My review of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is up to 60 comments, with lots of questions and answers. Here is a followup post with frequently-asked questions so you do not have to wade through those comments.
First off, though, I have had my ScanSnap S1500 for about two-and-a-half months, and I still love it. I am still using my S500, too, although it sits on my desk at home now. It still works like a charm, and I expect that same reliability and longevity from the S1500.
What size documents can the ScanSnap handle?
The feeder is 9″ wide, so the ScanSnap maxes out at just over regular-size pages. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have scanned teeny-tiny receipts, although I do have to move them around to make sure the scanner can tell there is something in there.
The first question concerned passports. I have put drivers licenses and credit cards through there, but I have never tried a passport. However, a Fujitsu consultant assured me a passport should go through just fine.
What kind of software does the s1500 come with?
It comes with the ScanSnap Manager, a small, useful scanning utility. It can work with Acrobat’s optical character recognition (OCR) to recognize text, if you want. (At least I think it goes through Acrobat. It just works, in any case.)
Some ScanSnap Manager software conflicts with the new Windows 7 operating system. There is an easy ScanSnap Manager software fix.
The ScanSnap Organizer is also bundled, but I have never used it. My file system works just fine for organizing documents.
The S1500 also comes with ABBY FineReader, which recognizes text and allows you to scan documents straight to Word or Excel. It works pretty well, too. I was impressed.
And the biggie, it includes Adobe Acrobat Standard 9 (Win) or Professional 8 (Mac). This alone makes the Scan Snap an awfully good deal.
What software should I use to archive documents?
Don’t. Your computer was built from the ground up to organize information. I have not seen any software that adds efficiency. (Although I am always interested in being proved wrong.) I think it makes more sense to just make good use of my filesystem and indexed search.
If you must use something, DEVONthink sounds nifty (if you use a Mac).
Does it work with Linux?
Yep, with no problems. You can use it directly in Linux through SANE, or you can run Windows in VirtualBox and use Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Manager, which is my preference. The ScanSnap Manager is just a nicer utility than the Linux options, in my opinion.
What file types does the ScanSnap support?
PDF and JPEG, but using ABBY, you can also scan to Word and Excel format.
What kind of file sizes can I expect?
It is pretty hard to generalize, since every change in settings will result in different file sizes. But using just a couple of files as an example, here is what I came up with: A one-page color scan on medium quality is a 211.2 KB PDF. A four-page mixed scan (only 1 page color) on medium quality is a 438.6 KB PDF. Hope that helps.
How well does the double-feed detection work?
I was able to force-feed two pages through the scanner without too much difficulty, so not all that well. But I have also never seen the S1500 pick two pages at the same time except when I was forcing them through together.
So on the one hand, I do not think the fancy ultrasonic double-feed thingamajigger is a guarantee. On the other hand, I do not think you need to watch the scanner like a hawk at all times.
Can I use this to scan photos?
Sure. But if you are looking for super-quality, archival scans, get something else. This is a document scanner.
If you do not know what TWAIN is, do not worry about it. You will not notice its absence.
TWAIN is a way that scanners communicate with software. SANE is another way. The ScanSnap uses a similar pipeline through Acrobat.
I think I hit on all the questions from the previous ScanSnap s1500 review post. If I missed something, feel free to ask here or in that post.