Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Review

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I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a review copy of a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300, so I thought I’d write up my initial impressions and show some of the new stuff that DocumentSnap readers might find interesting.

As of this writing I have only installed it on Mac OSX, but as I wrote in my initial ScanSnap S1300 announcement post, the S1300 is a “hybrid scanner” which just means it comes with everything you need both for Windows and Mac. Maybe later I’ll do a Windows review too.

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Mobile Form Factor

I have to be honest, even though I am a longtime user of the ScanSnap S300M, I have never used it in a mobile situation. I like the mobile ScanSnaps because they take up such a small amount of space, and I personally don’t need the higher speed and capacity of the ScanSnap S1500 and S1500M.

You can see from this side by side shot that the size and shape of the S1300 is basically the same as the S300 series.

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All that being said, the S1300 comes with mobile features such as USB power, so you can use it without having to plug into a wall outlet (though if you use it this way you need two USB ports – one for the data connection and one for power).

Installation

Installation was very easy. Just put in the CD, install the software, and then plug in the scanner. Fujitsu does a good job of making it extremely fast from unboxing to scanning.

One really nice surprise was that when I installed the S1300 software, it automatically upgraded all my profiles I had with the S300M. I was not expecting that at all!

Long Document Scanning

The ScanSnap S1300 lets you scan long receipts and documents (finally!), a subject in which I have complained about before. To do long document scanning, just put the document in and hold down the blue power key for 3 seconds. Once it starts blinking, its in long document mode. See the video below for a demo.

Auto Quality

If you have small documents, you can have it automatically detect them and up the quality. This was a feature introduced with the S1500 series and is now on the mobile scanners.

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Searchable PDFs

One limitation that the S300M had is that it did not come with OCR software to make searchable PDFs. The S1300 comes with it built in for both Macs and PCs.

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You can choose on a profile basis whether you want the document to be searchable, and (similar to the S1500 series), you can have it detect highlighted text on a document and save the PDF with searchable keywords. Pretty cool.

Speed And Capacity

Obviously, the S1300 is not going to be as fast as its cousins the S1500 and S1500M. If speed and capacity are your main criteria, you will want to go for the higher model. However, if 8 pages per minute (double sided don’t forget!) is OK for you, and you don’t need to hold more than 10 pages at the time, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is a great scanner in a very small and portable package.

Since I know some people like videos, here is a video where I show the ScanSnap S1300, some of its new features, and some of the software that comes with it.

Have you tried the ScanSnap S1300 yet? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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40 Responses to “Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Review”

  1. David March 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    For the record, the S300M is also USB-powerable using a second USB port.

    • BrooksD March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

      Good point David, hope I didn't imply that it didn't. Do you use that feature a lot? I personally have never used it, but I can see how it would be helpful for sure.

      • racerx90 April 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

        Using USB power is literally the only way I've ever used my S300. It's more working having to locate a plug as opposed to just using the second USB port on my Macbook pro. The scan speed difference with USB isn't enough to bother me.

  2. Paul March 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Do you recommend using the s1300 in conjunction with the Neat Receipts software, or are they not compatible?

  3. pendolino April 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    brooks – great review and video. thanks for giving us some useful detail on the latest to this acclaimed paperless lifestyle tool.

    i would like to know a bit more about the very interesting sounding OCR feature that you say is bundled within the software (both mac and win) and, from your screenshot, seems to be different and separate from Adobe Acrobat. how fast does it OCR a B&W page of standard text? does it do it seamlessly? is it heavy on a Mac CPU slowing down other running applications, etc?

    i still have my original S500M scansnap machine (mac only) that i now use with my 2009 macbook pro that, while a great piece of hardware still, came bundled with the full version of Adobe Acrobat (v7 i think) to provide its advertised OCRing feature but that I never really used to its workflow killing startup time and CPU load.

    having a native, quick and light OCR function within the Scansnap software from fujitsu that could work behind the scenes and automatically would be amazing and so it would be good to find out more.

    • BrooksD April 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi pendolino, I am out of town in Portland right now, but when I get back home I can make a quick screencast of what it looks like (and maybe CPU usage?) to OCR a page.

      Look for that next week sometime.

      • pendolino April 4, 2010 at 7:14 am #

        thanks and have a safe trip.

      • pendolino April 5, 2010 at 8:01 am #

        another question just came to me: does the built-in OCR software allow you to OCR previously scanned PDFs? (vs. having to rescan them)

        • BrooksD April 8, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

          Hi, if the PDFs were not created by a ScanSnap I don't think so. It looks like the ABBYY Finereader that is bundled with ScanSnap is coded to check if the PDF was created by a ScanSnap. Here's a screenshot of what I got when I just tried it:http://img.skitch.com/20100408-8jukfg239iw14cd5rr

          One of the workarounds in the comments of this post after the Snow Leopard debacle (http://www.documentsnap.com/abbyy-finereader-and-snow-leopard-file-not-created-with-scansnap/) might get around it, but its possibly not worth the effort.

          • pendolino April 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

            thanks for that screenshot. useful to know.

            now about my earlier OCR query, would you have any info? im hoping this device (s1300) does NOT depend on Adobe Acrobat but instead on some integrated, fluid OCR tool. Here's my original question:

            "i would like to know a bit more about the very interesting sounding OCR feature that you say is bundled within the software (both mac and win) and, from your screenshot, seems to be different and separate from Adobe Acrobat. how fast does it OCR a B&W page of standard text? does it do it seamlessly? is it heavy on a Mac CPU slowing down other running applications, etc? "

          • BrooksD April 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

            Hi, there should be a post going up about that in about an hour, but in case its hard to read on Youtube, here is the original .mov file:http://www.documentsnap.com/files/s1300CPU.mov

  4. pendolino April 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    brooks – great review and video. thanks for giving us some useful detail on the latest to this acclaimed paperless lifestyle tool.

    i would like to know a bit more about the very interesting sounding OCR feature that you say is bundled within the software (both mac and win) and, from your screenshot, seems to be different and separate from Adobe Acrobat. how fast does it OCR a B&W page of standard text? does it do it seamlessly? is it heavy on a Mac CPU slowing down other running applications, etc?

    i still have my original S500M scansnap machine (mac only) that i now use with my 2009 macbook pro that, while a great piece of hardware still, came bundled with the full version of Adobe Acrobat (v7 i think) to provide its advertised OCRing feature but that I never really used to its workflow killing startup time and CPU load.

    having a native, quick and light OCR function within the Scansnap software from fujitsu that could work behind the scenes and automatically would be amazing and so it would be good to find out more.

  5. Phillip April 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Thanks for the informative review. Is the deluxe bundle (which I think only includes the Rack2-Filer software) worth the extra $50?

    • BrooksD April 3, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

      To be honest I haven't heard too much about Rack2Filer. Unless you really want to use it, something like Evernote might be better.

  6. Phillip April 4, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    Thanks for the reply. I think I'll save the money and use the software the non-deluxe bundle comes with. When Evernote is ready, I might give it a try. It works great on my IPod Touch.

  7. racerx90 April 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I'm eagerly waiting to get my hands on the V3.1 release of the ScanSnap Manager software for Mac to see what kind of trouble I can get into with it! :)

    I'm anticipating Fujitsu will be keeping support for fi-5110EOX/2/3/M, S300/M, S500/M, S510/M, and S1500 in it. If anyone has an OTX-based disassembly of the X86 code, please let me know I'd like to take a look at it. Thanks!

  8. racerx90 April 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Brooks-

    I just thought of something which is sort of bugging me that seems to be unanswered in this review. Have you looked at what features are truly new to the S1300 vs. S300M using the same V3.1 ScanSnap Manager drivers for both scanners?

    It sounds like the long document scan mode is new (or is it?), but I'm still confused on what is really new about the S1300 that my S300 doesn't have?

    For instance, the S1500 software V3.0 adds searchable PDFs to my S300 so I wouldn't really consider that a new feature of the hardware since it's really just an improvement in the software which will work with older scanners.

    I'm curious on where the real improvements are since everything I've read so far about the S1300 seems to lead me to believe the improvements are very minor in the actual hardware itself.

    Thanks!!!
    E

  9. pendolino April 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    brooks – are you sure keyword highlighting is not a hardware implementation? if its software, does it mean the document has to be scanned in color?

  10. racerx90 April 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Thanks for the quick response. I'm even curious about the long document scanning support since in case you don't recall, the firmware for the S300/M series is loaded from a file and is not actually part of the physical hardware. I'd be curious if that was the same for the S1300. If the data path was the same within the V3.1 drivers, there's a chance the firmware might be compatible with some tweaking minor tweaking to the code. Although, obviously there's a good chance the hardware is physically different enough that it's not.

  11. pendolino April 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    for some reason i was expecting to see the s1500 series also as hybrids but i just checked and it seems this is the only one.

    now i can't figure out if i should buy one of those as an upgrade to my s500m or wait for a possible 'hybrid' release. maybe i should buy this one since i dont have a portable already.

    any thoughts?

  12. pendolino April 12, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    thanks. its useful to know the difference is only in the software. i guess i will decide on one or the other but im leaning towards the portable since it seems to have the same features and i already have the s510m.

  13. Jerscan April 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Hello,
    I hear a lot of talk about EverNote on here, but what is known about OneNote?

    I was looking at the 2007 version OneNote I got OEM cheap from an auction site (genuine), until the OneNote 2010 is shipping in all of the Office 2010 suites as far as I can tell, including PRO.

    So, do I want Rack2 if I don't have EverNote, but have OneNote? If I don't want the cloud, but store all my data on my PC, but back it up offsite, do I need EverNote or OneNote? Thanks.

  14. Alice June 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    can anyone tell me the difference between the S1300 and S1500 besides price?

    • BrooksD June 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

      Hi Alice,

      Basically here are the main differences off the top of my head:

      -The S1500 is quite a bit faster
      -The S1500 will take more sheets at a time in its input tray
      -The S1500 comes with Adobe Acrobat
      -The S1300 is physically smaller
      -The S1300 can run off of USB ports, so you don't need to lug around the power adapter
      -The S1300 comes with all the software for both Mac and PC, where the S1500 only comes with ScanSnap Manager for the Mac.

      Hope this helps.

  15. Ryan August 9, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Has anybody noticed that despite checking the "create searchable pdf" box on a mac, all of the pdfs remain unsearchable?

    • BrooksD August 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      I've never seen that. That sounds pretty odd. This is kind of a weird question, but can you go to Applications and see if you have an "ABBYY FineReader For ScanSnap" folder, and then if you do, if you are able to run the "Scan to Searchable PDF" app manually?

  16. mellie August 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    hey guys, can I scan shiny paper and also magazine articles with my S1300? I am thinking about the receipts that come from

    • BrooksD August 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

      I scan magazine articles all the time, and (so far) have never had any problem with a receipt. It seems fine to me with shiny paper.

  17. mellie August 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    opps, that come from cash registers that appear to be heat sensitive? When you highlight something on the receipt the numbers disappear.

  18. Eric January 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Brooks – thanks for this – very helpful. However, you seem to intimate that USB power is new to the S1500, but the S300M can run via USB power as well. Same way, with two USB cables. It is, however, slower scanning-wise as compared to when you use the power adaptor.

    Hoping to find out if the more robust features of the ScanSnap Manager software can be used with the S300M. Has anyone tested using the S1300 or S1500M software with the S300M yet?

    • BrooksD January 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

      Thanks Eric, I didn't mean to imply USB scanning was new to S1300. It was, as you say, on the S300/M as well.

    • Cammie December 21, 2011 at 7:49 am #

      At last! Something clear I can unerdstnad. Thanks!

  19. fxgeorges January 20, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Nice review, but I am puzzled… You only show the S1300 in operation when powered from a USB connection to the computer. From what I read, if you use the power brick to power it the scanning speed goes from 8ppm to 16ppm, not nearly as far removed from the 20ppm of the S1500. At that point, given the smaller size and lower price, it could be quite useful and not that much slower. I might be missing something, but if not, you should add that to your review to make it more accurate.

    • BrooksD January 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      Hi, thanks for your comment but I'm not exactly sure what you mean.

      When I did the review, I had it plugged into both the USB and the power as far as I remember, but I could be wrong.

      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: http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peri

  20. mikey February 7, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    You should have mentioned a very important point…

    The better S1500/S1500M's "CCD" sensor, whereas the S1300 has the lesser "CIS" type. See useful links: http://www.carlmcmillan.com/DOF/DepthofField.htm

    Gives better results, yes/no?

    • BrooksD February 7, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      Good point mikey, thanks. I don't have an S1500, so unfortunately I wasn't able to do a comparison. The scans from the S1300 look good to me though.

  21. csg99 March 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    I just purchased the s1300, but when I convert to a searchable PDF, it says it is converted, but I am still unable to find anything when I do a search. Do I need Adobe Acrobat to use with this? If so, are there any free or cheaper alternatives to Adobe Acrobat? Thanks.

  22. Dan July 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Thanks for that great review! Would you mind uploading a searchable PDF so I can test how the software I'm using is handling it? That would make the decision a lot easier

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