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Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600: Touch-free scanner won't damage source material

Jon L. Jacobi | Feb. 3, 2014
It only looks like a table lamp. The Fujitsu SV600 scans material quickly and efficiently, but page curvature is a problem.

I don't know whether to credit Fujitsu's optics or its software, but neither of those issues affected the ScanSnap SV600's scanning prowess. The device easily handled all of the flat, 3D, and multiple-object challenges I threw at it. Good job, Fujitsu.

What does  give this unusual scanner a little trouble, though, is the deceptively simple problem of vertical curvature, as found with magazines and books laid open. A flatbed scanner's lid flattens materials against the platen to minimize that issue, albeit with potentially damaging effect to the book or magazine's spine. A handheld scanner presses against the page and never "sees" the curvature, but dragging a scanner across the page has the potential to damage the page itself. 

The overhead scanning element inside the ScanSnap SV600 never touches the source material, so it's as gentle as can be—but it does nothing to flatten curves. You can pull the book or magazine as flat as possible using your fingers, and Fujitsu provides functions for removing fingers from the image, but you must eliminate any remaining curvature via software. I found this operation to be more of a hit than a miss, but it wasn't perfect. And although you can find manual tools for editing scans, few people will have the patience to spend a couple of minutes straightening every scanned page in a book or magazine.

Fujisu bundles its own ScanSnap Manager software, for setting options and directing scans; ScanSnap Organizer, a competent document librarian; CardMInder, which pulls information off business cards and routes it to various organizers; Abbyy Finereader, for optical character recognition; and Rack2 Filer, which facilitates ebook creation. All of these apps are capable, but ScanSnap Manager could present its options in a more intuitive fashion, and the editing workflow could use some improvement.

Considering the technical difficulty of the task involved, the Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600 is an amazing piece of scanning hardware. For everyday document archiving and making quick copies, the ScanSnap SV600 is more than adequate and very fast. It's a great match for public libraries and other environments where users might want to scan just a few pages without risking damage to the source materials. But the curvature removal needs some work, and the post-scan processing needs to be more automated. Still, I want one.


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