Scanstik is a pen sized hand held scanning device. You can carry it everywhere, in its own leather pouch, in a purse, or clipped to your belt like first generation geeks used to carry their slide rules.
This little nine inch, two ounce product makes scanning anywhere so easy. You can scan full sized color documents in a variety of resolutions. The pocket scanner eliminates the need to tear out a page to keep of that dentist office magazine. It avoids copy fees at the public library or in your hotel. The Scanstik quickly captures documents in a bound book that can't be flattened out to lie on a desk scanner.
The Lithium Polymer battery easily recharges via a computer USB slot. You transfer from the memory disk to your computer via the provided USB cable. Scanstik includes optional auxiliary software products for OCR translation, image editing, and file management on CD-ROM if you want to take advantage of them.
Free software comes with the product
The product arrived in a protective exterior shipping package. The product packaging itself was sturdy with heavy foam rubber surround. Contents were simply the device, the USB cable, and the zippered pouch. Two CD-ROM disks provided the accompanying software. It retails for $159.99 from PlanOn
A protective leather pouch is provided along with the scanner and its own USB cable.
The first impression is the graceful look of the scanner. It has four buttons that meld with the design control of the device. The device is so slick it is difficult to determine where the opening is for the memory card. The instructions we printed out indicated that the MicroSD memory card goes under the oval cover the bears the product name.
A necessary accessory is not included in your purchase, a memory card. We selected a Patriot 32GB microSDHC
that comes with an adapter that was not necessary, but could be helpful in a different situation. We chose the larger size because we intend to make several color copies which take considerable space. The card comes with a 5 year limited warranty and promises 10mb/sec or better. We had no complaints with our choice. The images scanned quickly without incident.
Be aware, you need steady hands to maneuver the tiny micro card into the slot and to close the cover. Though well-built, we were concerned that the small tabs on the cover could easily break off, leaving the insides unprotected if it were removed frequently.
MicroSDHC fits snuggly in the scanner
Fortunately, our images transferred smoothly from the card via the USB cable to our computer. We took the quick route and used Windows Explorer to place the images in a folder of our choosing.
We scanned images of all kinds with varying degrees of success, but overall were quite satisfied. We selected several types of paper and other materials for our tests. Below you'll see examples of images from magazine ads and stories, a textbook, a newspaper, a glossy table top book, an old paperback, a business card, a silk painting under glass, a genealogy document under a sheet protector, and a tee shirt.
Getting started, we found that the manual, although accompanied with pictures of the product and installation of the optional software, could have been more explanatory and text edited to serve up a more professional presentation. Regardless, we were up and scanning in no time. Learning the accompanying software will take more time, however.
The first thing we encountered as we put the stick to its first test was the fact that the scanner always scans the width of the device - 8.75 inches. If you have a small item, like a receipt or business card, you should have a blank background that size. Notice the strength of the scan, it picked up some of the image on the back side of the blank side of the paper we used as background for the business card.
Scanstik copies 8.75 inches wide regardless of the size of the target.
There is no way to change the width of the scan. Thus, you obviously need to crop your images after transferring them to your computer. We opened ours in Adobe Photoshop
for cropping and sizing, but did not alter the appearance in any other way.
You can choose black and white TIFF or color JPG image capture. Three resolution settings are possible: 150, 300 or 600 dpi (dots per inch). The 300 setting was sufficient in most cases. Text looks a tad better in 600 and is quite legible, but we'd prefer something a bit more crisp if we had to rely on its readability. Below is an example of captures from the same book in two different resolutions. The text is 600 dpi; the pottery is only 300 dpi.
Text and image from same book in two resolutions
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