As I try to carry my iPad more and my MacBook less, one of the key reasons I still needed a portable computer was scanning. Trade shows, networking events, and good old-fashioned work orders still include paper-based items that need to be captured. All of the portable solutions I reviewed still suffered from the fact that they require a computer to function. Now Visoneer offers a cross-platform, device-independent mobile scanning solution with Mobility.
The Visioneer Mobility is a sheet-fed scanner that runs on battery power and recharges via USB. The scans are stored on an SD card, and can be transferred to the iPad using the Camera Connection kit or via a Eye-Fi card and iOS companion application. Each charge scans about 300 pages either in color .jpg or your choice of color or black and white PDF. Business cards, documents and pictures all scan easily. Occasionally, a document would get stuck, but the device has a release lever to prevent damage, a slick feature lacking in most sheet-fed scanners.
The device retails for $199 and includes the scanner, a carrying case, charger, and a 2 GB SD card. Although it only ships with OCR solutions for Windows, third-party Mac software such as PDFpenpro by Smile easily converted the files to an editable format. It’s a bit larger and heavier than the other scanners I reviewed in my earlier post, but that’s understandable given that this also packs a hefty battery.
With a few months of use, I’ve really fallen in love with this scanner, and enjoy how much closer it allows me to come to a truly post-PC mobile computing experience. With more and more people replacing their traditional laptops with Android and iOS devices, as well as ultra-light laptops like the Macbook Air, expect to see the Mobility and other similar devices become even better and more numerous.