Tired of keeping track of all those documents, receipts, and business cards? Mobile scanners let you scan and organize them on the go. We tried out four models with features such as wireless capability and easy syncing with Dropbox and other cloud-based storage services. Here are the results.
A. Xerox Mobile Scanner
Like all the scanners we tested, this model works with PCs or Macs and scans in color or black and white. It takes documents up to 8.5 inches by 11.7 inches, saves them, and lets you send them wirelessly as JPEGs or multipage PDFs to a computer, an iPad or iPhone, an Android device, or to online sharing sites. Or, connect to a computer with an included USB cable. You can scan about 300 documents with a fully charged battery; charge time is about four hours. Scanning at maximum 300-dots-per-inch resolution takes 10 seconds per page. Configuring the scanner's Eye-Fi wireless card was a bit confusing.
B. Doxie Go + Wi-Fi
This compact 14-ounce model lets you scan documents as large as 8.5 inches by 12 inches. You can transfer scans wirelessly to an iPad, iPhone, or computer, or plug in via USB cord. The included software lets you save scans as JPEGs or searchable PDFs, send them via e-mail, or save them to cloud-based services such as Google Docs, Evernote, and Dropbox. You can store up to 600 scans on the device itself. Easy to set up, the Go produced clear 600-DPI scans in about 15 seconds per page in our test. It charges in two hours via USB cable and produces about 100 scans per charge.
C. NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner + Digital Filing System
Although this device has no Wi-Fi capability and works only if plugged into a computer with an included USB cable, its ease of use makes it our top pick. Scan pages as large as 8.5 inches by 30 inches, and the software will convert your data and enter it into many popular spreadsheet and database programs. A cloud service will launch this spring, providing access to scans via the Web or an app for iPhone and iPad. (An Android version is planned.) In our test, the device scanned four small receipts a minute at 600-DPI resolution.
D. Epson WorkForce DS-30
Instead of a battery, this 11.5-ounce model draws power from a laptop or desktop computer using an included USB cable. It comes with software that lets you scan documents as JPEG files and send them directly to e-mail, a website, a specific folder on your computer, or to any one of a variety of cloud services, including Evernote and Google Docs. You can also create editable text and searchable PDFs. During our test, the device, which can handle documents as large as 8.5 inches by 14 inches, scanned about four pages a minute at 600-DPI resolution.
Before You Buy
If image quality is not a concern, consider mobile apps such as Genius Scan and DocScanner, which let you scan documents using the camera in your smartphone or tablet.