The MSRM iScan Wand Portable Scanner is the perfect tool for very mobile individuals who may have a need for scanning all types of documents and images, big and small, wherever they are and whenever they need it to. With an affordable price, this should be good for students and other members of academia to help them scan notes, literature, and any other document. It should also be excellent for business owners who may need to scan product descriptions and other documents from suppliers and contractors. Virtually anyone who may need to scan something every now and then, can benefit from the versatility and usefulness of the iScan Wand.
Portability is one of the greatest strengths of the iScan Wand. It is light enough at 11 ounces to be held on one hand for scanning purposes. Its lightweight design should be very valuable to students who may already have plenty of books and electronic gadgets such as laptops, tablets, and other school paraphernalia weighing heavily on their back pack. And because the design is slim and light, it can easily fit into a side or front pocket of a bag. About the length of a ruler, it can also fit into the back pocket of your favorite jeans although I don’t think you should do this. The point is that a portable scanner should not be heavy. The iScan Wand effectively addresses this.
The 3 dpi settings of the iScan is also unique. If you need to scan several pages of documents or even an entire chapter of a book, setting it to 300 dpi should allow you to store these conveniently into its SD storage media. You can alternately use up to 32 GB of storage space for larger image files. This is perfect for business owners who may need to scan brochures and pamphlets important for their business. Additionally, documents that are important for regulatory purposes can be easily scanned and stored for later use.
And with its own innovative software, the Optical Character Recognition solution that is available on both PCs and Macs, the iScan allows users to take full control of scanned images with absolute ease and convenience. The OCR software allows users to convert and edit scanned documents and images so that these can serve better purposes. Students can readily insert notations on the scanned documents. They can also make some tweaks or enhancements on scanned images. Business owners and other individuals can substantially make the necessary corrections and annotations on whatever it is that they scanned in a manner that will best serve them.
A Few Drawbacks
Given that the MSRM iScan Wand is being marketed as a portable and USB mobile scanner, I am not sure is using AA batteries is the way to go. It would have been a lot better if the manufacturer instead built a rechargeable lithium ion battery. This should really save the hassle of having to get an entire box of AAs in your bag just to make sure that you can operate the handheld scanner. While it is possible to use rechargeable AA batteries, this easily translates as an added expense and an added task of recharging the AA batteries on a separate battery docking and charging station.
Speaking of power for the iScan Wand, some handhelds can be powered by current coming from the computer or laptop via the USB interface. Unfortunately, you cannot even use iScan Wand if it is connected to the USB port. The only reason why there is a USB interface is to facilitate the transfer of scanned images and documents from the iScan Wand to your laptop or computer especially if you don’t have a card reader on your computer.
For the average user especially one who may only require the versatility of the iScan Wand, having an AA battery as power source is not really a deal-breaker. You can always buy a set of rechargeable AA batteries with its charging dock for less than $35 and you should be well on your way. You would still come out on top. As for the maximum resolution of 900 dpi, I am not sure why some pay so much attention on the dpi factor of an imaging device. Technically, the minimum resolution for good quality images is at 300 dpi. What matters more is the digital image resolution. The higher the digital resolution in pixels, then the better the quality.
iScan vs Magic Wand
Two of the major competitors of iScan include Epson’s WorkForce DS-30 and VuPoint Solution’s Magic Wand. Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between these 2 wand scanners and a standard portable document scanner.
The Vupoint wand scanner uses a rechargeable lithium polymer battery giving it an edge where the iScan Wand fails. It also has a maximum resolution of 1,200 dpi although, as I have already mentioned, this does not really matter that much as long as the 300 dpi setting is the minimum. The 1200 dpi can only be achieved if the Magic Wand is connected onto its docking station so that it really resembles like a portable scanner with an auto feeder function. This makes it a lot easier to scan single pages of documents or photos one at a time and with the absolute precision of a standard scanner. This also address the USB power issues of the iScan Wand. However, at 1.4 lbs. the Magic Wand might not be that convenient to bring along especially if you already have a ton of electronic equipment in your bag. Also, the Magic Wand is more expensive than the iScan.
The WorkForce DS-30 from Epson is as light as the iScan Wand but is relatively more expensive at a list price similar to the Magic Wand. It is also only capable of producing a maximum of 600 dpi although I doubt if this is really a deal-breaker. Another interesting difference is that its USB connectivity doubles as instant storage access to the Cloud and as power supply. And this is where the issue comes in. While lightweight and allow instant connectivity to Cloud storage solutions, the WorkForce DS-30 does not have any external power supply. This means you really have to have it connected to your laptop or computer in order for it to work. And if you have a power outage, then bye-bye scanning duties in the meantime.
For its price and functionality, the iScan Wand is a great buy. However, the only lament is its AA batteries. This wand technology is still relatively new but it is nice to see other manufacturers getting into the mix. The portability and flexibility of these scanners is quite desirable so we can only hope to see the technology and offerings improving with more of these types of scanners.