Imagine a lightweight, battery-powered scanner with on-board storage that can function without a computer. No, we're not talking about some far-fetched gizmo Q might throw in the trunk of Bond's Aston Martin. We're talking about Apparent's Doxie Go, a real-world device you can sink your teeth into for $US199. It only sounds like it belongs in a spy movie.
Let's get this out of the way: The Doxie Go isn't the only portable scanner on market, nor does it pretend to be. Rather, the Doxie Go's claim to fame is its simplicity and convenience. Unlike most portable scanners, which tend to be bulky and require an electrical outlet, the Doxie Go weighs just 403g, or significantly less than an iPad, and it's powered by a lithium-ion battery capable of 100 scans on a single charge. That might not seem like a lot, but when the bulk of the competition can't function without a cord, trust us, it's plenty impressive.
The black and white Doxie Go's also quite handsome. It checks in at an ultra-portable 10.5 x 1.7 x 2.2 inches, and its simple, one-button interface brings to mind Apple's trademark slickness. That single button powers the scanner on and off, and it also allows users to switch from the standard 300dpi setting to the higher-resolution 600dpi setting (more on that shortly).
Storage and Output
The Doxie Go's 512MB of on-board memory doesn't sound like much in an era of terabyte hard drives, but it's enough to store roughly 600 pages or 2400 photos at 300dpi. If that doesn't cut it, the Doxie Go can accommodate either a USB flash drive or an SD card. And speaking of that SD slot, if you slip in an Eye-Fi SD card, you can beam scans to your computer or iOS device over Wi-Fi.
The Doxie Go defaults to 300dpi scans, which is fine for text-based documents, but if you're looking to scan, say, pictures, and you want to do them justice, you'll want to switch over to the device's 600dpi setting. And the transition couldn't be simpler. Simply depress the power button — the device's lone button — and wait for the light to turn from green to orange.
Scans are normally saved as JPEGs, but they can be encoded as PNGs and searchable PDFs too. And if colour isn't your thing, black and white's another option.
Once you've picked your poison and scanned your documents or images, there are a few ways to upload those scans to another device, whether it's a computer or an iPad: you can use the supplied mini-USB cable to export scans. If you go this route, you'll also need Doxie's software, which you'd download to the computer you're transferring the files to. If you connect a USB flash drive to your Doxie Go prior to scanning, then whatever you scanned can be found on and imported from that drive. And the same goes for SD cards. If you had one on board before scanning, just eject that card, plug it into your computer (or Apple's Camera Connection Kit, with an iOS device on the receiving end) and you're good to go. Or, if you'd rather transfer scans remotely, you can plug an Eye-Fi SD card into that same slot and send files to a computer or iOS device wirelessly.
Scanning with the Doxie Go is a breeze. Once it's powered up and you've selected the appropriate DPI, simply line up the image or document you intend to scan (Doxie accepts files up to 8.5 x 14 inches) with the device's automatic feeder, which will grab that hardcopy and start scanning it within seconds. In our experience, 300dpi scans took roughly 5-8 seconds to complete, while files scanned in the higher-resolution 600dpi mode took 10-12 seconds.
Smaller files, especially pictures, can be tricky to feed into the Doxie precisely. Fortunately, Apparent thought of this and included a special sleeve that fits those pesky files and helps scan them more accurately. If we're honest, though, we can't see ourselves using the device to scan loads of pictures. Not that it's not up to the task; you could certainly scan pictures to your heart's content, and the Doxie does a decent enough job, but it seems better suited for text-based documents and the occasional picture.
All told, scanning with the Doxie Go is painless. The company warns that wrinkled or torn papers could pose a problem, but in our testing, neither tripped up the Doxie.
Importing scans from the Doxie Go using the included miniUSB cable requires the use of specialised software, which can be downloaded from Apparent's site. If that sounds like a pain, rest assured, it isn't. The software's a cinch to use. In fact, all we had to do was plug our Doxie into our MacBook Pro, fire up the software and click "import". With that, all our scans showed up on the MacBook Pro's desktop.
Earlier we mentioned that the Doxie's scans can be saved in several formats. Well, that just scratches the surface of the device's versatility. You can also send scans to a variety of local apps, including Acrobat, Photoshop, iPhoto and Preview. What's more, you can send scans to cloud services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, CloudApp FTP, or even Doxie Cloud — a free service for Doxie customers.
Talk is cheap, so here are four scans saved in several different formats.
We never thought we'd sing the praises of a scanner. Not now after all these years into the digital age. As far as we were concerned, we had already gone paperless and had no use for such things. But the Doxie Go proved us wrong. It made us realise that no matter how many "go paperless" boxes we've checked, we still depend on hard copies. And as long as that's the case, as long as companies and relatives and stores continue to deal in dead-tree documents, there's always room for a device that can easily translate those hard copies into more modern versions.
The Doxie Go is, in a word, fantastic. It's light, intuitive and relatively cheap. We couldn't ask for more.
Republished with permission from TheTechBlock.