When you release a new scanner and the call it the ScanSnap S1300i (when its predecessor was the S1300), you are tacitly stating that this is more of an evolutionary release than a revolutionary one.
In a way, it is refreshing. Instead of throwing in a bunch of buzzwords and an attempted rebrand, Fujitsu is saying “So we have a scanner. People like it. We figured out a way to make it faster. Here you go.”
For me, this form factor of ScanSnap has always been the most interesting. Before the release of the ScanSnap S1100, the S1300 and its ancestors the S300 and S300M were marketed as the “mobile” models.
You could certainly carry them around, and many people did, but many people didn’t use them as a mobile scanner at all. They wanted a fast scanner with duplex scanning, a document feeder, and a lower price point than the ScanSnap S1500.
The S1100 showed that there was a need for a true mobile scanner, and the S1300i is the newest entry in this “middle category” of ScanSnaps.
Fujitsu sent me a review unit to check out, so this review is split into two parts. Today I will cover the hardware itself, and in Part 2 covers the new software that was released with the S1300i I will have another post covering the software updates that Fujitsu has also released.
If you are familiar with the S1300 (here is my ScanSnap S1300 review if you are not), you know pretty much all you need to know about the S1300i. The form factor and look is exactly the same as the S1300, except that it now says “ScanSnap S1300i” on the top.
You plug the S1300i to a USB port on your computer, and then you can either plug in the AC adaptor to the wall or plug a second USB cable to your computer to supply the power.
The S1300i comes with a printed manual, the installation DVD, an AC adaptor, and two USB cables: one for data and one for power.
The main selling point of the ScanSnap S1300i is that it is faster than the S1300. Not as fast as the S1500 certainly, but it is 12 pages per minute instead of the S1300’s 8ppm.
I figured the best way to test this out is to run it side by side. Through the magic of video, you can see the S1300 on the left and the S1300i on the right scanning a double-sided piece of paper.
The S1300i is certainly faster, and if you are scanning a large number of documents that can make a difference over time.
To judge quality for yourself, here are three documents that I scanned with the S1300. All scans were done at 300dpi.
If you have a ScanSnap S1300 and are happy with it, I am not sure that a 1.5x speed bump would be compelling enough to go out and buy the S1300i. However, if you are thinking of buying a scanner in this form factor and price range anyways, the increased speed and new software makes the ScanSnap S1300i that much more compelling.