Review: Doxie Go Ultraportable Document Scanner

The Doxie Go ultraportable document scanner is a game-changer for anyone who needs to scan documents on the go. That is because the Doxie Go is completely self-sufficient. Unlike, say, the ScanSnap S1100, you can leave your laptop at home and toss the Doxie Go in your bag by itself.

doxie go Review: Doxie Go Ultraportable Document Scanner

Doxie Go price and features

The Doxie Go costs a very-reasonable $199. Which it should, because it is meant to be a second scanner you can leave in your go bag while your desktop scanner does the heavy lifting when you are working from the office.

The feature set of the Doxie Go is small but impressive. First, and most obviously, it allows you to scan without being attached to a computer. As you can see in the video above, all you need is the scanner. It stores documents on its internal memory, which you can access from any computer as if the scanner were a big USB drive. Or, you can plug a USB drive or SD card into the scanner directly, and it will scan straight to that. It does this automatically, so you don’t need to flip any switches or worry about changing settings.

You can toggle between low- and high-quality scanning using the power button. When it is green, it will scan at 300dpi (appropriate for most documents and court filings), and when it is orange, it will scan at 600dpi.

The refreshingly simple bundled software will let you “staple” pages together, recognize text, and export PDF files—or you can skip the software and pull scanned files off the scanner over USB just like you would with any other USB drive. Honestly, I wish more manufacturers would create bundled software as simple as this (although Fujitsu’s bundled ScanSnap Manager is also excellent, as I’ve mentioned in past reviews).

Form, fit, and finish

The Doxie Go is a nice-looking, very compact scanner. It’s definitely a bit larger than the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100, probably because it needs to house a battery. But make sure you account for the fact that you have to lug a 3-pound (or significantly more, for most people) laptop and power cord along with the ScanSnap, while you can toss the Doxie Go in a small bag by itself.

The Doxie Go doesn’t have any flaps or paper tray supports; it’s just a solid white-and-black-plastic brick. There is one button and a USB port for connecting the scanner to a computer. There are also ports for plugging in a USB drive and SD card.

You cannot open up the Doxie Go, which means you can’t really service it if anything goes wrong. It does come with a small cleaning wand, though, so you can at least clean off the scanning surface if something gets on it.

The Doxie Go comes with a small, black bag that won’t do much to protect the scanner from bumps, but should keep dust and debris from getting into its cracks and crevices.

Doxie Go performance

The Doxie Go performs exactly as advertised. There’s nothing to it. Turn it on, put in a piece of paper, and it automatically detects the paper and (slowly) sucks it in. When you get back to your computer, plug in the scanner to transfer files and charge it. Honestly, compared this, the ScanSnap is pretty complicated (which is saying a lot, because the ScanSnap is really easy to use).

Scans turn out very good. I didn’t notice any difference in quality between the Doxie Go and the ScanSnap S1500 sitting on my desk.

All in all, the Doxie Go performs exactly as advertised, which is kind of refreshing, after all.

Downsides

Despite my enthusiasm for the Doxie, there are a few downsides.

First, if you are going to carry a laptop, anyway, the Doxie Go actually becomes a liability. That’s because it doesn’t have a “tethered” mode. It functions pretty much the same whether it is plugged into your computer or not. In fact, the instructions explicitly say to unplug it before scanning. Using the scanner away from the office, I would be happy to put up with the extra steps to get scanned documents into my client files. It’s a good trade-off for not having to tote a laptop. But if I need to make a quick scan while I’m in the office, the more-cumbersome process is annoying.

It’s too bad the Doxie Go has this limitation, actually. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for a “tethered mode” option. As it is, if you carry a laptop with you, anyway, get the smaller, lighter, and better-while-tethered ScanSnap S1100.

Second, the Doxie Go doesn’t scan both sides of the page. This is a downside of any ultraportable scanner, of course. You have to size up to something like the ScanSnap S1300 to get duplexing in a “portable” scanner. It’s a shame, because tiny scanners like this one are pretty slow already. Manually scanning two sides of the page makes scanning take twice as long. It isn’t a dealbreaker, though, especially for lawyers. Few legal documents are two-sided.

Finally, the Doxie Go is really slow. At the rate it scans, you will probably get tired of waiting around at about a dozen pages. Much more than that, and it’s easier to just take the paper back to your office and return it to your client later. Of course, I said the same thing about the ScanSnap S1100. Slowness is just a fact of life with small scanners.

Doxie Go summary

As I said at the beginning, the Doxie Go is a game-changer for anyone who needs to scan documents on the go. And it’s amazing how effortless it is to use. Really. I always talk about how easy it is to scan with a ScanSnap—and it is—but this thing is no more difficult than plugging in a USB drive. It really just works.

If you need to scan documents on the go, there are really only two choices. If you carry a laptop with you wherever you go, get the ScanSnap S1100. If you don’t, get the Doxie Go.

Legal Technology

, , , , ,

  • http://lawyerist.com/author/joshcamson/ Josh Camson

    Does it do OCR?

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      The software it comes with handles the OCR, so you can process that when pulling documents off of the scanner.

  • http://ethicsmaven.com/ Eric Cooperstein

    So, this looks like a great companion if you’re mostly traveling with an iPad nowadays, although no way to get docs from the scanner to the iPad. I could live with that. But here are a few questions: How much file storage in the scanner itself? And how does the USB port work? I understand that if you plug it into a laptop, software will come up, but how do you get the scanner to transfer the docs to a USB drive? And how many pages do you think you can get on one battery charge?

    Is it Mac-compatible? The cool-factor just might justify the price by itself.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      It’s everything-compatible, since it’s basically just a USB drive. But yes, the Doxie software is available for Mac.

      According to the website, it “Stores up to 600 pages or 2400 photos” and can do 100 scans per charge. I show 477 MB of free space.

      As I said in the review, if you want to scan to a USB drive, you just plug the USB drive into the scanner, and the scans go directly to the USB drive. It’s more simple than it seems like it should be.

    • http://www.getdoxie.com Paul Scandariato

      Eric, you can actually get docs directly from Doxie to the iPad by using an Eye-Fi wireless SD card. So, you’d scan anywhere with the wireless SD card inserted into Doxie, then it’ll join the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad (or makes its own ad-hoc network). The Eye-Fi app then lets you transfer your scans directly and then push them wherever you want.

      Cheers,

      Paul Scandariato
      Apparent / Doxie

      • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

        Okay, that’s just awesome. Eric, you need to do this and report back.

        • http://ethicsmaven.com/ Eric Cooperstein

          Whoa. I’m speechless.

  • http://www.sjfpc.com Steven J Fromm

    Thanks for the review. What a great product.

  • http://www.PAinjurycase.com Dave S

    Very cool, Sam. Thanks for taking the time to post the review.

  • http://www.documentsnap.com Brooks Duncan

    I’m actually working on a 2 part series about using the Doxie Go to scan directly to an iPad. I posted Part 1 yesterday about using the iPad’s Camera Connection Kit (http://www.documentsnap.com/doxie-go-scanner-ipad-camera-connection-kit/), and I’m working on Part 2 which is using the Wifi Kit. Should be up by Tuesday. I’ll report back.

  • http://compujurist.com/ Nerino Petro

    Xerox (and Visioneer owned by Xerox) have wireless portable scanners that can be used sans computer by saving to USB or SD card and can also connect wirelessly to a notebook as well as iOS and Android devices according to their materials. The Visoneer Mobility Air was introduced last fall and the Xerox at CES. Size wise, the Mobility Air measures in at 11.5″ (l) x 2.75″ (w) x 2″ (h) (293 x 70 x 51 mm) and weighs 22.5 ounces compared to the smaller and lighter Doxie at 10.5″ x 1.7″ x 2.2″ (26.7 cm x 4.35 cm x 5.6 cm) and 14.2 ounces.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Yeah, I just saw that, too. I hope to get my hands on one once they are available.

  • http://jacksonandwilson.com Mitch Jackson

    I like it. I need it. I’m going to get one! Is there an affiliate link you’d like me to use?

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Just click the Amazon link in the post (or this one). (And thanks for asking!)

      Edit: Looks like it’s still unavailable from Amazon, so you will have to pre-order from Doxie.

  • Denis Jodis

    Is there a portable scanner that combines the ability to scan an inserted sheet as well as a page in a book? It would be great to have a dual purpose portable scanner that does both and does them well.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      In order to scan a page from a book with any of the portable scanners I have seen, you would have to tear it out.

      However, a smartphone camera works really well for that.