Fujitsu ScanSnap: How Are The S1300 and ScanSnap S1500 Models Different?

I get asked this question quite a bit: “What is the difference between the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 and the ScanSnap S1500 series?”, and then the logical followup: “Which should I buy?”.

I decided to put together this blog post for me to point people to, so here is a rundown of the differences between the ScanSnap models.

ScanSnap S1500ScanSnap S1300ScanSnap S1500M

Speed

  • S1500/S1500M: Up to 20 pages per minute
  • S1300: Up to 8 pages per minute

Clearly the S1500 series has the edge here. If you are doing a large amount of scanning, you will probably want to go with the S1500 or S1500M.

Capacity

  • S1500/S1500M: Maximum 50 sheets
  • S1300: Maximum 10 sheets

Again, the S1500 is a pretty clear winner. If you are regularly scanning more than 10 sheets at a time, you will probably want to pick up the S1500 or S1500M. Otherwise, the limited capacity of the S1300 is going to get pretty annoying.

Size/Weight

  • S1500/S1500M: 11.5 x 6.3 x 6.2 in. (292 x 159 x 158 mm). 6.62 lb (3.0 kg).
  • S1300: 11.18 in. x 3.90 in. x 3.03 in. (284mm x 99mm x 77mm). 3.08 lb. (1.4kg).

Both versions of the ScanSnap are compact, and I am not sure that this category has a “winner” per se, but the S1300 is quite a bit smaller and lighter than the S1500 series.

Operating System

The S1500 is designed for Microsoft Windows. However, it does include Mac OSX drivers and can be used to scan on a Mac. It does not include the extra software (including OCR software) for Mac.

The S1500M is designed for Mac OSX. However, it does include Windows drivers and can be used to scan on a PC. It does not include the extra software (including OCR software) for Windows.

Fujitsu is calling the S1300 their first “hybrid scanner”. It is designed to be used both on Windows and the Mac, and comes with all the software for both.

Included Software

The ScanSnap S1500 includes the following software:

  • ScanSnap Organizer
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 for Windows
  • CardMinder 4.0
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap

The ScanSnap S1500M includes the following software:

  • Adobe Acrobat 8 for Mac
  • CardIris 3.6
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap

The ScanSnap S1300 includes the following software:

  • ScanSnap Organizer (Windows only)
  • CardMinder 4.1 (Windows only)
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap (Windows and Mac)
  • CardIris 3.6 (Mac only)

If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice right off the bat that the S1300 does not include Adobe Acrobat. That may or may not make the price difference worth it to you.

Mobility

While I wouldn’t call the S1500 or S1500M a big scanner, it is clearly not as mobile as the S1300.

Aside from size and weight, the ScanSnap S1300 has the ability to run off a USB port’s power, so you theoretically don’t even need to take your power adapter with you.

Color

Come on, don’t pretend that the look of your peripheral isn’t important.

The ScanSnap S1500 has a black and silver look, while the S1500M is a more Mac-y white and grey.

With the release of the hybrid S1300, Fujitsu decided to go with the S1500′s color scheme. Bye bye white!

Of course, there is always the lacquer option too.

Other Goodies

The ScanSnap S1500 and S1500M come with a carrier sheet, so you can more easily scan odd-sized paper.

So Which Is Better?

I bet you know what I am going to say here: It depends!

If you have a large and/or regular volume of paper, I strongly urge you to go for the ScanSnap S1500 or the ScanSnap S1500M. The extra speed and paper capacity will save you lots of time.

If you have a need to be mobile, or if you do only a small amount of scanning, you can probably get away with the ScanSnap S1300.

The right model of ScanSnap for you really depends on your needs. As Apu said to Mr. Burns, “Just look into your heart, and you will find the answer.”

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34 Responses to “Fujitsu ScanSnap: How Are The S1300 and ScanSnap S1500 Models Different?”

  1. BrooksD September 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Good point about Linux.. thanks!

  2. Todd January 16, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    The S1500 is getting pretty old by now. Any news on a replacement model?

    • BrooksD January 16, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      It's hard to say. Traditionally Fujitsu releases one every year at or around CES: S1300 last year, S1500 year before, S300 year before, S510 year before. So, if they continue that then I would guess if there is a replacement for the S1500 it wouldn't be until early 2012 since the S1100 was "the one" for this year. But, who knows? Not me.

  3. Chris February 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Hello! I am looking at a refurb S 1500m. It's a great deal bit does not come with the Adobe Acorbat 8 software. I dont use Adobe 8 currently. Any significant downside to not having it?

    • BrooksD February 14, 2011 at 6:55 am #

      The only real downside is that you won't have software that can OCR PDFs that are not generated by the ScanSnap, and you won't have extensive PDF editing capabilities. You can probably get by with the OCR included with ScanSnap (ABBYY FineReader) and Preview.app, but if you ever find you absolutely need something, PDFPen is a reasonably-priced alternative that you can buy.

  4. Cindi April 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    "The only real downside is that you won't have software that can OCR PDFs that are not generated by the ScanSnap" This kind of misses the point that the Acrobat that comes with the ScanScap will NOT OCR PDF's that were not scanned by the scan snap. So you can save pdf's along with your scanned pdfs and the ScanSnap organizer will show the, but it will not find them in a search. This is a big downside for me. I'm looking at third party softwares that won't have this limitation.

  5. MrMath April 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Brooks,
    I found your site after among my exhaustive searches for info on the s1300 and s1500. I am a trying to go paperless as I have a lot of paper clutter and would feel better having access to this information via my computer. I have read a lot about these scansnap scanner and I understand some of their limitations, but there are few concerns that have not been made clear in my internet searches:

    I have not read anything where a reviewer pointed out that the S1300 uses CIS to scan, while the S1500 uses CCD. However, I have read that CCD is the superior method of scanning in regards to image quality (might startup slower and require a larger scanner). I would expect the S1500 to have better image quality, but it is an older product too (I know this rationale isnt always true), and thats why I'm here.

    1. What is the Daily Duty Cycle of the S1300 and of the S1500. I only found one site that looked terrible and it listed the S1300 as having a DDC of 100 pages, and the S1500 for 250 pages. This is one site of many, not even Fujitsu's website says anything on this matter (they do for their other much more expensive scanners).

    2. I enjoy your site much, but there is a major thing lacking in this comparison of the S1300 and the S1500. Which scanner produces higher quality scans (if the paper is not perfectly flat too)? I ask this, as the image quality trumps speed (and I don't care about portability….well its nice I guess) for me as if I have to rescan then there goes the speed.

    3. Additionally, are you aware of either scanner's performance with respect to scanning a mix of a typewritten and handwritten (using a pencil) page. Example: If I I type out a math quiz with space given to complete questions and the student uses pencil, would both scanner be fine for this; which of the two would likely be better?

    I hope you can try to answer some of my questions or point me int he right direction.

    • BrooksD April 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi MrMath,

      The main reason that I don't have any examples or anything in-depth about quality differences between the S1500 and the S1300 is because I don't have a S1500 or S1500M, so I can't speak first-hand about it nor post any scan examples.

      As for Daily Duty Cycle, I checked all the spec sheets I have and you're right, it doesn't seem like they publish it at all for the ScanSnap line.

      I have a feeling, and this is me talking not them (I have no relationship with Fujitsu at all) , that they think of the ScanSnap line as more "pro-sumer" level and that if you are worried about things like CCD vs. CIS and Daily Duty Cycles, you are probably more in the market for their higher-end scanners.

      All that being said, I would say the S1500 line is probably "better" for your needs between the two as it is faster, has a CCD vs. CIS, and at least the consumables (pad assembly) have a longer rated lifetime.

      I'm afraid for these sort of specifics you'll probably have to hit up Fujitsu directly. Good luck!

  6. MrMath April 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Brooks,

    Thank you for the reply. Have you ever scanned anything with pencil writing on it? The idea is that I could scan student work after I marked it. It is possible that I may want to print off some of these scans in the future and am curious about the quality. To sum things my thoughts up, I don't want to go paperless if the quality of pencil scans is not good. I do want to go paperless though.

    As for daily duty cycle, I am really just interested in being able to scan 100-150 (maybe fewer) pages in one day a few days a week (quiz and test days). The only experience I have with a personal scanner is my flatbed (which takes too long to use so was only used for a few things). Have you burned out any scanners after only a little use?

    I really can't think of anything else to ask. The main thing I am concerned about is whether I can expect good quality from scanning a mix of text and pencil (would also be cool if I could apply OCR to the text portion).

    • nsb June 30, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Hi, I have the S1500. I scan all my handwritten notes in, and they look fine.

      • BrooksD July 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

        Thanks for letting us know, nsb!

      • APC January 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

        Did you write in pen or pencil? Also, does the text recognition software work with the handwritten notes?

  7. MrScanner May 4, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    I have read elsewhere that the S1300 scanning speed of 8PPM is when USB power is being used. When the S1300 is plugged into AC the scanning speed increases to 16PPM, which is close to the 20PPM of the S1500.

    • BrooksD May 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

      Hi, you're not the first person to say that but I don't think it is quite correct.

      I don't think the speed goes from 8ppm to 16ppm when the brick is plugged in. The 16ppm figure is what Fujitsu uses to demonstrate that the scanner is one-pass duplex. In other words, the scanner speed is 8 pieces of paper that go through a minute, but since it is scanning 2 sides it is technically 16ppm. 

      When the brick is unplugged, it is slower than 8ppm. According to their specs it is 4 pieces of paper/minute aka 8 pages double-sided. 

      Hope this makes sense, let me know if it doesn't. 

      You can read the specs here:&nbsp ;http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/s1300.html

      By the logic that the s1300 goes to 16, then you'd have go compare to the s1500's duplex speed which would be 40ppm. 

    • BrooksD May 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Hi, you're not the first person to say that but I don't think it is quite correct.I don't think the speed goes from 8ppm to 16ppm when the brick is plugged in. The 16ppm figure is what Fujitsu uses to demonstrate that the scanner is one-pass duplex. In other words, the scanner speed is 8 pieces of paper that go through a minute, but since it is scanning 2 sides it is technically 16ppm.When the brick is unplugged, it is slower than 8ppm. According to their specs it is 4 pieces of paper/minute aka 8 pages double-sided.Hope this makes sense, let me know if it doesn't.You can read the specs here <a href="http://:http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/s1300.html:http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/s1300.html<br />By the logic that the s1300 goes to 16, then you'd have go compare to the s1500's duplex speed which would be 40ppm.

  8. Sam July 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Just got a s1500m and all my scanned documents, which look fine on the screen, when I print them out they are in negative i.e. black background white text…………HELP ?

    • BrooksD July 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

      Wow I have never heard of that before. Is it only ScanSnap PDFs that do that? If so could you email a non-sensitive one to me and I'll see what it's like on my end? Very odd.

  9. kaede July 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I think S1300 is better, it can be used for Mac and windows. Really compact.

  10. Team K August 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Which product would you recommend for a mac product.
    I am looking into going paperless… But would prefer not to lose any resolution ( when I print out the scanned paper) through the process.

  11. Reginald Telle September 9, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Have you tested the cpa review from Morgan International in Canada?

  12. Genealogist October 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I purchased the S1500 a couple of weeks ago to digitize 35 years' worth of genealogy research material (handwritten, typed, forms, copies of source documents). I am thrilled so far.

    I've scanned as many as 500-750 sheets a day without a hitch.

    The only things it doesn't seem to like are tape and post-it notes on pages. Those just cause a hiccup in the scanning. Now that I recognize it, I simply stand by and watch for those sheets to go through. I use the carrier sheet for newspaper clippings and other "delicate" items.

    It scans multiple sizes and weights in one group, just as advertised.

    You can change the settings if you wish, so you can force higher resolution, grayscale instead of black/white, or color on every single sheet.

    I only have to use my flat-bed scanner for a few odd or over-sized items that must be stitched back together in Photoshop.

    I make backups of backups, both locally and on-line (drop-box), because a lot of the material I'm scanning is correspondence I received from folks who are long-dead.

    I've got nearly 50 linear feet of material to scan, and I'll end up with a few hundred pounds of paper to ultimately take to the recycling facility.

    When I'm done, I've already got a line of fellow genealogists who are waiting in the wings to use the scanner for their files.

    If you're waffling about the purchase, stop. It is absolutely worth the investment.

    • BrooksD October 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      Thanks for that Genealogist. Glad you like it! It's certainly a nice machine. My dad is into genealogy also, and loves his ScanSnap.

  13. I'm new. Be nice. Thanks. November 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I am new to pretty much everything. I don’t know what a ‘Linux’ is, etc. I need to get rid of my paper clutter and have decided to get a scanner. What is ‘ABBYY FineReader’? Does everything show up in a PDF file? If not, would I be able to add or make changes in a PDF file? Thanks for your help. Happy Holidays!!!

    • BrooksD November 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi there! Don;t worry, everyone is new at some point.

      1) Don't worry about Linux at all.

      2) ABBYY FineReader is a program that makes your PDFs searchable. Usually you don't need to worry about it though, that process happens under the hood.

      This video might help explain: http://www.documentsnap.com/ocr-searchable-pdf/

      Hope it helps!

  14. Guest November 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I had read your answer about 64 bit Windows 7 (PDF's cannot be found). Is there a trick to finding them or am I better off looking at a different brand of Scanner? Thanks, again.

  15. Greg December 16, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    I already own Acrobat Pro for Mac. Can I use that in place of the bundled software on either the S1500M or S1300 for creating pdfs and OCR? Thanks

  16. Greg December 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    FYI – you can set the program to anything you want. Right click on the icon in the system tray, select Scan Button Settings, go to the Applications tab and browse for the program you want. I use Adobe Pro 9 for all of my PDF profiles. You can also create additional profiles for several of the options that you want to be able to use from time to time.

    • BrooksD December 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

      Thanks Greg, good way of explaining it.

  17. Deb January 24, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    Does the S1300 and/or S1500 work with PaperPort Software for the OCR?

  18. Kate April 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi Brooks,

    Great site! Three questions for you and your readers:

    (1) I am curious for anyone who's used the S1500m or S1500 about receipt scanning.

    I see some complaints on Amazon about scanning receipts on the S1300 being kind of a pain– you have to manually feed them through or they do not do well, etc.

    The bottom line for me is that all other this being equal, if the S1500 does this better, I might go for it. If not, the S1300 may be all I need.

    (2). What's the footprint of each machine when open? I assume the figures above are for when the machines are closed, but I can't find any other specs on this.

    (3) I wish we knew when Acrobat 10 would be available with the s1500m. I am about to upgrade the Mac beyond where I can run Acrobat 9, so that's a factor too. I don't want to pay for it for the s1500 if it's an obsolete version.

    Thanks!

  19. Lovlea1 June 8, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hi Brooks,

    Thanks for this post & all the answers to other comments. Do you have the s1300 because of the dual platform? The s1500 seems better, though double the price doesn't seem worth it when you have Lion and Adobe Acrobat Pro 8 won't work with it. Also if one has a need to scan to a PC at times they have the option with the s1300 but the s1500 has the driver for both & if Adobe Acrobat isn't compatible with new macs then it is only ABBY & Cardiris one is getting. The drivers have their own ability to convert to searchable PDFs & Preview enables deleting of pages, highlighting etc.

    • BrooksD June 8, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Lovlea1,Thanks! To answer your questions:-For me the decision between s1500 and s1300 comes down to paper volume. If you don't need the extra scanning capacity of s1500 then you can probably do with the s1300. For me, the s1300 is fine, though I did wish I had Acrobat.-The s1500m now comes with Acrobat 9, so no worries about Acrobat 8 problems.-You are right that Preview and Abbyy do most of what most people would use Acrobat for, so that may not be a factor.

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