Fujitsu just released its new wireless portable scanner today, and I’ve had a chance to check it out for the past few weeks. Caveat: this iX100 Scanner review is focused on helping busy lawyers evaluate whether it makes sense for them to buy (so I don’t address all of its features).
The iX100 is the smallest scanner in the lineup of ScanSnap scanners, basically similar to the S1100 model, which sells for $199 on Amazon. The iX100 will initially be sold by Fujitsu authorized resellers for $229.
The new scanner is slightly thicker and slightly heavier. So what does the extra $30 buy you?
Look Ma, no wires!
Well, did you notice the word “wireless” in the opening sentence? Yep, the scanner will connect to your computer via WiFi.
It will also wirelessly connect to your iOS or Android device, or even a Kindle Fire. It can even transmit an “internal SSID” in situations where WiFi isn’t available. Translation: it can set up its own little mini WiFi hotspot if it has to.
The wireless capability of the iX100 is amazing when you consider how small it is.
Okay, so the old scanner (S1100) got its electrical power from the USB connection to your laptop. How does the new model get its power?
The iX100 has an internal, non-removable Lithium battery, which you charge by USB. Either you connect it to a computer that’s powered, or to a charging unit connected to a wall socket.
According to my contacts at Fujitsu, the battery will theoretically let you scan about 250 pages.
That’s pretty damn impressive. I’m guessing real world experience will be less, but even if it’s 125 pages on a charge that’s a lot.
Charging the iX100 after the battery has been completely drained takes about 3 hours. As with all things in life, the aforementioned battery specs are not set in stone. You’re mileage may vary slightly.
How do you set up the wireless?
To start, you need to set up the WiFi connection, which takes about 10 minutes. Maybe a little less if you’re tech-savvy, and good at following written instructions.
If you have a personal hotspot device, or if your phone or tablet can create a WiFi hotspot, then that’s the wireless connection you want to set up. But you can connect the iX100 to as many as 5 different hotspots. The scanner will remember each, and switch seamlessly between them.
I connected my unit to the personal WiFi hotspot on my iPad Mini. And it worked perfectly (see end of post for a video review that demonstrates the wireless scanning).
When you first turn it on, the scanner takes a few seconds to home in on the WiFi signal. Then it pops up a small window on your laptop to let you know that it connected to the wireless signal, and is ready to start scanning.
Scanning is pretty simple. You just feed in a sheet of paper with the side you want scanned facing up. The iX100 only scans one side of a page at a time.
But it’s pretty fast. And it will scan in color or black and white.
Once you’ve finished scanning all the pages you need just click a button that says “Finish Scanning.” Then the ScanSnap software will create a PDF document and save it to whatever destination you’ve set up in the preferences of your ScanSnap Manager software.
As I said, the iX100 is about the same size as the model it replaces: the S1100. You can attach the iX100 with a USB cable and have it work just like the S1100 if you want.
My guess is you’d probably want to have the USB cable handy when you’re out and about just in case you have trouble with the wireless connection. Or in case the battery on the scanner ran out.
I used the S1100 scanner regularly when I traveled, or was out of the office. I will use the new iX100 just as much, and time will tell how much I make use of the wireless capabilities.
Attaching it to a computer via the USB cable connection isn’t a big hassle, and eliminates any concern about battery life. And I’ll probably get the small carrying case once that comes out (the iX100 needs a different case than the old S1100 because it’s a little bigger).
Whatever way you might choose to use the iX100, you’ll probably appreciate the easy portability. Being able to scan a stack of papers (up to 250 pages!) when you’re at a deposition, or anywhere out of the office, is a huge convenience.
Below is a short video review of the iX100, demonstrating how the wireless scanning works.