See our Law Technology Buyer's Guide for our top technology recommendations.
If you advertise a mouse that is also a scanner, it’s either got to be brilliant or a complete failure. When I got the LG Smart Scan Mouse, I expected a complete failure. As it turns out, it is actually quite brilliant. I mean, you aren’t likely to replace your desktop scanner with it, but I’m surprised to find myself thinking of all sorts of ways I could use this in my practice.
I think it would be especially useful for lawyers who regularly work with forms or need to incorporate quotations from legal research into their work.
The LG Smart Scan is a chunky mouse, which I attribute to the need to cram a scanner inside of it. That means it isn’t particularly ergonomic. The buttons don’t slope down towards the work surface like the mice I am used to using (a Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000 at work, and a Lenovo wireless mouse at home), which means you feel like your wrist is rotated back towards you more than usual. You get used to it, though, and after a half hour or so, it feels pretty much like using any other mouse.
It’s wired, too, which means you’ve got a cord to worry about. If you worry about such things.
You might notice a bit of difficulty with fine movements, though, like trying to grab the edge of a window to resize it, finding the little × on a browser tab, or placing the cursor in a line of text. It’s not usually an issue, but occasionally it felt like the mouse jumped around while trying to maneuver the pointer.
But I’m nitpicking. The Smart Scan will work just fine as a mouse.
You really have to see it in action to understand how it works. This should help:
It’s when scanning that the Smart Scan mouse really does its thing, of course. Here’s how it works. You push the little Scan button on the side of the mouse, and a window pops up from the included scanning utility. Then, you just wipe the scanner over whatever it is you want to scan. You’ll get to see what you are scanning as you do it so that you don’t miss anything. It also recognizes the text as you scan.
When you are finished, click the button again, and the app will give you a straightened image, which you can crop. Then, you can save the image in various formats (PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PDF, Excel, and Word). Or, you can click Paste Image or Paste Text to copy the image or text to the clipboard for pasting into an email, document, or pretty much anywhere else.
I grabbed a garnishment exemption notice that was sitting on my desk, and scanned just a portion of it. Here are the results from the same document I scanned in the video above.
First, the image (click for the full-size scan):
And the text:
THE STATE OF MINNESOTA TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEBTOR:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a garnishment summons or levy may be served upon your
employer or other third parties, without any furthir eourrt proceedings or notice to you, ten days or more
from the date hereof. Some or all of your earnings are exempt from garnishment. If your earnings are
garnished, your employer must show you how the amount that is garnished from your earnings was
calculated. You have the right to request a hearing if you claim the garnishment is incorrect.
Your earnings are completely exempt from garnishment if you are now a recipient of relief based on
need, if you have been a recipient of relief within the last six months, or if you have been an inmate of a
correctional institution in the last six months.
Relief based on need includes Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), AFDC
Emergency Assistance (AFDC-EA), Medical Assistance (MA), General Assistance (GA), General
Assistance Medical Care (GAMC), Emergency General Assistance (EGA), Work Readiness, Minnesota
I left the line breaks intact (the line that ends in more wraps because it was just longer than the rest), and boldfaced the only error I found. If you look at the scan, it looks like I must not have gone over that spot very well.
I can see this coming in really handy as you are sitting at your desk assembling a contract or legal brief and trying to incorporate pieces of old forms or quotations from your legal research.
Who should buy an LG Smart Scan Mouse?
Whether you already have a scanner or not, the LG Smart Scan is a really useful tool for getting text and images into whatever you are working on.
If you already have a good document scanner, though, you probably wouldn’t get much use out of it—although it might make sense as a mobile scanner, since it’s even smaller to carry around than the Doxie Go or ScanSnap S1100.
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .
Summary: Whether you already have a scanner or not, the LG Smart Scan is a really useful tool for getting text and images into whatever you are working on.
When I got the LG Smart Scan Mouse, I expected a complete failure. As it turns out, it is actually quite brilliant. I mean, you aren’t likely to replace your desktop scanner with it, but I’m surprised to find myself thinking of all sorts of ways I could use this in my practice.
Rating: 4 (out of 5)