The Brother DSMobile 700D is a compact scanner that works as a light-duty desktop scanner as well as for scanning on the go. But although it promises portable duplex scanning at a compelling price point, it doesn’t do so well in practice.

Read on for the good and the bad.

What I like about the DSMobile 700D

First, and most importantly, the DSMobile 700D is a duplexing scanner. The smallest ScanSnap to do that is the S1300i, which is a bit larger — although it does have a page feeder tray.

Second, and probably more decisive for potential buyers, is the price. At about $185, the DSMobile 700D is even cheaper than the ScanSnap S1100 ($190), which won’t even scan both sides of a page.

Unfortunately, that’s about all I like about it. The DSMobile may be a cheap, portable, duplexing scanner, but it doesn’t carry out its primary tasks with any grace.

What I don’t like about the DSMobile 700D

The DSMobile 700D is portable due to its size; you do still have to connect it to a computer in order to scan with it. Which means you have to install the driver and scanning software on the computer, first. Which means you should probably keep the CD nearby in case you need to the DSMobile 700D with someone else’s computer. There is definitely a use case for a portable scanner that needs to be attached to a laptop, but I’m much more excited by the Doxie Go and Xerox Mobile Scanner, which allow you to leave your laptop at home.

Page feeding is really finicky. I had a hard time getting the scanner to grab pages. You also have to time it just right, because the scanner doesn’t give you a lot of leeway; it expects a page of a certain size, and it scans just that amount of paper. Which explains the results I got on my first try (PDF). Those black bars indicate the time it took me to get the scanner to grab the page. I tried enabling Autocrop and Detect end of page in the settings, which got me sort of better results on my second try (PDF). Except that, if you look closely, you’ll see that a substantial portion of the second page was cut off.

This scanner is finicky, which leads to mistakes. That’s fine if your idea of scanning is to take your time and carefully examine every page before moving on to the next document. But when I am scanning, I want to get it over with quickly, and I need to be able to be confident that I got a good copy of the document. And I don’t want to spend time scrutinizing every page scanned.

Who should buy the DSMobile 700D

The DSMobile 700D is about $185 on Amazon right now, a pretty attractive price for a compact duplexing scanner that will fit in a briefcase. However, it’s not a very good scanner.

If you want a desktop scanner that you can take on the road, you would be far better off with the Fujitsu S1300i, although it will cost you another $75. Or, if it’s mobility you want, the excellent Xerox Mobile Scanner only $35 more.

So the one thing the DSMobile 700D has going for it is price. If you are willing to put up with a finicky scanner to save $35, though, you are the target market.


Brother DSMobile 700D Compact Duplex Scanner

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The Brother DSMobile 700D isn’t especially cheap, and it isn’t very good. You will be better off with a ScanSnap S1300i or Xerox Mobile Scanner.

Score: 2 (out of 5)