The new ScanSNap iX100 packs a wireless scanner into a package about the same size as a toilet-paper tube. It is slick and easy to use, and it beats our previous pick for top portable scanner, the Xerox Mobile Scanner in almost every category.

Here is a quick look at what it’s like to use:

Fujitsu may be a little late to the party on wireless scanners, but it is doing it right. The iX100 works over USB or wireless, and you can scan straight to mobile with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Connect app. It is light, quick enough, and reasonably priced. I’m giving it 4.5 stars.

All that said, you shouldn’t get one. Read on to find out why.

What’s Great About the ScanSnap iX100

The iX100 is small and light enough that you can just leave it in your bag, all the time. And since you no longer need to carry your laptop with you, the iX100 is the only thing you need to leave in your bag. As long as you have your smartphone or tablet, you can scan.

Like all ScanSnaps, setup is a cinch, including setting it up with the ScanSnap Connect app. You can even scan wirelessly to the app when you don’t have a wireless network, because the scanner broadcasts its own SSID. Just connect to the scanner’s network and you are good to go. This is a little clunky, but it works just fine.

Scanning multiple pages is easy. Just keep putting them into the feeder. The iX100 will end the current document when you push the Scan/Stop button. If you are scanning in a small space, you can even flip the exit guide up so that paper exits the scanner vertically and takes up less room.

The iX100 is also relatively cheap — just $229 MSRP. That price is close to impulse-purchase territory. But for all that, there is a better option that costs under $10.

Why You Don’t Need a ScanSnap iX100

I do not have many complaints about the iX100. It would be nice if it shipped with a carrying case, and the lack of onboard storage is the only feature it is “missing” compared to the Xerox Mobile Scanner or Doxie Go with Eye-Fi.

But the biggest question mark for me about a scanner like the iX100 is if you need a smartphone or tablet to use it on the go, why wouldn’t you just get a $6.99 app like Scanner Pro? While the iX100 is inexpensive, it’s way more expensive than an app. The iX100 may be the fastest micro scanner on the market, but an app is about the same speed. And while the iX100 is lightweight, it weighs a lot more than your phone alone. Instead of carrying around a portable scanner in your bag, you can have one with you even if you leave your bag at home.

So while I think the ScanSnap iX100 is the best portable wireless scanner on the market (and its bigger sibling the ScanSnap iX500 is a must-buy), that category is all but dead. I cannot come up with a reason to recommend that you get one. Just get a scanner app for your phone.

Update: ScanSnap iX100 v. the Scanner Pro App

After this review went live, Bob Ambrogi (who wrote his own review) challenged me on my assertion than the Scanner Pro app is a better choice than a portable scanner:

In response, I put it to the test, scanning two documents on the iX100, then using Scanner Pro. Watch:

For comparison, here are the scans:

ScanSnap iX100

Scanner Pro

Summary

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 is the best portable wireless scanner on the market, but you probably shouldn’t get one.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100, reviewed by Sam Glover on .