The main competitor to our favorite document scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap, is probably the NeatDesk Desktop Scanner. Last week, Joel Johnson of BoingBoing Gadgets got his hands on one, and spent a few hours putting it through its paces.

His verdict: While he didn’t have any major complaints about the NeatDesk desktop scanner, it’s probably not worth it. Consider the ScanSnap iX500 instead.

Update: Neat now offers a much more compelling NeatConnect cloud-based scanner which is one of our favorite scanners for lawyers. Before that, Neat sent us a a NeatDesk scanner to try. You can check out our NeatDesk document scanner review post here.

That being the case, I found this observation about the NeatDesk odd: “[i]ts first problem is that it’s simply a scanner, and a sheet-fed one at that . . . .” Er, yes, that is kind of the point. In a world of ubiquitous multi-function-printers, we think document scanners still play an important role.

Joel’s complaints about the odd NeatDesk document slots limiting the number of documents, however, are well-taken, even if that assembly can be removed. He makes complaints about the software and optical character recognition (OCR) included with the scanner.

Consider this. The ScanSnap comes with licensed copy of Adobe Acrobat, a $300-$460 product. It also includes various utilities (that some will find more useful than others). But the NeatDesk comes with only a license code for a copy of Neat Library, which is not included in the box. The equivalent Fujitsu software (and more) is free and included in the box.

The NeatDesk OCR apparently needs a lot of work, as well. Joel had trouble getting it to recognize basic text like “.com” in a website address on a business card.

I am not likely to give up my ScanSnap anytime soon. I already know it provides excellent value, quality, and utility. Based on Joel’s review and the spec sheet, I think I would be paying more and getting less with the NeatDesk.

A couple of hours with the NeatDesk scanner (Verdict: not worth the time or trouble) | BoingBoing Gadgets