Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Review

Fujitsu has been making the ScanSnap line of document scanners for quite some time, and they’ve finally made a truly portable version: the ScanSnap S1100.

Until now their most portable scanner has been the ScanSnap S1300, which while smaller than its desktop cousins the S1500 and S1500M, isn’t something you are just going to throw in your bag as you are heading out the door.

The S1100 is a “hybrid” scanner in that it works with both the Mac and PC. Fujitsu calls it an “ultra-portable” scanner and they are clearly targeting people who are on-the-go as well as people for whom desk (or cafe table) space is at a premium.

I was sent a review unit of the S1100 so I thought I’d break it down for the DocumentSnap readers.

ScanSnap S1100 Closed

ScanSnap S1100 Open

Size

Ultra-portable is a pretty good description. This thing is small. I had my first indication of this when I received the box. I was pretty surprised how tiny the box was. Here it is in comparison to a shoebox. My first thought was “is assembly required?”. Thankfully, it was not.

ScanSnap shoebox

Once I had it unpacked, the S1100 is 10.74 x 1.87 x 1.33 inches. That’s smaller than other similar scanners in its class. Weight wise, it is 12.3 ounces.

For people who are familiar with other ScanSnaps, here it is in comparison to the ScanSnap S1300:

ScanSnap S1100 S1300

ScanSnap S1100 S1300

ScanSnap S1100 S1300

The ScanSnap gets all of its power from one USB cord. No AC adaptor, no dual-USB cord like the S1300, just one cord. In fact, as you can see, it doesn’t even have a port for an AC adaptor:

ScanSnap S1100 side view

Two-Way Paper Path

One of the knocks against other ScanSnaps is that paper can’t go through “flat”, but needs to go through the scanner’s “L-turn” (I have no idea what the technical term is there).

The S1100 solves this in a pretty clever way.

If you leave the top of the scanner closed, paper will be fed straight through like most portable scanners. You put the paper in the front, and it comes straight out the back. This is great if you are scanning photos, business cards, post cards, plastic cards (!), and extra-delicate paper.

If space is at a premium or if you are doing a lot of scanning (more on that in a minute), you can flip the top up. When you do that, you feed the paper in the front and it turns it up and flips it back to you. Very smart.

ScanSnap S1100 Paper Path

I found that for magazines articles, scanning using the turn-path (with the top flipped up) worked better than scanning it straight through. Maybe the paper is a bit too thin for the rollers that feed it through the back.

Multiple-Page Scanning

When you think about it, this scanner is a bit of a risk for Fujitsu. The ScanSnap brand has been built on “throw a stack of paper in, hit the button, and you have fast double-sided scanning in one pass”. The S1100 will take neither a stack of paper nor will scan double-sided in one pass.

My personal theory, with no evidence whatsoever, is that the company took their time introducing an ultra-portable scanner similar to the way that Apple took their time bringing copy & paste to the iPhone; they wanted to wait until they could figure out a “ScanSnap-y” way to do it.

If you have double sided documents or a stack of pages, the ScanSnap S1100 has what they are calling “Continuous Document Feeding”. Here’s how it works:

  • You flip the top of the scanner up
  • You put the first page in the front of the scanner, and you can feel it grab the paper a little bit
  • You hit the scan button and it feeds the page through
  • Since the top is up, it returns the paper to you
  • If you want to scan the back of the paper, you just feed in the already-flipped page on the other side. You don’t need to hit anything
  • If you want to scan the next page of the document, you just feed in the next page. You don’t need to hit anything
  • When you’re done the document, just hit the Scan button again and it will then save and (if you desire) OCR the PDF

Pretty clever use of just one button if you ask me.

Speed

The ScanSnap S1100 scans a page in 7.5 seconds. If my math is right, which it usually is not, that makes it 8 pages per minute. That is obviously slower than the rest of the ScanSnap family, but it is faster than other ultra-portable scanners. You probably wouldn’t want to run your law office off a S1100, but that is not what it is for anyways.

Quality

I am pretty impressed at the scan quality of the S1100, to be honest. Since quality is pretty subjective, I scanned a few documents with both the S1100 and the S1300 for you to compare:

Installation

Installation is easy as always. You just pop in the DVD and it installs everything you need. Then you plug in the one USB cable and you are good to go.

I installed the software on my Mac which already had the S1300’s software installed and it recognized my old profiles. A nice touch.

Software

Here is the software that the S1100 comes with:

  • ScanSnap Manager (Mac and Windows)
  • ScanSnap Organizer 4.1 (Windows only)
  • CardMinder 4.1 (Windows only)
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap (Windows and Mac)
  • CardIris 3.6 (Mac only)
  • Evernote 3.5 (Windows) or 1.1 (Mac)

So, it comes with the scanning drivers for both platforms, PDF organization software for Windows, business card software for both platforms, and OCR software for both platforms.

By the way, it also comes with a printed manual. Not many devices come with those anymore!

Evernote Integration

You might have noticed that Evernote comes on the DVD. Why is that you might ask? Well, the ScanSnap S1100 now features “scan to the cloud” functionality and has support for scanning to Evernote.

Longtime DocumentSnap readers will know that it has been possible to integrate the ScanSnap with Evernote for quite some time, but now you don’t need to mess around with setting up profiles anymore. It’s built into the Quick Menu.

ScanSnap S1100 Quick Menu

I tested it out and it works well. Throw in a document, hit scan, choose Evernote from the Quick Menu (or make your own profile if you’d like) and it will import it to your Evernote local client to be synced up.

Google Docs Integration

Evernote is not the only cloud service supported. The S1100 also has support for Google Docs built in to ScanSnap Manager. When you scan, it asks you for your Google Docs (Google Apps works too) credentials which you can save or not, and then it uploads as a PDF right into Google Docs.

S1100 Google Docs

Cleaning

You know how sometimes you scan a page that has some glue or something on it and you then need to clean the scanner? Like other ScanSnap models, the S1100 will open up so that you can clean the inside. That’s a pretty helpful feature since given the portable nature of this thing, I can see it being used in some pretty funky situations.

Clean ScanSnap S1100

Bottom Line?

All in, I think the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 is a good choice if you need a fast portable scanner. As I said, you probably wouldn’t want to run your whole office on it (though you could!), but for light home use and particularly for travel use, it is a good mix of size, speed, and the normal ScanSnap touches.

For me, it wouldn’t replace my ScanSnap S1300 because I like having a document feeder and double-sided scanning, but if I traveled a lot I could see myself using it for sure.

Normally I would have a video showing all this stuff, but for a variety of technical reasons that has to wait for a few days. When I have one up, I will post it.

Availability

Apparently it is released today, but I don’t see it on any online sites yet. As soon as I see it on Amazon etc., I’ll let you know. The retail price is $199 USD.

Update: It is now on Amazon.

Are you going to get one? What are your thoughts about the ScanSnap going ultra-portable? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

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27 Responses to “Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Review”

  1. Don Vitto January 5, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    This looks sweet! I might be in touch to order a few. I did look on the Staples website and they list a Deluxe model. The only differences appears to be the inclusion of a program called Rack2Filer v5.0 and $50. Thoughts?

    • BrooksD January 5, 2011 at 8:44 am #

      I'm not personally a fan of Rack2Filer, though some do like it. If you want my advice (which I guess you do :) ), the non-deluxe model is fine.

  2. Ron Crocker January 5, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I'm confused about 2-sided scanning speed – how long does it take to scan a useful document, say your magazine article? Is it 7.5 seconds per side? Does that mean that for double sided documents it's actually 15+ seconds (I have to physically move the paper and rescan)?

    • BrooksD January 5, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      Hi Ron,

      That's right. It would actually be 15+ seconds to scan a double-sided sheet. If that is too long, you'd be better off with the S1300 which is 8 pages per minute double-sided.

  3. kent cantubury norton January 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I am really impressed with your ” non sales-buy it now” article. I was really there seeing the paper flip and opening the hood to cleam rollers. I was never clear from the compamy ads on functionality. Any sifi fiction stories on your harddrive thst we may read? Thanks agsin im sold but only from your utube-print non-video. I am more gutenburg galaxy anyway

  4. pendolino January 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    is there a video anywhere of how this works?

  5. pendolino January 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    the price difference between the 1100 ($199) and 1300 ($249) seems minimal but the 1100 has one interesting feature that doesn't seem to be available on the others and that's the ability to scan plastic cards (credit cards, IDs?). i've often come across this need and had to find alternative ways of doing so.

  6. Mike January 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Will this scanner work compatibly with NeatWorks on the Mac? Is it TWAIN compliant?

    • Harald January 19, 2011 at 6:00 am #

      Hallo Mike. ScanSnap is not TWAIN compatible, there is no TWAIN or WIA driver.

  7. Ron Crocker January 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    (I posted earlier above, but here's a little more information.)

    I've been on the prowl for a portable scanner. My family has been planning a longish (2+ week) trip to Australia and this trip would require pulling my daughter out of school for that entire time. She's a freshman in high school, and one thing high school teachers know how to do is assign homework.

    After considering the options, I decided to take a S1300 on the trip, with its singular job being the scanning of my daughter's homework to send back to her teachers.

    It worked well, though the paper feeder and multiple-page handling was disappointing. The S1300 is small relative to the S1500, but it's not small compared to a Neat Receipts (for example). It took up quite a bit of space for the dozen or so times that I used it during the trip. Something like a S1100 would have been better on space.

    One other note: we got several double-checks of our bags at US airports when the S1300 was in it – it looks too much like a printer, and printers are currently "bad things" after that yahoo sent a bomb in a toner cartridge. I know, there's no toner or ink or anything like that in the scanner, but when the TSA officer says they want to check your bag again, you don't have many options except to say OK.

    • BrooksD January 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Ron, thanks for the great trip report. Good to know about TSA giving the S1300 a thorough look through. Guess that makes sense (sort of). If you'd ever like to share your story of travelling with the scanner in more depth, it'd be great if you could fill out this and I'll do a post about it: http://www.documentsnap.com/share-your-going-pape….

  8. Mike February 1, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I checked with the NeatDesk customer support, and they claim the only Fujitsu scanners that they support with NeatWorks are the Fujitsu S300M and the Fujitsu S510M. I was a bit surprised to learn that neither the S1300 nor the S1500M are "officially" supported, and before I buy the (non-refundable – the customer support people were very clear about this) NeatWorks software, I'd like to know if anybody has been able to get it to work with either of these scanners.

  9. Vincent Petitto June 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Great review! I am very interested in this scanner simply because it uses only 1 USB port. I wanted to ask you if you think the scans from the s1100 are a bit inferior to the scans from the s1300. I've put your images side by side and noticed that the scan from the s1100 seems a bit blurry, and off centered if you will, then the s1300. The specs on the scanners are identical, but I just can't figure out why the images aren't exactly identical. Any thoughts?
    Thank you

  10. @brucecaraway July 5, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Just got my S1100 this past week and am really excited about its portability and scan quality.

    Its portability also raises concern, though, in that I am not sure how long it will hold up "bouncing around" in my laptop bag (backpack). I know there is a case offered by Fujitsu ($30+ at most retailers) but I haven't seen many reviews of that product.

    Has anybody used this case or come up with another solution for protecting their S1100 when packing their S1100 for a road trip?

  11. snapscan touch August 6, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Thk snapscan touch

  12. I delight in, cause I found exactly what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  13. ScanSnap S1100 May 14, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    It offers easy-to-use presets for scanning to Microsoft Office applications as well as cloud services like Evernote and Google Docs, but its single-sheet, single-sided scanning could turn digitizing mulit-page documents into a tedious task For anyone looking for a light-duty, portable document scanner, the ScanSnap S1100 is worth a look.

  14. Fujitsu S1100 May 24, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    I discovered that the rear door can easily be removed so you can scan hard cards like plastic credit cards, membership cards, etc. right through the unit without bending them at all! Also great for older style hard photos as long as they're not too thick.

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