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3 document scanners: Move your data from paper to pixels

Brian Nadel | March 8, 2013
While the dream of a paper-free world has yet to materialize (assuming it ever will), using scanners to store digital copies of hardcopy documents has become de rigueur for most businesses, from enterprise-level operations to single-person startups.

To prevent originals from getting damaged, the Panasonic has a built-in ultrasonic sensor. As soon as it senses a change in the scanner's vibration level -- an indication that two originals are being simultaneously fed into the mechanism -- it shuts down the scan process so you can rescue your documents.

Because the scanner can work only with Windows PCs -- although the company says it's working on Mac software -- the Panasonic comes up short on compatibility compared to the Fujitsu ScanSnap and Brother ImageCenter. The Panasonic comes with document management and sharing package Presto PageManager 9, Presto BizCard 6 and Panasonic's own Image Capture Plus, which helps you edit and organize your scans.

The Panasonic doesn't have either an Ethernet connection or Wi-Fi, so you have to be connected to an online computer in order to scan to any type of cloud storage. Once you are connected, Panasonic's software lets you store scans in Evernote and Google Drive, and can synchronize contact info with Salesforce.com data.

At a Glance

Panasonic KV-S1015C

Panasonic

Price: $495.00

Pros: Relatively inexpensive, instant feed, 3 programmable scan buttons, 3-year warranty

Cons: Windows only, slow scans, no networking ability

Performance and quality

The Panasonic was the slowest of the three scanners reviewed here. It scanned the stack of 10 originals at 13.9 ppm, one-third slower than the Fujitsu ScanSnap. At 2.0ppm, it took roughly twice as long for it to scan the magazine cover in color as the Fujitsu ScanSnap or Brother ImageCenter took.

The exception to this was the stack of five business cards, which it scanned at the rate of 40.3ppm, slightly faster than the Fujitsu ScanSnap and more than twice as fast as the Brother ImageCenter.

I did note that the software was very effective at correcting problems. When I scanned in my driver's license, the document went in crooked, but the software de-skewed the image and the scan looked great. Overall, the system produced sharp edges and quality scans.

Bottom line

While it costs the same as the Fujitsu ScanSnap, the Panasonic KV-S1015C offers (unlike the other two scanners) a three-year warranty that includes shipping out a replacement machine next day. At $495, it's a great scanner at a great price, even though it's a bit slower than its rivals.

Conclusions

To my mind, desktop scanning is all about ease of use and flexibility. If it isn't easy and quick, the paperwork will pile up.

These three desktop scanners have vastly different ways of fulfilling their mission of turning paper into pixels. For instance, the Panasonic KV-S1015C has three preset scanning buttons for different types of originals and includes a three-year warranty. It, however, lacks networking, apps for phones or tablets and is limited to working with Windows PCs.

 

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