I have been working with an interesting new electronic tool the last couple of weeks. The Docupen R800 Portable Scanner (from PLANon, available in New Zealand through Work & Study Tech Ltd) is a a very portable document scanner.
Ideal for professionals who need to bring document data into their businesses, these devices are really an interesting concept.
In summary, the Docupen R800 is a 400 dpi, 24 bit, rechargeable colour scanner, with a microSD slot for memory expansion. The Docupen R800 comes with built-in 8MB flash memory, but the model I tested here was sent with a 256MB microSD card.
The scanner comes with a mini USB cable for charging and synchronisation with a PC, and a leather carrying pouch with belt clip.
Operation is very easy, and you just have two buttons, to power the unit on/off and select modes. You can cycle modes between black & white, 12 bit colour and 24 bit colours, and change between 100 dpi and 400 dpi.
Scanning a document is simple, and the Docupen R800 is wide enough to cover a full A4 width. With a bit of training you will learn the correct speed to get some good scans.
Before connecting the scanner to a PC you will need to install the TWAIN driver, and the accompanying software. The Docupen software allows you to import and save scans to a PC, format the memory, check memory available and calibrate the scanner.
In my tests, after I got around the correct speed for scanning, pages were captured with good quality. Transferring the files to a PC was easy and hassle free - but you will want to process the files quickly. A full collour A4 page scan can take up to 40MB on your hard drive when saved as TIFF. The bundled PaperPort software will help you manage this though, and provide an easy way to import documents into a "library", export to other formats (including BMP, JPG, PCX, DCX & TIFF) and start your favourite programs directly after importing images.