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The Kodak ScanMate i940 is a powerful portable scanner. It’s kind of a portable desktop scanner. Or a desktop portable scanner.
The ScanMate i940 gets an honorable mention on our best scanner recommendations page. Read on to see why.
What I like about the ScanMate i940
This scanner is fairly compact, especially for a duplexing scanner with a document feeder. True, the document feeder will only hold 20 sheets, but must portable scanners don’t have a document feeder at all. The other compact scanner we’ve tried with a document feeder, the very good ScanSnap S1300, only holds 10 sheets.
The ScanMate i940 is also quite fast. Scanning in black and white, at least, the ScanMate i940 is just as quick (20 ppm) as dedicated desktop scanners like the ScanSnap S1500. Here is a [sample scan] (pdf) using the mono-color setting it comes with from the factory. In fact, the ScanMate i940 is even fast enough that I can imagine bringing it to a document review where I expected to scan a few hundred documents.
Optical character recognition is quick, and enabled by default. I have OCR turned off on my ScanSnaps because it is so slow, but I barely noticed the lag with the ScanMate. Maybe that’s because it’s software is so lightweight, in general. It may not be as pretty as ScanSnap Manager, but the default settings are perfectly good. After you have installed the software, all you have to do it push the button to scan. You don’t get as many options as with ScanSnap Manager, and the interface could be improved, but this is way better than anything else I have tried. You can save a variety of pre-sets, which you can select by changing the number on the top of the scanner. As long as you can remember which preset goes with which number, it’s helpful to have the option. I’m not sure the 9 pre-sets that come with it from the factory are particularly helpful, but you can cut them down to a more-manageable number, if you like.
For the international travelers, the ScanMate i940 comes with a variety of plug adapters, which is nice.
Finally, basic Linux drivers are available, which sets this scanner apart. It’s cool to see some true cross-platform support.
What I don’t like about the ScanMate i940
On USB power, the ScanMate i940 is considerably slower. Like . This is to be expected, but it’s something to keep in mind. Bring the power cable if you take this scanner to a document review.
By default, the ScanMate software sends scanned documents to C:\Users\Sam Glover\Documents\Smart Touch\i900\Output\ This is dumb. If Kodak feels like it needs its very own folder for scans, fine. It should stick to a single folder, called something like Kodak Scans that’s just one-level deep inside my documents folder. There’s no good reason to make me click through multiple folders just to find my scans.
I could not find an option for blank page removal, which is a royal pain. As you can see in the sample I uploaded (pdf), they are still there.
Finally, this needs a case. The lid has no latch or magnet to hold it in place, and it is far too likely to flip open and sustain damage in a bag, as a result.
Who should buy the ScanMate i940
The biggest competition to the ScanMate i940 is probably the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i, which offers the same basic features: small size, duplexing, and you can power it by USB. The ScanSnap is a bit slower, though, and its document feeder is half the size. Of the two, I prefer the Kodak. In either case, these scanners are powerful enough for light desktop use or heavy portable use, making them a great option for mobile lawyers or lawyers who just need to scan documents every now and then.
Kodak ScanMate i940
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .
Summary: The Kodak ScanMate i940 is an easy-to-use portable document scanner powerful enough to serve as a light-duty desktop scanner, too.
Overall score: 4.5 (out of 5)