As a self-employed freelance writer, I accumulate a lot of business-related receipts during the course of the tax year. It’s very difficult to keep all of these receipts in order and find things quickly, and I always worry about losing an important one — which would of course mean that I’d lose out on the associated tax deduction. So I decided to purchase the Pentax DSMobile 600 portable scanner a few weeks ago in order to convert my receipts to digital format.
The Pentax DSMobile 600 scanner is just 11 inches long and weighs a mere 12 ounces, making it easy to take on business trips or stow away in desk drawers. This was an important consideration for me because my workspace is very small, which is one of the reasons I didn’t want to purchase a flatbed scanner to begin with.
Anyway, the DSMobile 600 came with some software that had to be installed on my computer before I could scan any documents. This was easy to do and just took a few minutes. After that was finished, I connected the scanner to my computer via the included USB cable, calibrated it using a special card that came with the product, and was ready to go. The whole setup process took less than 10 minutes.
When preparing to scan a document, a dialog box containing several scanning options pops up. The user can then specify things like paper size (letter, legal, A4, A5, A6, business card, or custom), scanner settings (color scan, B&W scan, grayscale scan, single-sided, double-sided), and output format (Adobe PDF or JPEG). There are also advanced settings such as DPI (ranging from a low of 75 to a high of 600) and image compression quality.
I chose letter (8.5″ x 11.0″), color, single-sided, Adobe PDF, 600 DPI, and medium compression for my initial test scans, and then just fed some business letters through the DSMobile 600.
I was impressed by how quickly the DSMobile 600 scanned my documents. I didn’t time it or anything, but the device wasn’t slow by any means. I also loved that the output could be rendered in a PDF file, as that’s obviously the most convenient format for sharing documents.
The only thing I don’t like about the DSMobile 600 is that you have to be extremely careful when guiding the document through the opening. There’s a paper roller/grip thingy (yeah, that’s the technical term!) only on one side, which means it’s easy for the document to become slanted or skewed as it goes through the feed. If you don’t hold it perfectly straight (and I do mean perfectly), you’ll end up with a crooked scan.
This isn’t really going to be a big deal for me since I’m mostly going to be using the scanner for receipts, but it’s something to think about if you’ll be sending your scans on to other people.
Overall, I think the Pentax DSMobile 600 portable scanner is a fantastic little device that is perfect for small business owners, students, and anyone else who does occasional scanning. If you intend to scan thousands of documents, you should obviously go with a flatbed scanner, but if you just need to scan the occasional receipt, letter of recommendation, resume, price quote, business card, etc., then the DSMobile 600 would be perfect.
I purchased the device from the Amazon.com marketplace for $117.70, and feel that I’m getting my money’s worth. I see that it’s now listed for $123.99, which is still a good deal, so go ahead and buy it if you need a portable scanner!