My First Document Scanner

Today I ordered a NeatScan document / receipt scanner made by NeatCo!

I’m pretty excited because I’ve always wanted one ever since the days of the Visioneer Paperport. The idea of a paperless office really appealed to me mostly due to my infatuation to keep around receipts and documents that I receive, be it electronically or on paper. Unfortunately, I’ve never figured out a method to process & save any of the paperwork on an ongoing basis – it usually falls apart when I start to get too busy with life.

I had done a little research several months ago to see if there were any changes in the document-scanner market since the last time I checked. From that I made my rough list for my ultimate document-scanning setup:

  • Small, desktop scanner
  • Ability to create searchable PDFs
  • Software to help me organize everything

I started looking again because I came across two Black-Friday deals related to document scanners: NeatScan to Office by NEAT and the SnapScan S300M by Fujitsu. (The deal from NEAT was for the PC version of the scanner, but I read on their website that they were offering the Mac software for free as long as you provided the serial number of the scanner.)

I found that Fujitsu’s SnapScan always had great reviews so it probably wouldn’t be a bad choice no matter what. One of the cool features it has is the ability to feed and scan multiple documents while scanning both sides at the same time! Very nice.

NEAT released a Mac version of their software last January at MacWorld. From what I could tell from the NEAT website and forums, they are committed to creating a great Macintosh experience and their goal is to match the functionality of their Windows software. One of the cool features of the NEAT software enables you to print directly to the software (eg, print an email receipt from Amazon to the software, which will then process it with OCR/PDF). This could definitely be handy for me since I get a lot of electronic receipts from the things I order online.

Here are some of the reasons I decided on the NEAT scanner:

  • It was a little cheaper than the SnapScan
    I wasn’t sure if I was going to appreciate a document scanner
  • The included software did OCR (important for making searchable PDFs)
    (Though during this quarter [2008Q4], Fujisu is offering a rebate to get a free copy of Readiris Pro OCR sofware.)
  • The included software will organize receipts and documents
    (I was considering purchasing Yep as my tool for organizing PDFs; I always have the choice if I find the NEAT software lacking.)

h3. Resources

  • “MacNN Forum: NeatReceipts or Fujitsu?”:http://forums.macnn.com/57/consumer-hardware-and-components/367014/neatreceipts-or-fujitsu/

  • “TUAW Review: NEAT Receipts for Mac”:http://www.tuaw.com/2008/06/06/tuaw-review-neat-receipts-for-mac-advance-release/

  • “MacMost Video: NeatReceipts Review”:http://macmost.com/macmost-now-89-neatreceipts-review.html

  • “Macworld Review: Fujitsu SnapScan S300M”:http://www.macworld.com/article/133962/2008/06/scansnaps300m.html

  • “Fujitsu.com: SnapScan S300M”:http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/s300m.html

  • “Readiris Pro Website”:http://www.irislink.com/c2-532-189/OCR-Software—Product-list.aspx

  • “Pricegrabber Review: Readiris Pro 11”:http://reviews.pricegrabber.com/data-fax/m/19848156/

2 Responses

  1. Michael Ort 2009-03-02 / 13:17

    Hi David,
    So have you gotten your Neat scanner and are you glad you got it instead of the Fujistu 300? I am looking at either the NeatDest scanner or the Fujitsu (300 or 510) any thoughts or followup?
    Thanks!
    Michael

  2. david 2009-03-03 / 09:02

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve been using my NeatReceipts scanner since December. I really like it and it fits my needs and workflow well – heavy receipt / light document scanning. If I was doing a lot of paper documents I’d look more into the NeatDesk or Fujitsu 510 scanners because of their superior, automatic paper-feeding abilities. The ability to do duplex scanning with the Fujitsu series would be a huge plus. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

    Perhaps a second critical part of the equation is the software for entering and searching these electronic documents. From watching the product video at NeatCo.com, the NeatDesk software looks really polished – much more than what I’m using on the Mac with NeatReceipts. I’m not sure what Fujitsu offers, maybe Readiris via a rebate? And, from what I can surmise from the screenshots on the Irislink.com website, document management with Readiris is non-existant.

    Lastly, the design of a product factors into my decision making and I think Fujitsu has a lot to learn in that department. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d want to put a bag over any Fujitsu sitting on my desk. ๐Ÿ™‚ My scanner is adorable and looks great sitting next to my computer.

    I think the only drawback with my setup is that the Neat software for Mac is nowhere near as functional as what they offer for the PC.

    HTH – david

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