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 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.
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.