Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Document Scanner Review

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 is the newest in the line of impressive ScanSnap scanners we’ve reviewed and recommended for paperless law offices over the years and replaces the iX500.

The ScanSnap line, including the new iX1500, are the scanners we most recommend for small law firms and paperless office management.

If you need a document scanner, this is still the one you should get, and it remains the top pick in our buyers guide for scanners. Here’s why.

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Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 Price and Features

The iX1500 is about $415 on Amazon.

There are less expensive desktop scanners that will get the job done, but the ScanSnap iX1500 is substantially better than any of them, and it has a lot more to offer, feature-wise. 

The iX500 scans 30 double-sided pages per minute. It will automatically detect and remove blank pages, although this is conservative and you will probably find plenty of blank pages in your scans. It is also good at detecting when two or more pages get pulled into the scanner at the same time. When this happens, the iX1500 will stop to let you separate the pages before it continues. With the ScanSnap Connect app for iOS and Android, you can scan wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet.

With ScanSnap Cloud, you can scan directly to almost a dozen cloud services, including Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, Evernote, and more. ScanSnap Cloud is by far the easiest way to use the iX1500 for normal, day-to-day scanning. For longer documents or more complex scanning jobs, you will want to use ScanSnap Connect with your mobile device or ScanSnap’s management software with your computer.

Hardware and Design

As far as scanners go, the iX1500’s simple new white and black form looks pretty nice on a desk. It is unobtrusive without being unattractive. Not that style should be a major concern when scanner shopping.

Inside the scanner is a processor that helps speed up image processing and handle processing when the iX1500 is not plugged into a computer. It even handles optical character recognition, which means you’ll spend less time waiting for OCR to finish than you would with other scanners (or older ScanSnaps).

Like most document scanners these days, the iX1500 has an ultrasonic multi-feed detector. And to reduce the chances you will need it, there is a new Separation Roller setup for paper picking.

The feeder is 9″ wide, so it can handle pages that are just a bit wider than standard US letter or A4 paper. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can scan teeny-tiny receipts, although you might have to move them around to make sure the scanner can tell there is a piece of paper in the feeder. You can also scan thicker documents, like drivers licenses and passports. Credit cards and drivers licenses go through this scanner just fine. Passports are a tight fit, but you can get them through.

One great improvement with the iX1500 is the addition of a full-color touchscreen interface to navigate the scanner’s menus and connectivity.

But it’s worth pointing out that if you are comparing the iX1500’s feature list to another scanner’s feature list, you are missing the point. The ScanSnap isn’t just a list of features, it is designed to make scanning easy, which is really important if you are going to use it all the time.

Bundled Software

What really makes the ScanSnap stand out is how easy it is to use. Manufacturers of competing scanners can’t seem to keep themselves from adding buttons, while the ScanSnap has a clean touchscreen interface. And unlike most of the competition, the ScanSnap scanning utility is simple, friendly, and easy to use. I think the ScanSnap management software is the most underrated feature of the ScanSnap line of scanners. Fujitsu didn’t just bundle its scanners with PaperPort (which was awful the last time I used it) or hack together an ugly-but-functional scanning utility. Fujitsu put in the time to design the user experience to make ScanSnaps easy to use without sacrificing functionality.

And it works really well.

Performance

The ScanSnap iX1500 is quick, reliable, and easy to use. Here it is in action:

Who Should Buy a ScanSnap iX1500?

If you are in the market for a desktop document scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 is the one you should buy. There is really no question about it.

There is only one exception to that recommendation: if you know you need TWAIN, you should look for another scanner, like one of those I have mentioned above. If you don’t know whether or not you need TWAIN, don’t worry about it. I’m pretty confident that you don’t.

Summary

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 desktop scanner, the newest in the long line of ScanSnaps we love, is the scanner you should buy.

Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Originally published in 2013. Updated 2019. Republished on 2019-10-15.

Sam Glover
Sam Glover is the founder & CTO of Lawyerist.com. He is the co-author of the bestselling book The Small Firm Roadmap and is the host of the weekly Lawyerist Podcast.

Aaron Street also contributed to this page.