Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Portable Document Scanner Review

Let’s get this out of the way: I love Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners. At some point, Fujitsu got wind of this, and started sending me test units so I would continue gushing about their products online. Fine with me.

When I bought my first ScanSnap—an S500—it was clearly the easiest way to get into document scanning. All I had to do was drop my documents into the auto-feeder, hit the blue button, and decide where to save the resulting PDF. Cake.

So I was excited when I first got wind of the ScanSnap S1300. The concept is the same of the larger ScanSnap S1500, just in a much smaller package. It is a nice second scanner if you have a specific need for scanning on the go. But it will not replace a desktop document scanner like the S1500.

Form factor

The S1300 is truly portable. You can easily fit the scanner and its wires into your computer bag. You will not have room for much else, but it does fit. There are smaller document scanners—even smaller duplexing document scanners—but most anything smaller requires you to hand-feed every document. The automatic document feeder is pretty essential to a document scanner.

The automatic feeder fits about 10 pages. You will not be scanning boxes of document production with the S1300, but a few dozen pages should not tax the scanner or your patience. The fold-out feeder is sturdy for such a small machine, but it does feel like it could snap off if someone accidentally swung a bag into it.

One of the nicest features of the S1300 is that you can run it from your computer’s USB port. In the video below, you can see me powering the scanner from my laptop’s battery. Unfortunately, this requires two open USB ports, but that should not be much a problem; most modern computers have at least two, often more.

Quality and performance

The quality of the documents I scanned with the S1300 was the same as documents I scanned with the larger S1500, as far as I could tell. For all I know, the scanning elements could be the exact same.

The most-noticeable difference in performance is in speed. While the S1500 hums along at about 20 pages per minute, the S1300 crawls along at about 8. To really appreciate the difference, check out this video showing the S1500 in action, and compare it to the S1300 in the video below.

Speed is not a dealbreaker, in this case. The S1300 is not meant to be your everyday desktop scanner; it is a portable scanner you can take to remote client meetings, contract closings, and even document reviews. But keep in mind, scanning 100 pages will take about 15 minutes. Plan accordingly.

The S1300 in action

Is the S1300 right for you?

If you are buying your first document scanner, get the larger ScanSnap S1500 desktop scanner. If you already have a document scanner in your office, and you have a specific need to scan documents on the road, check out the S1300.

Summary

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 is a reasonable choice for someone with lightweight scanning needs who sometimes needs to scan on the go.

If you are buying your first document scanner, get the larger ScanSnap S1500 desktop scanner. If you already have a document scanner in your office, and you have a specific need to scan documents on the road, check out the S1300.

Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)

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  • Paul

    Excellent review, I have had my eye on these scanners for a while, seem top notch!

  • Matt Bruun, CPA

    Higher End Scanners

    When you are tired of standing in front of the scanner watching the pages move like melting snow in March or you want your support staff to like you I recommend a faster scanner like the Cannon DR 7580. Even if you only scan a few pages it will save you time and frustration. These next level of scanners cost between $5,000-$10,000

    SUMMARY:
    The new DR 7580 from Canon comes fully loaded with features that will provide outstanding image quality, easy handling, and best of all versatility. Thanks to its unique feeding system and advanced sensor technology, the DR 7580 provides its users with speed of up to 75 ppm in simplex or 150 ppm in duplex. Produce either black and white or grayscale images at 600 dpi and let it do the tough work by recognizing and rotating text orientation, correcting skewed images, enhancing faint text, and adjusting the gamma settings. Take full advantage of the DR 7580′s Automatic Document Feeder which holds 500 sheets up to 12″ x 17″ in size. Forget worrying about an unforgotten staple in your documents, because Canon’s exclusive, patented on-board Staple Detection feature will automatically stop the scanning process when it detects stapled documents. This model was definitely designed with consumer’s needs in mind.
    Features
    Scanner Type: Sheetfed
    Document Handling: 500 Page Automatic Document Feeder
    Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi
    Maximum Scan Size: 12″ x 17″
    Bit Depth: 8-bit Grayscale
    Black and White Scanning Speed: 75 ppm Simplex, 150 ipm Duplex
    Grayscale Scanning Speed: 75 ppm, 150 ppm Duplex
    Connectivity: USB 2.0, SCSI-III
    Environments: 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP, NT 4.0
    Warranty: 90 Days

  • Steve Palm

    Nice review, but I am puzzled… You only show the S1300 in operation when powered from a USB connection to the computer. From what I read, if you use the power brick to power it the scanning speed goes from 8ppm to 16ppm, not nearly as far removed from the 20ppm of the S1500. At that point, given the smaller size and lower price, it could be quite useful and not that much slower. I might be missing something, but if not, you should add that to your review to make it more accurate.

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

    You may be right; if that is the case, it was not obvious.

    While that may make it faster, I wouldn’t buy a scanner this size if it still meant hauling around a power brick. The ability to power it from a USB port is what makes it useful—even if it also makes it pokey.

  • http://www.mnconsumerattorney.com Anne M. Hansen

    @Matt: This review was for a second scanner that you’d have in addition to your desktop scanner, something you could take to an offsite meeting, etc. The Canon you discussed is a desktop unit that’s insanely expensive compared to a desktop ScanSnap. I just purchased the Mac version last week ($418.99 on Amazon, and it comes with Adobe Acrobat) and it’s the fastest freaking thing I’ve ever seen or would ever need. With all due respect, buying the Canon just doesn’t make sense.

  • manoj nair

    @ Steve – the ppm stays the same from what I see but the ipm goes up. in other words, when powered by the power brick, it’ll be twice as fast as via usb on a ppm basis (4ppm to 8ppm). however, if you’re doing a duplex scan, then it’ll get to 16 ipm, not 16 ppm (the scan speed is still at 8ppm). other scanners such as the strobe 500 will hit 15 ppm/30ipm in duplex mode (tho admittedly, doesn’t have a ADF when you eject it from the dock for portability). from my view, the s1300 will make a good home scanner for occasional use from my home-office so that i don’t have to go to kinko’s or the office to scan documents i’m marking up.

  • Peter J. of Minneapolis

    So, I have two desktop scanners at the home office, one on my HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 Premier all-in-one and the second on my Brother 7420 laser all-in-one. I have a 13″ MacBook. My wife has a Toshiba A505-S6005 16″. I have ReadIris on each computer. Do I need the S1500M more than I need the S1300? Does my wife Lynn need the S1500 more than the S1300? Comments, please!

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

    I think you’ll just have to decide that for yourself. Do you want a fast document scanner, or a portable one?

  • Peter J. of Minneapolis

    Sam, is the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 Pro fast enough? I have not found specs from HP on scan speed. If it is fast enough, that makes it easier to pick the S1300.

    Is ReadIris 12 for Mac adequate for the HP? Do I need an S1500M when I have the 8500 and ReadIris 12 for Mac? If ReadIris 12 for Mac and the 8500 create searchable PDF’s fast enough, then I will get the S1300.

    Please advise.

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

    I have no idea whether the HP is fast enough. I have never used it. It is fast enough if you think so. Watch the video of the S1500 and compare, if you like.

    I don’t know anything about ReadIris, and I don’t use a Mac. It sounds like you either need to try both products and compare them, or hire a consultant.

  • Peter J. of Minneapolis

    Sam, thank you for your candor on ReadIris and Mac. My use of the HP and the Brother indicate a slower scan speed than the S1500 or S1500M. With a decent enough recovery in a forthcoming case, I see myself getting both the S1500M and the S1300. Unless, of course, Lynn wants an S1500 for her Toshiba. Then, it will be an S1500 and the S1300. She’s always right.

  • Tom Andis

    Great site, Sam!
    Have you had any experience with Visioneer scanners? They have been around for years and are less expensive. They come with a program called “Paperport” which I have used for years to file everything in my wife’s office. She is a family and child therapist and generates a lot of paper per day.

    The Paperport software will work with any scanner, Twain or not, including AIOs. Having never used a Scansnap scanner, I have no way to compare. As I see it, the advantage the Scansnap is that you can throw about anything in it and it works well.

    I’m not trying to suggest anyone go with the Visioneer and Paperport software. I just wondered if you or any of your readers have any experience them and can compare. BTW, the software works with any scanner or AIO and it is in it’s 12th iteration. I think that you might agree that the software is really the guts of any scanner. Thanks!

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

      I haven’t used either, but for those who miss TWAIN support on the ScanSnap, it’s probably worth looking at.

  • Angelo From Perth Australia

    Thanks for the awesome info and review!

    One of these will be my first document scanner (just for home – serious effort to go paperless using Evernote as well as local digital storage), and I couldn’t decide if I should pay the premium for the S1500. I was leaning towards the S1300. My rationale was that once I was “caught up” with the backlog, I wouldn’t REALLY need that much speed.

    For anyone wanting to directly compare the S1300 vs the S1500, this YouTube video cleared everything up for me: http://youtu.be/W5_gOQ9zU7g

    After watching this, I can see why you said at the end of your video why the S1300 might make a nice SECOND scanner, but shouldn’t be your ONLY scanner.
    Happy to pay the slight premium for the S1500 now. Genuine thanks again!