Since the 2013 Evernote Conference, I have received many many (did I mention many?) e-mails asking me what I think about the new ScanSnap Evernote Edition.
I understand why this is. I’ve written many posts about the ScanSnap, and I’ve written many posts about Evernote, so I am solidly inside the Venn diagram for this thing.
Frankly, I have resisted posting about it because there hasn’t been much information about it. I had to miss the conference this year, and I haven’t tried it myself.
Evernote has now fleshed out their FAQ page, so it is more clear how it all works.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition is clearly a re-branded ScanSnap iX500 with a more “Evernote-y” look and a green light instead of ScanSnap blue.
The big change is the software. There is a “ScanSnap Manager Evernote Edition” that I understand the Evernote folks had a big hand in designing.
When you install it, it asks you to choose a default notebook for Receipts, a default notebook for Business Cards, and a default notebook for Documents.
It runs in the background, and when you scan, as far as I can tell it will detect the type of document you are scanning and then upload it to the appropriate notebook in Evernote.
By the way, in the interests of science I installed the ScanSnap Manager Evernote Edition and tried using my iX500 with it. No luck. Drat.
Scanning Outside Evernote
When the device was first announced, my first thought was “what if you want to scan outside Evernote?”
It appears that there is an Advanced menu where you can tell ScanSnap Manager to save your scans to a certain folder. It doesn’t appear that you can set it to scan to other applications, but I could be wrong on that.
I want to reiterate that I have not tried the ScanSnap Evernote Edition myself, and I have not been able to get Evernote to answer any questions about it.
If your destination for scanning is Evernote 99% of the time, it appears that this is an extremely seamless and easy to use experience. The hardware is certainly a no-brainer, being a rebranded iX500.
Personally, I like the flexibility and future proofing of being able to scan to wherever I want, including Evernote, so I would stick with the regular old ScanSnap iX500. You know your usage best.
Has anyone tried or considered it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks to a tip from awesome DocumentSnap reader David, I see that there is an online update for the ScanSnap iX500 that adds support for the SV600.
To Install If You Already Have An iX500
Make sure ScanSnap Manager is running
Go to Help > Online Update
Follow the instructions
If you want to see this in video form, I’ve created a short video.
What If You Don’t Already Have An iX500?
To be honest, at this point I am not sure what the best course of action would be. I recommend waiting until Fujitsu officially releases it for the Mac.
If you want to live dangerously, I suspect that installing the iX500 software from here and then doing an Online Update would work. However, I have not tried it without actually having an iX500, so you are on your own for this one.
Update 11/07/2013: The SV600 is now cross-platform for Mac and Windows. The Mac software can be downloaded [from Fujitsu][sv600mac].
ScanSnap SV600 On The Mac
I’ve been playing around with the SV600 on the Mac (yay!), and so far, so good.
I started with scanning a book, and it did the same page detection as in my SV600 review on Windows.
To my great surprise, the latest version of Mac OS X, 10.9 Mavericks, was released yesterday. I am about to go on a trip so I am holding off upgrading for a bit, but I want to check – how is the Fujitsu ScanSnap on Mavericks working for you?
ScanSnap Mavericks Compatibility
The short version is, all modern ScanSnap models seem to be supported.
If you want further details, here is the support page for each model:
ScanSnap iX500: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1500/S1500M: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1300/S1300i: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1100: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
Well, the ScanSnap SV600 is certainly different than any other ScanSnap that I’ve experienced. A question that I get all the time is this: “What’s the best way to scan books, magazines, or other things that won’t fit in a document feeder?”
I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to that question until now. Fujitsu hooked me up with a review unit, and I’ve been putting it through its paces.
Don’t Call It A Book Scanner
The SV600 can scan books – there is absolutely no doubt about that. It has both hardware and software features to make scanning books and magazines easy and accurate, but it can scan any document that you either can’t or wouldn’t want to put through a scanner with an Automated Document Feeder.
I am confident that this will be the only scanner review that you read today that features Captain Underpants.
You don’t need to stop at documents. It can scan 3D objects as well. Just for fun, I decided to scan a “screamin’ green” crayon that was inexplicably on my office floor.
Fujitsu’s specifications say that it will scan books or objects up to 30mm in height. From what I understand, that limit is primarily to ensure quality OCR. It will still scan “taller” items.
Size-wise, it will scan items up to A3 size, which for us North Americans is 11.7×16.5".
The ScanSnap SV600 has a vertical design. All the controls are on the base, but all the action takes place in the head.
The way it works is interesting. Instead of having the scanning part hang over the paper causing shadows and flash burn, the head sweeps forward and does some crazy depth of field calculations to adjust for the angle, height and curves of the page.
On the base there is the familiar blue Scan button, but it can be pressed from both sides. There is also a Stop button that will signal the end of automatic page turning (more on that in a second).
The device feels very sturdy and heavy, which is what you want from a vertical scanner. If you are nervous about it getting knocked over, it comes with optional braces with a slightly sticky bottom to hold it down.
Speed-wise, this thing is fast. You don’t need to go get a coffee while waiting for a page to scan like with most flatbeds. It takes 3 seconds to sweep a full A3-sized page. Combine that with some of the auto-scanning features outlined below, and you can rip through a book very quickly.
Windows Only… For Now
I’m looking forward to the day that I can erase this paragraph, but at launch the ScanSnap SV600 is only for Windows. Sorry Mac users.
I am told that the Mac version is coming “soon”, but don’t have any information on what that means.
Update 11/07/2013: The SV600 is now cross-platform for Mac and Windows. The Mac software can be downloaded from Fujitsu.
Software-wise, it comes with an enhanced version of Rack2-Filer with Magic Desktop, and a full version of Adobe Acrobat XI Standard.
Scanning Books And Magazines
Whenever a reader asked about book scanning in the past, I’ve had to point them to machines with mixed reviews, machines that cost thousands of dollars, the old chop n’ scan, or a DIY solution. None of the options were great.
You can tell that Fujitsu had book scanning in mind from the outset when they developed the SV600.
When you scan using the SV600, it will ask you whether you are scanning a book or scanning documents.
Most people will choose book and hit Save and keep going, and will generally get great results. If you want, you can hit Check/Correct and you can fine-tune the scan.
If you go into the file-tuning mode, you can control how the book is cropped, how the edges are detected, and where the page break is. You can also control whether the scan has both pages together, or has one PDF page for each book page. By the way, that edge detection was automatic. I didn’t have to do anything.
You know how when you are scanning or taking a picture of a book, you sometimes need to hold down the pages to stop them from flipping up?
If you hate the thought of having your fingers co-starring in every image, you can remove them.
For example, on this page I have clicked on my fingertips and it automatically selected them.
Then when I hit Apply, they are gone. Completely bananas.
Auto Page Turning
Having to turn the page and hit Scan every single time doesn’t sound very fun, so there is an optional automatic page turning detection setting. It is easier to show you this than describe it, so here is a video of it in action:
This works pretty well, but occasionally it did not detect my page turn for whatever reason. When that happened, I just hit Scan again.
If you want, you can also set it to scan every x seconds to speed things up a bit.
Multiple Document Detection
At the beginning of this post, I said that the SV600 was not just a book scanner, and here is another example. It can detect multiple pieces of paper and detect that they should be multiple documents.
I laid out a bookmark, two business cards, and a cloth art project that has thick buttons on the front. This video shows the scanning and resulting PDFs.
About That Mat
The SV600 comes with a large soft black mat. It shows the placement for best results, and has a consistent black background.
I asked Fujitsu if the mat was required. They said no, it works without it, but that you will get the best experience with auto-detection etc. with the mat. If you have the space, I say use it.
It’s A ScanSnap
Even though the form factor is completely different, at the end of the day, this is a ScanSnap. If you are familiar with using any of the other models like the ScanSnap iX500, the ScanSnap S1300i, or the ScanSnap S1100, the workflow will be similar.
There is the Quick Menu, and most things can be automated using ScanSnap Manager Profiles just like any other model. The OCR is the bundled version of ABBYY FineReader, and you can send the resulting scans to Acrobat or any other application.
I have to admit, the SV600 is the most fun I’ve had with a scanner. I was late for a meeting because I was engrossed with erasing my finger
Fun aside, I can see this having a wide range of uses, especially in a business setting. If you are mainly scanning documents, you will of course want to use a dedicated document scanner, but if you regularly need to scan things that won’t fit into a document feeder, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
The ScanSnap SV600 lists for $795, and as usual I will keep my eye on the various online sites to see when it is available in the wildit has popped up on Amazon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, fire away in the comments.
I always feel like I should hear lasers in the background when I say that. ↩
Update: Fujitsu has released the Lion drivers for the ScanSnap S300M, S510M, S500M, fi-5110EOXM. You can download them here.
If you use the business card software that comes with the ScanSnap, it will not work in Lion. It will apparently be ready by the end of August.
Update 9/19/2011: Fujitsu has released an update for CardIris. You can download it here.
I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms that Adobe Acrobat 8 is incompatible with Lion. Here is what Fujitsu says this on the Lion page:
Please refer to the Adobe Systems website regarding the compatibility status of the Adobe Acrobat bundled with ScanSnap S1500 for Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion). For information related to purchasing Adobe® Acrobat® X Pro, please refer to Adobe Acrobat at the following website.
If you’ve ever seen one of those Microsoft Surface tables, you know what I am talking about. The table’s surface has a 52″ HD TV, and it is completely multitouch. You can do everything Minority Report-y like view images and documents, watch movies, move everything around with your fingers, pinch and zoom the whole deal.
The table has a built-in (OK, tacked-on) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100, so you can scan a document and it will appear on the table, where you can view, annotate, and otherwise play around with it.
It also does a bunch of other cool things like sharing data wirelessly with your devices and other things from that cool Corning video.
It’s being released in Japan in late July and while the price hasn’t been announced, I believe it will be in the range of “a lot”.
If you want to see it in action, here is a three minute video. The scanning part is near the end.
This post is part of the paperless stories feature at DocumentSnap. Some stories are from readers that have successfully gone paperless, some are still going through it. Would you like to share your story too?
Today’s featured DocumentSnap reader is Sophie Perreault from Quebec, Canada.
What problems were you trying to solve by going paperless?
Getting rid of paper clutter, and being able to find (and stop losing!) any piece of paper in less than a minute!
What were the biggest stumbling blocks?
Having time to scan everything!
The other hassle has been the backlog of old stuff. Going through the file cabinet, or piles and scanning the huge pile is a big job.
Tell us about your paperless workflow
My Fujitsu ScanScnap 1500 sits on my desk. Whenever I get a piece of paper, I put it in the drawer underneath the scan. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I scan whatever is in the drawer. I use a file system to separate personal vs business documents. For business stuff, I change the title of the document to YYYYMMDD–supplier/client–description–amount. Easy to sort in chronological order, and having the amounts right there makes tax time that much faster!
Is this for a business?
Yes. I am a freelance translator and I work from home. While most of my work is done electronically (translating in Word, sending PDF bills via email), I still had paper coming in (check pay stubs, contracts, bills for whatever supplies I boughts, etc.)
Thanks Sophie, I really like the tip about having the amount in the filename. I can see how it would make things easy to find and enter into spreadsheets, etc.
If you have questions for Sophie, leave a comment and I will try to get them answered.
If you have a Fujitsu ScanSnap, you may have gone into ScanSnap Manager to adjust the settings of your scanning profile. When you did, you likely saw the Compression tab and a) wondered what it did, and b) didn’t touch it.
To that end, I’m going to play around with it so that you don’t have to.
What Does The Help Say?
To start with, what does the ScanSnap Manager Help say about the Compression tab?
In the [Compression] tab of the ScanSnap setup window, you can specify the compression rate for the scanned images.
Well, we could have guessed that. What does it mean? Basically, it means you can save space by reducing the quality of the image, which therefore makes the file smaller. As the help goes on to say:
Note that noise in the image becomes more noticeable as you increase the compression rate, and vice versa.
On the compression tab, you’ll se a slider and number. By default, the slider is set to the middle with a number 3.
It is slightly confusing, but basically the more you slide the slider to the right, the higher the number. The higher the number, the more compression is used, therefore the smaller the file, and therefore the lower the quality.
I want to see what impact the compression setting has, so I am going to do a little test. I have two documents:
A black & white document
A color magazine ad
I am going to scan these documents with the default, maximum, and minimum compression with the following scan settings:
B&W Document: File size: 328 KB. Quality: Good ((I recognize that Great is subjective, but I don’t know how to quantify it. Assume the default of Great is the baseline))
Color Document: File size: 717 KB. Quality: Good
B&W Document: File size: 319 KB. Quality: The Same
Color Document: File size: 2.2 MB. Quality: Slightly better
B&W Document: File size: 311 KB. Quality: The Same
Color Document: File size: 315 KB. Quality: Not Too Different
As you can see, for a black and white document with Color set to Automatic, there is not much in the way of file size changes one way or the other.
However, there are wide swings in file size with the color magazine article. From 315KB all the way up to 2.2 MB.
To my laser-surgeryed eyes, I don’t see much of a change in quality between the three color documents, but since quality is so subjective, I have zipped up the PDFs for you to download if you so choose. You can download them here.
If you scan a lot of color documents and space is your concern, try bumping up the compression settings and see how the results turn out for you.
I never did get a chance to try it out as my network scanning needs have diminished somewhat, but helpful DocumentSnap reader Yellowshock posted a comment on the original post that I thought I would highlight:
Maybe this post is stale but YES, you can use the F5L009 with the ScanSnap S1500(M) and there are no problems. There is a slight loss of speed, but hardly noticeable.
I use the Belkin F5L009 on a iMac 27″ with Mac OSX 10.6 snow leopard and a Fujitsu Scansnap S1500M.
I also have a Epson Photo flatbed scanner connected, the 1660 photo. Also flawless.
There is a similar response in the Amazon thread.
So, it looks like yes it does work. Does anyone else network their ScanSnap using this or another method? Let us know in the comments in case someone else is looking to do it too.