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User Feedback On The Xerox Travel Scanner 100

9 Dec 2008 | | One Comment

We covered the Xerox Travel Scanner a couple of months ago, but since we hadn’t actually tried it ourselves yet, we weren’t able any details on how usable it is. Luckily a visitor has been kind enough to share their experience with this compact scanner:

Comment by Floris on November 29, 2008 @ 10:14 am

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.

Comment by Floris on December 6, 2008 @ 9:05 pm

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…

Thanks Floris!

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One Comment »

  • Benton said:

    This product is extremely not user friendly and malfunctioned 3 months after my purchase. Horrible design (cord placement – usb), horrible setup, and not easy to use with the software. DO NOT BUY!

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