Well, I certainly wish I could write a nice review for the Neat Receipts scanner, but I can't.
WHAT IT IS:
At barely around 12 inches long and only a few inches wide, the Neat Receipts scanner seems wonderful for those who wish to have a carry-anywhere portable scanner that they can use to scan documents, receipts, and other small texted based items into their computer. The theory is that you can scan these items via the scanner into the scanning software, organize the scans into folders, and have a nice databased of your purchases and expenses on file so that when you lose your receipts (which we all do), you'll have records to fall back on.
SETTING UP SLOW:
Setup was not the swiftest. You must disable all programs (including antivirus) and with the install CD in the drive, reboot your computer. Upon rebooting, the install continues. On my dual core system with 2 gigs of RAM this was a slow process, and during the install it checked for newer versions of the software and said there were none available. Ok, fine.
After completion, it goes through a series of further installs, and then asks you to plug in the scanner via the USB port. Once Window's recognized it, you continue by placing a "calibration card" into the scanner. The scanner pulls it through, and supposedly it's ready to go. Upon starting up the software, it then tells me that now there IS an update to fix "bugs" in the older version of the software, so I download and install that update and reboot.
Having all done, I start up the software, which is very slow to load up and get running. Once ready, your screen is divided into a main area where you can create folders, a detail area below, and on the left an area that is supposed to show you the actual scan once it's done - like a photo. You can then slip the front of a receipt (or document) into the front of the scanner, and press the "scan" or "PDF"(to create a PDF document) button on-screen, or on the scanner itself.
The scanner pulls the document through, and at this point you are supposed to see a photo of it on the left. No such luck. All I get are gray lines. All was done correctly and placed in the correct way, but nope - no visual in place. Tech support is not available on weekends, so I took the unit back to the place of purchase and swapped it for another unit.
Same problem. This time I get gray lines where a scan of the receipt should be. Ok, so long story short, for those who buy a Neat Receipts that actually WORKS, then it seems like it's a handy device to organize receipts and documents. However, the girl at the store I took my first (and now will the second) unit back to did inform me that a number of them had come back as "dead on arrival" units. Whether this is simply a bad batch of them that went to a particular area, or whether the "Made in China" badge indicates low quality and a high number of defects, I don't know. I do know that two Neat Receipts produced two defective units in my case, so, I cannot recommend this product.
If you already own a flatbed scanner then you can with slightly more effort simply do receipt scans with that, or for the $199 average price of the Neat Receipts buy a very nice flatbed (or save money and get a basic one) to do the same job. I vote "No" on the Neat Receipts due to reliability issues and apparently poor quality control.
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Amount Paid (US$): 149