We must admit, text quality is dependent on how steady your hand is. If you move in fits and starts, the text reflects that. If you wobble down the page instead of moving the scanner straight and consistent, you won't be happy with the rendition. There is no display of your capture as you would expect on even a camera phone, so you won't know how it looks until you do the USB transfer to a device that has software that allows you to view your results. The only warning the small LCD display provides is if you move the scanner too fast.
Example of a shaky and a steady hand operating the scanner.
The advantage of the Scanstik is not having to flatten a book out, cracking its spine. However, when working with a small paperback with narrow margins, it takes several tries to capture the entire document from edge to edge. You'll need to try several methods, scanning right side up, upside down, horizontal and vertical to find the right positioning.
Scanning small paperbacks is tricky
Something we discovered by accident, if you scan a small page and place the right side of the scanner on the page instead of positioning the left side on the text, the words come out backwards similar to Leonardo da Vinci's mirror writing
. You could say the resulting text looks like Black Elk's words
are written in the Sioux language
A misplaced wand on an original that is not as wide as the Scanstik returns surprisingly results.
When you can't rip-and-take an enticing magazine ad, a full page is quickly captured and reproduces nicely. Carrying the lightweight Scanstik with you eliminates the need to ask the receptionist in the doctor's office to make a copy for you.
It only takes seconds to scan a full page ad
When you don't have paper or enough time to jot down several notations from a magazine ad, just scan it. The scanner is more convenient than carrying a pen and sheets of paper with you. It also eliminates those transcription errors or omissions.
No paper to make notes on? Scan the original instead.
The popular hobby of genealogy is a perfect excuse to get a Scanstik. All those documents hidden away in the archives don't even have to be taken out of their bindings. In this case, we've found this discharge record in a sheet protector. We left it in the protective covering and the scanner didn't blink an eye, delivering a very serviceable image.
Plastic sheet protectors don't interfere with the scanner
Large textbooks easily become targets for the Scanstik. The OCR software that is included in your purchase can turn that textbook image into useable text to assist turning your notes into a term paper.
Scanstik helps students take accurate notes via TIFF imaging at 600dpi
Newspaper print wasn't the challenge we had expected it to be. Due to the accommodating size and flat format, a newspaper was almost the easiest thing we attempted. The image below was captured at only 300 dpi.
Newspapers are easy to scan
We scanned image after image, transferring them from time to time to our computer, deleting the culls from our memory card, then scanning some more. All in all, we attempted more than 150 scans before experiencing any degradation in performance - which was due to a low battery which we quickly remedied.
One unusual test proved especially very successful. We scanned a silk painting that was framed behind glass. The translucent quality of the silk shows and the glare of spotlights on glass typically captured when taking a photo is completely eliminated by the direct scan.
The scanner sat idle, and off, until we wanted a do-over to obtain a different version of one image. When we turned the scanner on, the battery notation on the LCD display indicated “Medium” instead of “Full”. After displaying the current mode, resolution, and battery status as usual, the startup of the actual scanning process was slower than before. However, we were able to scan several versions of the same page before attempting to transfer our work. When we attempted to transfer the latest images by attaching the USB cable, the display indicated the battery was too low to attempt the process. We left the cable plugged in to the computer's USB port to charge the battery and less than five minutes later, the scanner was ready to go again.
Next, we couldn't resist an older book of poetry that we found in our library. Not as small as a paperback, but neither was it a large format book. It measured 8”x5”. We scanned the image vertically, moving across the page from left to right. We rotated, cropped, and sized the image in Photoshop. It is a good example of text scanned at 300dp.
Text scanned in color and captured at 300dpi
We found that high quality glossy paper such as the pottery picture is printed on was the most difficult to scan adequately. You need the right amount of pressure on the page combined with the right speed of movement otherwise the rollers squeak and stick slightly.
Overall, though, with a small amount of practice, you can scan almost anything - except the cat. That attempt failed. Yet, one other scan we tried just for fun - a tourist's tee shirt worked great. If you look closely, you can almost feel the cotton cloth on which the design is printed. This colorful item was also scanned at 300dpi. You don't always have to use up memory card space with a higher resolution to create a memory.
The largest file we captured was the colorful pottery in JPG format, 2313KB at 2464x2818 pixels, which we scaled down for the publication. The smallest concerned Bach from the textbook which was 33KB in TIFF format, at 2560x1236 pixels which we cropped as well as sized for inclusion here.
We did not attempt to touch up the images, neither in Photoshop, nor in the PaperPort software from Nuance
which is included with your purchase. Nor did we take advantage of the file management functions of that product. DocuDesk, also included in the shipped product, can be used to calibrate the scanner, but we ran it as received.
If you want simple, easy, portable scanning ability, we recommend Scanstik. As a bonus you will also receive the other capabilities as noted above.
Documents were scanned from:
Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt, 1972
Music Appreciation, Robert Hickok, 1975
Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows, Rod McKuen, 1966
AAA, VIA, On the Road, July/August 2012
Nat'l Geographic Traveler, May 2012
Horse Illustrated, May 2012
Wall Street Journal, Sports, July 13, 2012
Southwestern Pottery: Anasazi to Zuni, Allan Hayes and John Blom
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