Fujitsu just sent me the brand-new ScanSnap S1500, a major revision its popular line of document scanners. I bought my old Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 in early 2006, when I made the switch to a paperless law office. Since then, I have been recommending it to everyone.
The new S1500 is better-looking, faster, comes with updated software, and sticks to the ScanSnap formula: efficient and easy to use. For solo practitioners or small offices, a ScanSnap (or a few of them) is still the best option.
Here is what I think of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 after spending an afternoon playing with it.
The S1500 has been replaced by the iX500, which is faster and better in every way, but also includes wi-fi scanning to your portable devices. Read our ScanSnap iX500 review.
S1500 Form Factor
The S1500 (and S1500M for Mac) is a major update to the form factor. As you can see from the picture, this iteration of the ScanSnap is sleeker and more modern-looking. I like the new look.
As I note in the video, below, the S1500 does seem slightly taller, but the new “catch tray” is my only complaint (well, besides the fact that Fujitsu does not support Linux). It seems decidedly flimsier than the tray on my old scanner. I think it will probably hold up pretty well, but as you can see in the video, it does have quite a lot of give to it.
Fujitsu ScanSnap Bundled Software
Like all Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners, the new model comes bundled with Adobe Acrobat Standard 9 (PC) and Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 (Mac). For a paperless office, Acrobat is not strictly necessary, but it is very useful. Plus, Acrobat Standard is a $300 piece of software, while Acrobat Professional for Mac is normally $500, making the $459 (ScanSnap on Amazon) a pretty good deal.
The ScanSnap Manager is a useful scanning utility. I have it set to automatically detect color and double-sided pages, recognize text on the first page (for speed), and simply ask me where to save the file. It makes scanning quick and easy.
For, for scanning a stack of photos I had lying around, I just set the ScanSnap Manager to automatically name and save each photo to my pictures directory. I plowed through a few shoeboxes in about a half hour.
The scanner also comes with a few other bits of software, including a PDF organizer and a business card utility. I don’t use any of those, though, so I cannot comment on them.
What really matters, of course, is how well the thing scans.
The S1500 is significantly faster than my old ScanSnap. As you can see in the video that follows, scanning five pages took 20 seconds on the old scanner, or about 15 ppm. The new scanner did the same pages with the same settings in only 15 seconds, making it about 20 ppm, a significant improvement.
Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners are meant to simplify scanning. They scan both sides of the page at the same time, and automatically detect double-sided pages and different sizes of paper, and the bundled software can automatically recognize the text in the documents.
All it takes to scan a stack of paper is a press of the big, blue button. This is especially useful for big stacks of discovery production. I just hit the button and let the scanner do the work.
In several years with my S510, the scanner would occasionally pick up two sheets at a time, so it pays to keep an eye on the scanner. It looks like the pick assembly is similar on the S1500, so I will keep an eye on it, just in case.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 in action
Here is a short video showing the relative speed of the S510 and the new S1500, along with a side-by-side look at the two scanners:
Like I said in the video clip, the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is a great upgrade. It feels like the same scanner as my old S510, just better. And since I had no complaints, and lots of good things to say about my old scanner, that is a very good thing.
Update: Since the comments have gotten so long, I summed up your ScanSnap questions in a FAQ. Please read it first if you have any questions.
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .
Summary: The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 is simple to set up and use, and makes scanning documents as simple as pushing a button.
The new ScanSnap S1500 is better-looking, faster, comes with updated software, and sticks to the ScanSnap formula: efficient and easy to use. For solo practitioners or small offices, a ScanSnap (or a few of them) is still the best option.
Rating: 5 (out of 5)