally it has a little difficulty “taking up” a page which means the feed mechanism will start before the paper is engaged, resulting in the bottom of the page being cut off (it assumes paper is Letter size and if it’s longer it gets cut; so if it starts with a “blank” you lose the bottom). I was able to get around this by changing the time to take up paper from 500 ms to 900 ms (hardly a significant wait but just enough to wiggle the paper just right).

    Another (small) issue is the location of the USB cord. It’s coming out of the back of the scanner, and has a big RF suppression “blob” on it (one of those ferrite thingies). When you position the scanner to the right of your laptop, the cable and blob run right through the paper path – and when you run a sheet through, it risks getting caught on the cable. Which, with the iffy feed mechanism, requires a re-scan. A minor inconvenience but still – someone didn’t really pay attention to detail.

    I have not really used this scanner “for real” yet – I am sure it will help reduce the clutter of paper significantly once I get used to it – but I have much higher expectations of “plug and play” than was delivered out of the box. But now that I have it working, I’m not going to send it back!

    Hope this helps.

  • Floris Jansen said:

    Update on the above comment…
    I discovered an interesting bug in the software. The OneTouch software activates with an icon in the system tray as soon as you plug in the scanner. According to the documentation a left-click on this icon pops up a window that gives you control over the scan quality. I have the Windows bar at the left hand side of my screen, and thus the system tray in the bottom left corner. It turns out that this puts the control window “off screen”. Once I moved the windows bar to the (default) bottom, and the system tray to the bottom right hand corner, things worked MUCH better. I do get a slightly stripey image at higher resolution – maybe need to recalibrate…

  • Rowan Hanna said:

    Hi Floris, thanks for sharing your experience of the Xerox travel scanner with us.

  • User Feedback On The Xerox Travel Scanner 100 said:

    […] covered the Xerox Travel Scanner a couple of months ago, but since we hadn’t actually tried it […]

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