Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 review

Fujitsu's latest portable scanner is small, but is it clever enough to be worth buying? Simon Handby investigates.

Reviews
10 Feb, 2011
4
Price 
£126
ex VAT
Verdict 
Despite their similar price and features, the ScanSnap S1100 and HP's ScanJet Professional 1000 are surprisingly different. While the duplex HP comes with a soft case and feels built to last, the ScanSnap is easier to use and comes with an impressive and beautifully integrated suite of software. In practice, it's enough to give the ScanSnap a narrow edge for occasional travellers. For more mobile or demanding users, we'd only recommend the ScanSnap in partnership with its optional case, likely to cost around £25 when available in the UK.

The S1100 is Fujitsu's latest office document scanner. It's the most affordable device in a range that's designed for reliable scanning in moderate volumes, aimed at users who don't need the features or expense of a production scanner. As a highly portable scanner, it competes directly with the HP ScanJet Professional 1000.

The ScanSnap S1100 is a lightweight and particularly compact device, roughly around the size of a small roll of kitchen foil. A fold-down flap covers the paper input at its front, doubling as a power switch, while a second, larger flap at the back controls the paper path. While Fujitsu's specification document lists the S1100 as a duplex scanner, this seems somewhat misleading as the hardware itself is strictly simplex. Flipping up the rear cover enables a u-turn paper path making it easy to re-feed paper the other way up, but this is a manual process.

The ScanSnap's only port is a single USB Mini B-type that's located at one end, next to holes suitable for a lanyard or wrist strap. Typically for a compact scanner there's no AC adaptor, with the USB connection being used for both data and power. The port is recessed by a centimetre or so, which should help prevent damage if the supplied cable gets pulled at an angle.

Unfortunately, the rest of the S1100's design doesn't inspire as much confidence. While the ScanJet Professional 1000 seems particularly solid and strong, the smaller ScanSnap feels like it might not stand up to a life of being bundled into laptop cases or overnight bags. Although its two covers are made from tough, flexible plastic, each is hinged only at each end, which could leave them more susceptible to damage. While the ScanJet almost completely resists being twisted out of shape, it's easy to flex the ScanSnap's chassis, popping open the hinged transport mechanism in the process. Frustratingly, it doesn't come with a slip case or other cover.

Specifications 

Portable ADF scanner

Optical resolution: 600x600dpi

24-bit colour

Operating system required: Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4 or higher

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