21 October, 2011

Magicscan wand scanner

I can't remember how or when I heard about wand scanners. Actually, there are 2 types: 1 feeds the paper itself, this way you can only scan sheets. This product, which is the other, must be moved over the surface by hand. With it you can scan books like a flatbed scanner, but the quality depends on the steadiness of your hand.
Not many companies make the second type of scanners. I think the most famous is VuPoint, which has a whole range of them (including one with a tiny colour LCD screen to preview). The others I could find were from tiny, unknown brands. Even this magicscan doesn't have their own website, but at least it has good packaging. Since they are all sold by small companies, it's hard to distinguish wand scanners, and I suspect they're actually the same. However, I saw a sign saying this one is:
  • smaller
  • faster
But the reason I bought this is there was someone to demonstrate it before I bought it, so I could see how it works and the quality. One difference I've noticed that might differentiate scanners is this uses 3 AAA batteries, while most use 2 AA batteries.

Reasons for getting one:
  1. portability
  2. scan large items (e.g. newspapers, certificates)
  3. scan photos from albums
My main reason was 3, then 2. It's quite hard to scan large items with flatbed scanners, because you either can't close the lid, or will crumple the item. I guess most people get it for reason 1.

Tech Specs
  • pdf, jpf formats
  • 300 DPI - 217 x up to 1200 mm
  • 600 DPI - 217 x up to 600 mm
  • High resolution, colour, letter size - 4 seconds
  • Standard resolution, mono, letter size - 1 second
  • microSD storage
  • 3xAAA batteries - 200 colour or 250 mono scans
  • 253x30x25 mm
  • weight

  • It's very simple, there are only 3 main buttons: on/off/scan, colour/bw and hi/low resolution
  • If you move too fast, the error light lights up
  • I don't think you can move it "too slowly". The light seems to flash every time it moves a certain distance. If you move it slowly enough, the light flickers. If you move quickly, the light gets brighter.
  • It has an internal clock, but I can't be bothered to set it
  • Works directly with PC, no batteries or card needed (untested)
  • Comes with OCR software (untested)

Quality is quite good:
This is a scan of the box. It shows a problem: you have to move the scanner straight and you can't tell if you've done it wrongly. Here I bumped the triangular notch which made the scanner move at a different angle afterwards.
Scans of instructions

Another problem is you can't scan to the very edge of a page. The scan stops when the roller stops moving, so the distance between the roller and lens cannot be scanned. Can be fixed by scanning on a large surface.
Tried to take a picture when the light was on, but you can't really see it.

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