Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Is A Convenient, Compact Time-Saver

Nov 17, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy to use, great software package, time saver.

Cons:Altered documents not perfect in some formats.

The Bottom Line: The ScanSnap S1500 is an excellent time-saving scanner.  It can scan at 20 ppm to searchable PDF formats for ease of organization.  Great business card feature, too.

I have a combination printer/scanner for home use that can be cumbersome when used as a document scanner.  The device works best when I use my computer to initiate the scan, which then makes a double pass before creating the image for me to import.  For work, I recently installed the ScanSnap S1500 which makes the process of scanning documents one-step.  Fast and simple.
I also have an HP Digital Sender, which will pretty much scan a book for you.  It is too large to use in any practical way with a desktop operation.  That device is reserved for infrequent major scanning.  Conversely, the ScanSnap S1500 is compact.  It folds up into a warped pentagon shape that takes up less than a linear foot of desktop space.  The scanner is about six inches deep and six inches tall at the highest point (when closed).  

To operate the ScanSnap S1500, I simply lift the lid of the scanner, which causes the device to "wake up" and move into scanning position.  I can load the document(s) into the feed tray, which is the underside of the lid and press the blue backlit "Scan" button.  There is an icon on the lid that demonstrates that the paper should be fed "face down."  It also has two warning icons that serve as a reminder not to feed staples or paperclips.  A single page will scan in about three seconds, creating a popup on my monitor. 

The ScanSnap popup window provides several options for saving your document.  You can save it to a ScanSnap organizer folder, cardminder (for business cards), a particular folder on your computer, to your email as an attachment, to a selected printer, to a word document (which you can then name and save), to excel, powerpoint or a picture folder.  These range of options makes it very easy to organize your work as you scan, rather than having to move files around later.
I have my Adobe set up with a digital signature, which works great for documents that do not require an original signature.  When I need to sign a document in ink, the ScanSnap S1500 makes it easy for me to document and file (or forward) the signed document once it is complete.  It also works great for small archiving jobs for documents that I did not create, but want to save in a digital format. 

Set up of the ScanSnap S1500 was quick and painless.  The scanner comes with a yellow warning sticker across the cable jack that connects the scanner to your computer.  It is a reminder to install the software on your computer before connecting the device.  Installation was quick and easy and the scanner worked like a charm once I hooked it up.

The ScanSnap S1500 scans both color and black and white.  In color mode, this scanner can breeze through 20 pages per minute.  The document feeder appears to be slim but can actually handle up to fifty pages.  This is more than enough to keep me from resorting to the Digital Sender. 

To make life easier, the ScanSnap S1500 also has a variety of organizational tools.  It can create searchable PDFs for document sorting, it will auto rotate documents, remove blank pages and automatically crop, when needed.  The scanner will also auto detect color and adjust quality.  The scanner will operate at the top speed even when set at 300 dpi, with full color.  If you increase that to the maximum setting of 600 dpi, the production slows to five pages per minute. 

I have not used the ScanSnap tools yet, but there are some interesting ways to manipulate your saved documents.  You can add tags, which will assist in any organizational searches you conduct.  The business card feature is one I do plan to use.  I end up with hundreds of business cards each year that I end up tediously entering into my Outlook Contacts.  ScanSnap creates editable fields that can then be updated or corrected and then saved into your contact list.

One issue that I have found with my ScanSnap S1500 has to do with saving to Word.  I had a document that was modified.  This included striking through a date with initials to verify the correction.  When I converted to Word, it was not an image, but rather an interpretation.  This caused the document to attempt a guess at the unknown characters.  As a result, I ended up an unsightly set of characters on the page.

The ScanSnap S1500 is reasonably priced at around $400.  I purchased mine at TigerDirect and caught it on sale for $350.  The device comes with a one-year limited warranty.  If you require customer support, they maintain a Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at (800) 626-4686, Option 2.  The TAC is available Monday-Friday (excluding holidays) 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I have been pleased with my ScanSnap S1500.  It makes my life much easier.  The device takes up very little room on my desk.  There are some forms, Adobe included, that require my actual signature.  When a digital signature is not possible or permitted, I can quickly sign, scan and either save or email the document.  The device also allows me to organize saved documents that I never owned a digital copy of.  By allowing me to tag the documents, I can easily search and organize after they are scanned.  Although I have not used it yet, I am looking forward to the business card interface which will allow me to scan business cards into my contact lists.  That will be a tremendous time saver.  While the scans are not always perfect, the software goes to great lengths to maximize productivity.  An excellent investment.  Four stars.

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